We headed back to North Carolina and the college town of Culowhee. The day we arrived I decided to get out and enjoy the perfect autumn weather and vibrant colors in the mountains. I went for a walk/run up the hill where we are were and met Tavis on the way back down. I happened to wander off up a driveway where I ran into multiple large, mean, athletic-looking dogs that started growling. When I turned to calmly walk back in the other direction I realized that I was about to be chased. I couldn't believe when I realized that I was literally running as fast as I possibly could down a hill and jumping over a car to avoid these rabid dogs! Ha ha! Seriously- I thought I was for sure going to be bitten, but I avoided it. We enjoyed the hotel pool for a bit and went to the theatre. It was a great space at Western Carolina University, where my friends Amanda Kouri and Tyler McKenzie attend school for theatre. We were the opening show for their season so there was a huge party beforehand and the soldout crowd was very excited for the show. Talk about a great audience; we had a BLAST! Afterward we went out with friends from WCU to O'Malleys where we laughed and ate tons of wings into the night.
From there we headed to West Virginia's capitol city, Charleston. It was a pretty good stop, I guess, but there were definitely a few frustrating moments. Okay- overall...Charleston was frustrating. When we arrived the cast decided to go out for dinner and as we were walking around the mall I decided to stop and ask someone working behind the counter, "Excuse me- do you know of a good, local restaurant within walking distance?" I proceeded to get directions to Outback Steakhouse. "Do you know of anywhere LOCALLY OWNED, though?" I inquired further and her response was, "Well no, but Outback has these great cheese fries." After a few seconds of description I cut her off, "I have been to Outback!", and walked away extremely frustrated and unsuccessful.
We ate at Outback.
The next day we had a matinee in a HUGE theatre. It was gigantic and at one time held all the big tours, but at this point it seems this facility is not used much and doesn't have near the resources it should have for tours. Our piano hadn't been tuned so we were all running a bit late when sound check rolled around. Now- on any given show day we do a soundcheck around an hour before the show. It usually consists of our sound guy and the cast going through each performer and singing before doing a group number and then calling it a day and the cast proceeds to the dressing rooms to continue getting prepared for the show. On this day we head down to the stage and begin our soundcheck. Girls are in curlers, tights and little shorts, no makeup, I am in a tank, hair isn't done. We are a mess. Suddenly the back doors open and people begin filing into the theatre, taking seats all the way at the front of the audience. They aren't ushers....
Puzzled by the situation, we all look around to find our stage manager, but our pianist and sound guy continue going. We start to become embarrassed; these people are just sitting there watching our whole sound check. This is not right! Our stage manager finally shows up and heads to the back of the theatre to shut doors and talk to the house manager. He isn't there soon enough, though. What happens next is the most insane thing I've ever experienced as an actor. The audience begins to shout to us. "TOO LOUD!!!"
You've got to be kidding me.
We are singing our little hearts out while the sound is all being adjusted. It's at a certain volume for soundcheck only, but that doesn't seem to matter to these patrons. "TURN IT DOWN!!!" "IT'S TOO LOUD!!!" What are we supposed to do? There are these poor girls already mortified to have audience members out there. I am getting furious. We don't know what to do. Finally the check is over and I head up to my dressing room where. I take off my shoes and begin to get ready when I realize: there is SAND on the floor. Not just a few grains of sand... lots and lots of sand is covering the dressing room floor. Its all in my shoes and socks. I'm just so confused at this point. I can't even be bothered to get a crew member to help, so I find a broom and dustpan and get the place cleaned up. We do the show for some of Katie Mitchell's friends and it did go fine. I just couldn't get over that! We finished off our time in Charleston walking around town to find nothing open since it was a Sunday, so we headed out and got ice cream at Maggie Moo's. (This was also an interesting experience since I had a huge hair in my ice cream. I ended up getting my money back.)
I was glad to head out of West Virginia by the end of our time there! Ha ha!