And I mean that in the best way possible. I don’t just work for the sake of working, and it’s not because I have a feeling that I’m not doing enough so I’m constantly trying to get ahead. I just love my job! (or maybe I don’t know how to have enough fun outside of work?)
Today was our first rehearsal for Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey presents Built To Amaze in West Palm Beach. We just finished Winter Quarters, which is the gold unit’s annual rehearsal process. The band rehearses six days a week, from 9-6; not that different from a theatre rehearsal schedule. While people not in “the biz” might say “six days a week for nine hours a day? Are you kidding?” I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On Wednesday we traveled from Ellenton, FL to West Palm Beach. Thursday and Friday we were off, which was great. I spent a lot of time outdoors because the weather is beautiful, and I took advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to be up at 7. That being said, I had more fun today during our two-hour run-through than I had in two days total of free time. As soon as I step foot in the venue, I light up. Walking through the parking lot I passed a man who was riding on a horse while standing, another guy whizzed by on a unicycle, and two elephants were playing in the stand. Moving into the venue, one performer is practicing with his crossbow, the Russian trapeze guys are doing handstand pushups in the center ring, and a clown was bouncing on a trampoline. And I work here! This is an actual job with an actual salary; a union job at that!
The second the announcement comes over the loudspeaker that it’s our three-minute warning, I just smile. From the downbeat of the ringmaster entrance song to the last note of the exit music, I’m dancing at my keyboards, taking it all in. Sometimes I’m focused on my music because it’s a tricky passage, other times my eyes are glued to the conductor, waiting for an important cue coming up, and other times I’m trying to watch the acts without losing my place in the music. And every second of it is thrilling!
I’m sure some people on the show were lamenting the fact that we were back to work, but me? There is no place else I’d rather be!