Monday, June 23, 2014
My wife loves to watch the NBA Finals. If I sit down to watch, I like to joke, saying, "I hope the Magic wins this time." Of course I know the Magic aren't in the finals, but one team always seems to be wearing blue jerseys. Well, maybe next year.
I met Sunshine Woodyard Baker at the opening to my show at Snap. I knew of Sunshine from Facebook, because after a solid week of clouds and rain, I wrote "Hello Sunshine!" to express my joy at finally seeing the sun. She responded back by simply saying "Hello." Somehow she and her husband scored tickets to a Magic game and she had an extra ticket so I could go and sketch. As she explained, "Lee St. John, the owner of Gigi's Cupcakes and I would like to invite you to Gigi's Cupcake's One Year Anniversary Partner Appreciation night. Lee has the Presidential Suite at the Orlando Magic vs. Pacers game on April 16 at 8:00 pm. We will enjoy food, drinks, and the game with a small group of people who have been most helpful in making Gigi's first year magical. We sure hope you can come! Please let me know if that day will work for you. It would be so cool to have you there. We will get to the game around 6pm. My friend, Food Network Chef Emily Ellyn will be there at the game. I think you'll love sketching her, and she's great at cross-promoting to get your name out even more."
Getting into the Amway Center involved the usual metal detectors and bag searches. I decided to streamline my art supplies so I could easily slip through security. I made a tiny palette using an old CD case. The circular CD holder is a perfect spot to arrange my daubs of paint into a color wheel. This Jerry rigged palette worked so well I've taken to using it all the time. I was one of the first people to arrive at the Presidential suite. Lee St. John was there to greet me. He explained that this wasn't a very important game since the Pacers were already high enough in the standings where they could loose if they wanted and still move forward.
Lee had a small box of his award winning cupcakes. He had asked if he could bring the cupcakes up to the Presidential Suite, but there is a firm rule that no outside food or beverages can be bought into the Amway Center. This guarantees that Amway vendors corner the market. Lee tried to explain that the cupcakes weren't for sale and wouldn't be eaten. They were for a photo opportunity. No one listened to reason, so the cupcakes had to be smuggled in with stealth and subterfuge. To repay Lee for inviting me to the game, I decided to sketch one of the cupcakes ant put it on the jumbo tron in the center of the arena. When the sketch was done, I couldn't help myself, I ate the mysterious black market cupcake. It was soooo good. No vendor in the Amway Center has anything half as good.
The suite filled up and I sketched through the whole game. There was a lackluster energy among the players. One Magic fan shouted out "We could win this if we wanted it bad enough." The Magic didn't want it enough. The game was a blowout with the Pacers winning 101 to 86. In the suite, people started posing with the cupcakes. Lee hadn't lied about them being for a photo shoot. I had sinfully consumed a models sweet tasty prop. Luckily there were a few more cupcakes to go around.