Monday, September 6, 2010

Red Chair Affair -Stage Right

How amazing to be sitting stage right, next to American flag in front of several thousand people waiting for the red curtain to rise. I had given Terry a ticket but she went to the Tears for Fears concert in front of City Hall instead. Several friends kept texting me from the audience and I responded back. The two sign language interpreters came out and sat next to me. I introduced myself to them. Finally a video was projected on the movie screen high above the stage. From where I was seated the image was a thin sliver since the screen was right above me.
The announcer introduced the Bach Festival Choir who sang the "Star-Spangled Banner." I stood along with the interpreters and the entire audience faced the flag which was right beside me. The choir was amazing the song resonated in a way I have never felt it before. The signer in front of me was waving her hand like a flag and her hands sparked upwards and sprinkled down just like fireworks. Viewing the signing of this song was a new experience for me.
The next act is when I started to sketch. Jugglers from "La Nouba" by Cirque du Soleil came out and the balls were flying. I quickly caught the clownish character known as The Green Bird. According to the "La Nouba" website, "She has escaped her cage and desperately wants to fly. She can't fly away and join the circus. She is trapped in the urban world like a marionette with tangled strings." I was mesmerized by her quick angular movements.
As the next acts came on the stage I continued to work on this sketch. I loved a performance where Tod Caviness read poetry while Emotions Dance performed behind him. I recognized one of the dancers from having sketched several Emotions Dance rehearsals before. Sitting so close to them on the main stage was thrilling. Several times, a dancer would charge right at me diagonally across the stage and I had to move my feet to avoid a collision. As they ran off stage, they were panting audibly and I could see the sweat on their brows. These intimate details aren't always seen from the audience.
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra's Sovereign Brass performed a medley of tunes from "Chicago." Their lively performance had the audience laughing and clapping along. The trumpeter used a cup over his bell to create the raucous sounds of a jazzy tune. The audience loved it. When the last brass note silenced, the audience burst up in a standing ovation.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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