Wednesday 22 Oct
Arrived in Vegas at 10 AM, having got up at 6 to catch my red-eye from San Diego. Luckily Harrah’s had a room ready for me so I ditched the bags and took the monorail over to the convention centre to check in. My best friend and roommate Adam (fellow MCer Gaptoothed) drove into town a day earlier and met up with me after I got back to the room. Adam saw Criss Angel BeLIEve the night before and was, suffice to say, underwhelmed. Adam and I walked around Caesars looking for something to eat. We settled on Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. Adam had the chile relleno and I had the 3-course prix fixe lunch special- barbeque duck and blue corn crepe, pulled-pork barbeque sandwich with southwestern fries, and vanilla crème brulee for dessert.
Adam and I went over to the Mac store at Fashion Show mall and looked for some evening entertainment options. I had my evenings filled for most nights and Adam found a ticket for Wayne Newton. That’s right, Mr. Vegas himself! I had to get down to the Treasure Island because…I had an appointment with Cirque du Soleil!
As a part of the LDI conference I had the opportunity to spend a day at Mystére, and get a behind-the-scenes look at this amazing show. Our small group of 10 was met outside the Mystére theatre by Michael Maddox, the tech director for the show. After a brief history of the show we had the opportunity to talk with Danielle Rodenkirchen, a former Cirque artist and Mystére’s current artistic director. It was really nice to see that the Cirque leaves lots of avenues open to their artists once they decide to pursue opportunities outside of the limelight. The group got a top-to bottom tour, full of little bits of trivia: did you know that the stage is actually washed down before each show with a mix of Coke and water, or that there are over 1,000 costume pieces in the costume shop alone? Some of the views of the stage and house were absolutely amazing. Being up in the grid over 60’ above the stage was so much fun! After the tour we headed down into the green room for dinner, this time carne asada and grilled chicken tacos….mmm, que delicioso!
Our group got split up after dinner and attached to different technicians for the 7:00 show. Some of our group got to listen to the headset calls from the spot positions, and some got to watch the show with the light board operators. I got to watch the show from the booth with the special effects and projections operator. Being all the way above the audience during the show gives you an interesting perspective on the spectacle. The newer Cirque shows on the Strip may have the awe-inspiring technological innovations, but Mystére is a reminder that you don’t need a 200,000,000.00 budget to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses, and evoke the wonder.
After the show, we met back up and asked any final questions. All in all the experience absolutely great, and definitely worth doing again.
I wandered down the Strip to the Bellagio, with the intention of seeing if there were any cancellations for the 10:30 performance of <<O>>. The box office had a seat open in the front row of section 104 but being so far off to the right I politely declined. Luckily, I found a seat in 103 4 rows back for Saturday!
Being so tired, I retired to my room at Harrah’s and rested for the next day- backstage at Ká!
**to be continued**