Viva Las Vegas!
Wow. I haven’t even been here 24 hours, I haven’t even seen more than my hotel, the training studio and the shuttle bus, I haven’t even done a smidgeon of the stuff the place offers and ALREADY I’ve got stories.
Welcome to Vegas, baby.
I’m about to head off for a night on the strip with my old uni buddy, Ivy, so here again, the skill I’ve acquired possibly better than any this trip – the use of bullet points.
– The SECOND I got off the plane I saw a young Asian couple step straight off the walkway, plant themselves at the nearby pokie machine and start playing. The woman even let out a sigh of relief, making me wonder if there might be a market for pokie patches to ease those cravings on long flights.
– My bus driver was a charming lady who reminded me of the mum out of “Family Matters” and proceeded to give all sorts of cute bits of advice including “make sure you always carry water and a pinch of salt in case you pass out”. She made me chuckle, until she told me she and her husband had moved to Vegas to wait until they’d hit the jackpot. That was nineteen years ago. And when she said “jackpot” she meant it literally – they’ve been waiting to win the pokies for almost two decades. Gulp.
– The training with Michael Pollock…BE STILL MY MUSICAL LOINS. I know that doesn’t even make sense, but so overawed am I with the magic of working with this man that all good literary sense just goes out the window. Given that this guy wrote the book on musical improv (and I do mean that literally), I was expecting a lot. But he blew even my highest expectations out of the water. I don’t even know how to express it, except that:
a) I’ll be returning with SOOOO many notes, techniques and exercises it’s just not funny – or maybe it is;
b) I had the pleasure of interviewing him this afternoon on camera, during which he poured his brain out with wonderful generosity; and
c) at the risk of sounding like a complete wanker, he paid me the HUGEST compliment I think I’ve ever received afterwards: “Jenny, you are so talented (his emphasis, not mine). I’m not in the slightest bit surprised that the government gave you a grant like this.”
I know that’s incredibly self-indulgent of me to even write that here but honestly, if you knew how unbelievably brilliant I think this guy is (hell, he’s the Musical Director of Second City) then you would know why I am compelled, no indeed required, to share my joy with you.
Tra la la la la, tra la la la la, the flowers that bloom in the spring…