Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Probably going to be a bit more of a serious post, self-reflection and journaling combined. 

When I first got word that I might be getting to go back on tour, there was definite excitement. But as it goes, I always know that nothing is definite in the entertainment business until you're actually doing it...or at least gotten paid for it too hopefully. So when things didn't work out for the first PA to go, I was ecstatic to get a confirmation and a check in the mail that I was getting to go. And of all bands, Hillsong United was hiring me through Premier Productions. I couldn't have been more overjoyed. 

When I left, I had a sense of two things oddly: that this was to start a new chapter in my life and a strange feeling someone would die while I was on tour. Weird, I know. 

I always work my butt off no matter what job I am doing of my 9+ jobs. The 18+ hour days are very physically taxing and demanding. You don't get a chance to rest or nap or sleep in. You wake up at 7am and you go go go until 2am, or whenever everyone else gets done so you can go to bed. 

Last week I got news that someone I knew from back home died. I took it a lot harder than I thought I would just because I only really hung out with his brother, but it still hit me a few times. I stuck it out and kept going taking breaks to mourn as needed. I think that it wasn't do much mourning my loss, but more for those I know still here that he left behind. My heart is kinda sensitive that way. 

Now that the tour is done as far as shows are concerned, I head back to Nashville to unload, and then back home to the freezing Atlanta. 

I don't feel like I'm returning to the same Atlanta even though I've only been gone just under a few weeks. I feel like when I get back, God has more great things in store for me. That this was just the beginning of blessings for being faithful and focusing more on Him, and for being obedient. 
Externally, nothing has probably changed in Atlanta, but I feel like I'll have a new perspective on several things when I get back. I'm not sure what those things may be yet. But I'm just as excited with anticipation as I was when leaving for the tour. 

Houston, We Have A Problem...Or Seventy Three

Today was the weirdest day by far all around. We dealt with a lot of different characters (good and bad), had odd issues that we've had no where else ("I'm sorry, we have to check with the fire Marshall to hang a drape to hide all of backstage from being seen."), an offsite box office almost a mile from the venue, catering ran out of food...just plain weird. 

On the bright side, I got to take the pineapple out and about for a bit. 

Check out #welcomezionpineapple for all the pictures on Instagram.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You Spin Me Round

The second half of the road trip was rather uneventful for the most part. We stopped near Baton Rouge LA for dinner at a bar/steakhouse. I was very underdressed in my pajamas, but I really didn't care that much about that. 

As we waited to be seated, I went to use the restroom. The bathroom on the bus is a 'no #2' facility, so I like to take advantage of our stops whenever I can. Luckily, I was sitting on the toilet because
As soon as I sat down, my vertigo kicked in. I had to grab the walls of the stall to keep from falling over.  It didn't stop or go away either. 
My world kept spinning as I ate dinner. I'm glad I'd been used to that before, which made it tolerable and manageable. 
We got back to the bus, I found my vertigo meds, and I stayed up for maybe an hour, then just went to bed. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

On The Road Again

We have completed the first half of our trip from Miami to Houston. We are presently seated in a restaurant in Louisiana somewhere. 
The first half of our trip was fun. We had a blast decorating one of the gals on our bus as she slept in the front lounge. 
Items included: Christmas lights, napkins, chocolate balls, twizzlers, pineapple, banana, apple, fork, and a bow on top!!

We also played a game of 'name that celebrity'.  The gal with her glamour magazine would hold up pictures as we would guess who was in the advertisement. The goal of us guessing was not necessarily to say the correct answer, which frustrated the gal with the magazine, but we would 'win' by having the most creative answer. 
Example: pictured in the ad was Julia Roberts. 
Answers ranged from: Emma Watson, Claire Danes, the girl who married Prince Edward, Halle Berry, Jackie Onassis...

We also watched Elf and Home Alone. It was nice to watch those holiday movies now that the Christmas lights are up in the bus. 

CSI Miami : Creativity, Showers, interesting

Yesterday was a fun-filled really eventful day. The Internet kept going down, so I couldn't get any updates uploaded with better real information. The Internet is not working well on the bus either, but hey - I have ten more hours to kill. 

We didn't have to load out on Saturday night, which meant we didn't have to load in or set up either. Also meant we got hotels!!  I got my own room because someone else forfeited theirs. No complaints from me about that!!
I slept eight hours and when I woke up, I decided to have some fun with the #WelcomeZionPineapple. Church out that hash tag on Instagram. 
After a nice warm shower, me and the pineapple took a tour of the town. 
The pineapple even made friends with a coconut!!!
I made a friend too! 
Even 'Violent Ghandi' loves the pineapple!!!
I was even able to convince a few people to pose with the pineapple too!!
At 2pm, we had to work and get things ready. Everything was smooth as gravy until the weather hit. It down poured on us. 
Luckily things cleared up and the show went on only 30 minutes late. 
I had to hang some extra lights too. We had rope light that someone stole, so we did the next best thing: Christmas lights!!
It kinda looked like a Mexican restaurant. 

During the show, someone ran up on stage and yelled, "I love Cuba!"  He was stopped before getting to the band. Whoever was on the mic, recovered with, "We love Cuba too. Who else here loves Cuba?"  The audience broke into loud cheers!!  
Well played Hillsong. 

And now...we are on a fifteen hour bus ride to Houston Texas. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Statues Of Non-Liberty

I saw these statues outside of our venue today.  I had to take five minutes and take a closer look at them.  It was the weirdest thing I've seen in a while.  I still don't get them.  They were of pacifists with guns...I don't get it one bit.

If anyone can explain what these are or what they mean it would be very appreciated.

The Zion Tour Pineapple

A pineapple neither smells or tastes like pine or any variety of apple.  Peculiar.

Tyler with the official Zion Tour Pineapple in Miami!

Miami...You Can Keep Yourami

We arrived here right when we were expected to, so we got a full 5 hours of sleep!  Woohoo!  it's better than yesterday when we were shorted an hour because the bus driver was too good, lol.

We woke up to a very beautiful sunrise over the bay.

It was very beautiful to look at, but it was so hot and humid.  

As soon as we stepped off the bus, it was a sweat shop in the wide open air of the beach.

There was not enough parking in the loading dock area for everything we had.  We have four tractor-trailers, and four busses (two with trailers).  We had to park the busses on the street and unload the trailers from there, push the contents of those trailers about 1/8 of a mile to the venue, then up the ramps into the production office.

Today is the smallest production office I have ever seen or let along had to work in.  
Tyler was just as thrilled to be working in here too!

We have been in several venues now and we typically have about 6-12 dressing rooms available.  Today we have 3.  A men's dressing room, a ladies dressing room, and a green room.  There are also a total of 3 showers for all 50 people on our tour.  I think most people will be taking advantage of our hotel showers instead of the venue showers tonight.

I then had to find the box office.  
I didn't realize the ticketing offices would be the size and shape of actual boxes.  
The left box is for buying tickets, and the right box is for will-call.
This feels like a smurf-sized venue.


Friday, November 22, 2013

The Rest Was Futile

Here is a list of other things on the Bingo board I achieved: 
Help a band member with something. 
Tell four people that you love your job. 
Give your phone number to someone for no reason. 
Go to the box office three times. 
High five a security guard. 
Get a compliment from Luke Webb (tour manager). 
Have a serious conversation about three different types of swimming styles. 

Two things on the board I was looking to do next:
Get scolded by the caterer. 
Sing the verse and chorus of a dong to the bus pineapple in front of two or more people. 

Not A Rodeo.

This is a picture of the mad rush from outside the venue when doors opened. 13,000 fans or so. 

This Little Cell Phone Light Of Mine...

If you look really really closely at the bottom left of the picture, you can't see me.  I'm there, but you can't see me.  I'm like a ninja!!


I won in Production Team Bingo against Jennifer Manning and Tyler Porter!!!

-Juggle three items for 20 second
*lucky for me I took a circus training class earlier this year.  We learned the basics of juggling with handkerchiefs.  I used napkins and was able to juggle them to 20 seconds after about 20 attempts.

-Ask a local if Florida is near the ocean
*I was in the ticket lobby and asked a girl if we were near the ocean.  She said we were actually near the bay.  So then I responded by asking if we were in Florida, and if Florida was near the ocean.  She said 'yes' and I immediately crossed of my checklist and walked away without another word.

-Take a selfie with a volunteer
*The very first volunteer that walked into the room got a selfie taken with me.

-Be asked where the towels are
*One of our charity workers with the tour asked me where the towels were.

and the winning square:
-Eat catering at your desk
*I got catering, walked back to the office, and then announced for everyone to watch me take a sweet bite of victory as I took a nibble of my cookie.

The Incredible Journey

Everyday I have to get the free tickets (comp tickets) ready for the promoter and the artists.  When they are ready I have to deliver them to the box office.  Typically I can go up one level and follow signs to the box office.  Today was a bit more of an easy task.

Step 1.  Ask the security guy who works at the venus how to get to the box office.  "Take that elevator up to the second level and follow the hallway to the box office."
Easy, right...?

I go up the elevator, go to the second floor to a twenty square foot lobby with two sets of doors.  Both sets of doors are locked.  So, I go to the third floor thinking, "maybe I heard that wrong and needed to go up 2 floors, not go to the second floor."

The third floor is nothing.  Well, I think it was storage or something.  Not at all where I needed to be.

I go back down to the basement floor and run into two of the venue runners.  I ask them for direction and they bring me to the 4th floor.  The 4th floor is the concourse.  I wander to the left and we find an information booth.  I ask him how to get to the box office...he tells me to take the elevator to the second floor.  "Really??  I just came from there and couldn't even go more than ten feet from the elevator."  He replies, "Well, the second floor is not the same on every elevator.  This second floor goes to a different second floor."

I take the elevator down to the second floor and enter several rooms that keep giving me two options of doors.  Every door I choose, no matter which door, will close and lock behind me.  I get locked into my choices no matter what.  Luckily, I have chosen wisely and was able to find the box office!!  WHEW!!

But the journey does not stop there, no!!

Now I have to get back...I can't go back the way I came from, everything is locked behind me.  So I am forced to ask for directions.
"How do I get back to the loading docks?"
"Go out the front door, go left and eventually you will run into the loading docks."
" do I get back to the loading docks without going outside?"
"You can try the ADA elevator, but it doesn't work until the doors open."
I tried the wasn't working yet.  :(

Outside and around the building I go!!!

Outside is a preshow function from a local radio station.  There are about 3000+ people standing outside in a herd that I now have to break through.  I push my way through the crowd and get 1/4 of the way around the building.

On my radio:
"Webby for Joe"
"Go for Joe"
"I need you to go to the box office and find Ross.  Bring him back with you."

Back through the crowd I go.  Too bad it isn't a crowd surfing group, of I could have just gone OVER the group, instead of through the group.

I push my way through the same exact people.  They got a little frustrated, but oh well.

I get to the box office and ask for the tickets for Ross.  They are not there, but he is standing right behind me.  I explain the situation that we don't have an easy way back...they are ok with it.  We chain gang through the crowd and make it to the stairway at the end of the brick patio area.  We circle half the building and come up to security door D.  We enter and get through security.  We finally get to the Production Office.
Task Complete.
Two birds, one stone.

There Ain't No Show Like A Hometown Show!

Thursday - Atlanta - Finally!!!!

I have been working for the last month on getting some surprises ready for Jenn since we were doing a show in Atlanta.  Jenn LOVES The Walking Dead, so I tried to coordinate some Walking Dead fun for her.
SURPRISE #1 was a Walking Dead shirt featuring Alex Darko (the zombie that ate Lori) that she met a few months ago.

SURPRISE #2 was getting to meet Mary Krans.  My best friend and Walking Dead Zombie.  In the season 3 finale, Mary was beheaded by Michonne in the final few minutes.

SURPRISE # 3 was getting to meet CC Ice.  CC is a walker and a stunt artist on The Walking Dead.  We haven't seen her on screen yet, but she has some big scenes coming up this season!

I was able to finally see some of the show too finally!!  It sounded great and looked great from the front row!!

The lights and stage set-up were great!  lasers and LED lights everywhere.  At the end of what I saw, they had everyone turn on their cellphone lights and turned off all the production lights.  Seeing everything lit only by phone was really cool.

I love that my friends stopped by too!  They are so awesome!!

 CC hanging out in the front row waiting for the show to start:
Me and CC:

Me and Beth:

I wasn't able to get pics with Clarissa or Miriam, but I was happy to see both of them come out too and support the show and the DVD we filmed.

I found (a) Joe (shirt)!!

We finally made it to Atlanta!!!  But not before having a day off in Nashville.

Nashville was fairly uneventful.  BUT...I was able to track down a Joe shirt finally!!  
Joe's Natural Store.  They only had medium or small shirts, the medium fit well so I am glad about that!

Also on the way to the hotel I stumbled upon a couple of cars:
Easily recognizable is the General Lee 
from The Dukes of Hazzard fame, and next to that is a police car with the license plate 'Fife'.

Other than my short 2 hour excursion, I slept for a total of 18 hours on Wednesday!!!  
I needed it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

High As A Bird

Here are a few more pictures from the great Andy Barron!!

IDK how they got into the catwalks, but watching a concert from this perspective has to be pretty freaking awesome!!!