Project Hotel Key – Demopolis, AL

Hey friends. Sorry I’ve been kinda slow on the updates. Most of my downtime is on the bus. We have no wireless, so I can’t blog. I just watch a lot of LOST episodes (CURRENT EPISODE COUNT: 15/120). I finally have some downtime within a wireless hot spot, so I’m gonna throw ’em at ya fast and loose. Get ready.

Hampton Inn – Demopolis, AL

I didn’t actually get to spend a lot of time at this hotel in the metropolis of Demopolis. We checked in around 11:30 after packing the set back into the truck and had to get on the road by 5:30 in the morning! All I can say is that the beds were soft and the bathroom surprisingly large. I was there all of 6 hours.

While I can’t really comment much on the hotel, I can tell you a bit about our performance space. The Old School Theater, c. 1912, was actually used as a school until the mid-70s before being opened as a theatre space in the 80s. The building is humble, only lightly renovated since it opened, but the arts community of Demopolis takes real pride in their theatre. We got to use their dressing rooms, located under the audience seating, where I spotted endless autograph graffiti lovingly spattered across every open spot on the wall. It reminded me of the theatre where I worked this past summer in Crossville, Tennessee. People who are cast in productions there are so excited about their show that they leave a lasting mark for all future actors to pass through the theatre. I considered adding my autograph to the array, but I decided against it.  I would hate to take the autograph space of some 14-year-old boy doing his first show. He needs it more than I do.

Here are some pictures I took of my favorite scrawlings:

Sports fans, naturally. This is Alabama.

In Memory? I believe you just wrote your own tombstone.

Jon Loves Louis…or Susie? The upside triangle gives it away.

Not sure what this one’s about, but I like the zig-zag border.

There were also plenty of interesting knickknacks in the underground storage area outside the dressing rooms. There’s an interesting fact I’ve found true of most theaters: They never throw anything away, no matter how unlikely it is that they’ll ever use it again. If there’s ever another need for a huge, sparkling “BROADWAY” sign…they’ve got it.

The “BROADWAY” sign. Also notice the 70s rainbow organ directly beneath.

I actually have no idea what this is. Any guesses?

My favorite part of the theatre might actually be the auditorium. There’s a creative carpeting technique the used for the floor. It involves cutting many different colored and textured carpets into various sized squares and placing them next to each other. It’s as adorable as it sounds. I promise.

See?

The show went really well. We hadn’t performed it in about 4 days but the show runs through our bones now so memory wasn’t an issue. We’ve done the show so many times that performances can start to blend together. I love finding moments during each show that characterize that particular audience. I found one of those in Demopolis. There is a hilarious song in the 2nd act of our show, “Don’t Haul Bricks on 66,” sung by a rowdy pair of stoners warning drug traffickers not to conduct business on Route 66. I’m not in this number (I come on directly after as a Reno 911-style cop – very cool) but I change clothes backstage while silently giggling at my friends’ antics. The audience always loves this song, but there was one little boy in this house that was particularly vocal about it. Right after the song, the kid blurts out: “That was really funny, but don’t really smoke!” Well put, kid. Well put.

Thanks for reading!

CORRECTION: Apparently, the rambunctious kid was actually my friend and cast mate, Casey Ross. Such a good actor. He even fooled me!

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  1. don’t hate on alabama sports fans.

    also i think that hideously decorated fireplace-looking thing might be a little puppet theatre thingy

    • I was never hating…

      I can actually see that being a puppet theatre. The row of ring boxes along the top really makes it.

  2. Ha! That was Casey who said “That was really funny, but don’t really smoke!” Hee hee hee. That’s what he says when the audience has lots of kids in it 🙂

    • Haha! He totally fooled me! I thought it was that rambunctious kid in the front row, house right.

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