The invitation said, "Join us for an exclusive reveal party & receive a special gift. See why the 2012 Festival will be the best yet. You’ll be the first to know!" Exciting right! I packed my sketchbooks and rushed over. As the sky grew dark, the warm glow of the marquee and the Eden Bar looked inviting. Mark Baratelli arrived and I asked him to let me know if there were any free drinks. The signal would be a thumb swipe to the nose. By the time he came back, I was finishing up the sketch. He said there had been a platter of drinks but there was just enough in the cup for one dog's tongue lapping. Suddenly I was thirsty. Amanda Chadwick was having a going away party at Blank Space and both Mark and I were heading there next. She is moving to Seattle Washington soon to be with her boyfriend Matt Simantov. I didn't stick around to find out anything more about the Florida Film Festival, but If I find out more, I'll keep you posted.
On my way over to Blank Space, I was walking around Lake Eola. As I walked past the Eola Grill, I noticed a whole bunch of red and blue blinking police car light blinking over across the street near the Greek Orthodox Church. Three men and a woman rounded the corner in front of me. They were boisterous and joking, for some reason, I felt uncomfortable. As they passed me, police officers with their guns drawn charged around the grill towards me. They shouted, "Get down on the ground, On the ground!" "Get your hands behind your back!" Thankfully the police charged past me and forced the group of people down, five yards behind me. I stopped. "Sketch opportunity!" I thought. But Amanda would only have one going away party, so I pushed on.
Amanda had hired Kelly Richards to play piano at her party and as always when he performs it was a great time. The second I got in he started playing "Somewhere Out There" and Amanda muscled me up to the microphone to sing with her. Our final, farewell performance. This time, we had no lyrics and at points we had to make up our own. The final line is "We'll find one another, somewhere out where dreams come true." Thinking back to the final Disney days, I changed the line to, "Somewhere out where, dreams die." Outside the world of Disney dreams, the Phoenix can rise from the ashes. For some reason, when I got back to where Terry was seated, she was in tears. Is my singing really that bad? I'm sure when Amanda sang "Somewhere Out There", she thought of Matt off in Seattle, but he was at the party and he even sang "Hava Nagila" which means "Lets rejoice!" All the women danced.
Kelly began playing the Peanuts Dance. Everyone danced in the style of their favorite peanuts character. I suspect I was dancing like Pig Pen. Mark sang a rousing rendition of "I'm not Going" from Dream Girls. We laughed and sang along. Across the street I could see a wall of tuxedos inside a restaurant. It was a fundraising party for mayor Buddy Dyer. Terry had been invited but it cost $250 a plate. We were having a much better time.