Renewal. Part One, Getting There

I was asked to perform and be a part of what I can only describe as a magical art festival in the desert. Beyond Brookledge, in Riverside, CA at the Mission Inn Resort. I would be performing Friday through Sunday, then heading to Hollywood for a week at the Magic Castle, then finishing up with a guest spot at the Hollywood Burlesque Festival.

Friday, May 19, 2017 I got out of bed at 2:15 AM in order to make a 5 AM flight. Quick shower and final check on the bags; it’s going to be nearly two weeks before I’m back at my Honeycomb, so all of my performance clothes and show props are carefully packed away. Arrived at the airport in plenty of time and parked in the long term lot.
I was recognized by several of the Delta check-in team and it makes me feel semi-famous every time. Truth is, I get to fly a lot, and I kinda stand out. You know?

Surprise bump to first class, this is a good sign. I need this trip, which isn’t really going to pay a lot, to renew my enthusiasm for my work and my art. I’ve been far too down on myself and I need to rekindle the love of what I do, and find some admiration for myself. Hollywood and the Castle always help in that regard, so I was hopeful. Anyway: First Class. Had a bite of breakfast and slipped on my headphones. Today’s traveling/ sleeping music was Marillion’s latest album: FEAR. Slept hard for a couple of hours, then slowly awoke over the midwest and looked through the movie selection. I chose ‘Founder’. Michael Keaton portraying Ray Kroc, the ‘founder’ of the McDonald’s franchise beast. Fascinating, Keaton may be the best actor of my generation. Yeah. I said that.

Landed at LAX without incident and collected my bags. Los Angeles International Airport always reminds me of U2’s album ‘The Joshua Tree’. No idea why, but I find myself humming “… and you give yourself away…” over and over.

Erika Larsen, my host, sent me a text letting me know that her brother Dante would be picking me up for the drive to Riverside. Initially I was going to cab f444eb9b565ec6f5cfbcfead83923e30_f8or Uber, but she felt this would be a better plan, and she was correct. The drive out took well over three hours. Traffic was snarled and slow the entire journey. Dante wasn’t much on conversation, but he was an extremely good companion. We finally pulled up to the Mission Inn in the late afternoon. Just looking at the outside was stunning.

I checked in and was directed to the convention ‘hub’, where I got my credentials and a handful of totems, including original pieces of art from Olivia and Michael Whelan.

First thing on the agenda was a quick Q&A with the Amazing Jonathan. He was, despite all of h20170521_000211is health problems over the past few years, in really good spirits and energy. When this was done, I found my room and had a quick power nap .. I was worn out from the road, and this first night was going to be a long one. My room was gorgeous … Spanish themed and a feeling of real history. I dozed off under a high ceiling and tried to mentally prep for the night ahead. In retrospect? I didn’t have a chance.

<to be continued.>

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