Project Hotel Key – Byron Center, MI

Baymont Inn & Suites

This is my favorite hotel we’ve stayed at so far. There are plenty of reasons why this is a good hotel: The beds are soft, the marble countertops are gorgeous, the toilet has two eco-friendly flush settings, and so on. All of those things are great, but there is one reason I love this hotel more than any other. Want to know why? I’ll tell you why – I have my own room!

One of the things you have to sacrifice when traveling with a 9-person road family is privacy. It’s like living in freshman-year dorms all over again, but slightly cleaner. Until last night, I drew the short straw (hard odds with only one long straw) in the single room roulette. Finally having the long straw feels so good. I’m refreshed and ready to deliver another knockout show.

Speaking of knockout shows, we rocked so hard in our opening number last night that we knocked out the power in the whole building.

I’m not kidding.

Well, I may be exaggerating slightly. The power outage was not our fault, but rather a light switch at the other end of the high school that blew a fuse somehow and killed the transformer. I’ve never been one to understand electric wiring, so I’m not even sure what I just wrote. All I know is the lights and sound shut off at the beginning of our huge tap break in the title song of the show, almost as if on cue. My college performance training taught me to keep going, no matter what, so that’s what I did. I slapped on my best impersonation of a confident actor and kept tapping in complete darkness. It wasn’t until the end of the dance break, when Heatherlyn yelled, “HOLD!”, that I realized what an epic show this was turning out to be. I ran backstage and burst into a fit of silent laughter, both amused and incredibly nervous about our next step. Smaller technical difficulties, such as dead microphones and speaker feedback, don’t send me into any real panic, but a full power outage with no clear answer on how long it’s going to take to get it back is a different story entirely.

After about 20 minutes of waiting around for some kind of word on the plan for the rest of the evening, Heatherlyn and Gil came up with a miracle solution: a special unplugged concert version of the show.

We started with some introductions. I let the audience know I’m from Roswell and, in the spirit of our crazy evening, told them my parents are from Pluto and are very upset about its recent planetary demotion. I’m not sure why, but the audience seemed a bit let down when I confessed to actually being from Roswell, Georgia. There must be something inherently exciting about an alien in your midst. Sorry for disappointing you, Michigan.

Anyway, the audience loved our acoustic set and it taught me a valuable lesson. The technical issues formed a really intimate connection with the audience, a trust, even. We worked through the power problem together, making the best of it and having a really good time. When the power came on at the end of the act, I was relieved, but found myself missing the intimacy of being right down on the edge of the stage, communicating directly with a giving audience. Now that I’ve found out how that feels, I want to bring that candid feeling into each show we do.

One more show in Michigan, and then it’s off to Wisconsin!

Until then,

Dylan

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    • rexhauck
    • February 19th, 2010

    how very cool…what a great solution to the power out.

  1. How funny! Unplugged! Who knows – maybe you’ll grab the long straw again soon!

    • Muv
    • February 19th, 2010

    Wow, you had two powerful experiences….having no power at all in the midst of a performance and then finding another way to entertain and loving it….oh, I forgot the private room….that makes three powerful experiences….

    A week from todayI’ll be seeing you….can’t wait. I called the Kingsport paper today to get them to put it in the paper that my grandson will be performing next Friday…..hope they put it in….also, via email people in my church that have computers will know about the performance……do I sound like a proud grandmother???? love you…..muv

    • madge
    • February 22nd, 2010

    BAHAH. dylan. you are such a nerd. but i love you for it. im glad michigan treated you well.

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