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The VannyCATS Experience

Hi! I'm Bal. *pause while everybody says 'Hi, Bal'.* Thanks. Anyways, this is my Trip Report for CATS, Tour V, complete with many, many pictures. I was accompanied by my friend Emma (she now insists on being called Trivia...) to the VannyCATS fan party, to take place earlier in the day. All the pictures, except for the ones direct below, will look WAY better if you click on them. I'm notso good at html. :-/

Our Cast:
Hmmm....I wonder why some turned out so small? Whatever. Anyways, in order starting from the top left we have Balurina, (aka me), Obsidia, Danilady, Jaime aka LaLa, Sylvani, Emma aka Trivia, Java, Saffity, and MsJellicle and Nick-Ko-Las.
Before the Chaos
Me attempting the cutesy kitten pose-and almost succeeding. This is before we left, and Emma's out of shot admiring her makeup in the mirror.
Me trying to look cute again-but failing miserably since it's been six hours since I woke up, and since that time I've made a cake, finished like, half of my costume, finished Emma's costume, coloured my wig, etc.. (that's why my my wig looks so scary...acrylic paint.)
My before shot...yes, I do go to a school with uniforms. Pity.
Emma's before shot, professionally done. Gah, my headshots were last done when I was eight..>_<

Emma and I woke to the sounds of bunnies chewing up my spare collar (*growl*) on July 7th, after a harried night of sleepover in which we both tried to finish our costumes. (Emma's wig had died the day before). In the morning I sewed on shoulder fluffies and fluffied them accordingly, fixed my tail to my costume where it stayed very nicely, amoung other annoying little chores. I worked on the art I was giving to Bryce, McCree and Dave (which I forgot to scan, silly, silly me.)Emma and I also made a cake to take to the fan party, which Emma was designated to carry. Unfortunatly, we didn't tell her to carry it right side up. The rest is history.

Anyways. The two of us, because we enjoy getting attention, decided to bus downtown in costume so as not to waste time with street clothes when we got there. That experience. Some people thought we part of some cult or something and asked us what ceremony we were celebrating. (?!) The bus driver grinned at us and went, "Oooh...I know where you're going." The only other memorable comment we got on the way to library square was: "ME-ow! Kinky!" And I just froze him with a glare and Emma and I kept walking.

Well. There we were at the bookdrop. Waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

Did I mention that we were waiting?

That's right, we got there at 12:45 'cause Saff and Pascal said they'd probably get there at one, and MsJ and Nick showed up, but no one else! We thought everybody forgot about us. *sniff*

MsJ and Nick were really cool- MsJ brought a whole bunch of her CATS stuff, including an authentic Tugger warmer and *two* macavity ones! I huggled them for about half-an-hour before I regretfully turned them over. MsJ also had a loot bag from the closing of London-and if I was jealous of any of the stuff she had, it was that.

Finally, MsJ said, 'I think the matinee's starting."
And Emma and I are like, "Cool.."

MsJ went on to explain to us that since the Queen E happens to be covered with windows, we could watch the cast as they set themselves up for GreenEyes.
"Gasp!" I said, and the four of us took off like a shot.

We saw Tugger (I always thought his chorus costume looks a bit goofy..), Rumpleteazer, Mungojerrie, Bombalurina, I *think* we saw Jennanydots, and Munkustrap. When Grant saw Emma in her makeup he grinned and waved, and Emma almost fainted from the excitement. (Don't poke me Emma, you did.)

When we returned from that, we waited for awhile longer, told tourists politely, "No, we're not in the cast, we're fans," explained to the Library personnel that, "No, we're not busking, we're fans," and explained *again* that, "No, we're not in a cult, we're fans."

By this time, everyone was pretty discouraged, and we were almost ready to call it a day when we heard a scream down the street. We looked up in frantic desperation (we figured, perhaps, that McDonald's had put its prices up), but there were Saffity and Java, fully decked out in Quaxo and Rumpleteazer regalia, running down the street toward us. After removing my shoes (they were two sizes too small...I spent most of the day barefoot), both me and Emma ran up and started chattering away like two squirrels in a blender. (Interesting analogy, there, Bal...)

"O...Omigosh! It's you! And you! And you're costumed! And you have brownies!" said I. We just had time to get frozen yogurt in the square before heading over to see Dave and the cast after the matinee.

"Fairlith?" I turned around, and there stood a little girl dressed as Victoria. I did a double-take: "Charlotte?" I said. Charlotte's in fifth grade and goes to my school, and wanted a picture which we happily gave. (l to r) Sylvani, Java, Dave Blonn, Me, and Charlotte. Saffity's across the bottom.
*growl* Why do I look like such a rectangular person?! I'm NOT! I have a FIGURE! I am FEMALE! Okay, rant over. This is me grinning like an idiot in the presence of Colin Cuncliffe, our Skimbleshanks understuidy (LOTS more on him later). He was such a sweetie, posing for pictures with everybody before going back inside.
Grant was also really nice. Notice the thrilled look on Emma's face and the fact that I am literally squished between a couple of Munkustraps. Grant was so soft-spoken, so un-Munkustrap-ish, I wish I could have seen his interpretation of the character. Wait! Am I giving stuff away?! *stuffs sock in mouth*
Me and the Demeter understudy, who does have a name but I can't remember it. *smacks self. Hard.* She was really good though, right up there with Barbara King. :)

Me with Jarrett Boyd, Old D.
"What? A picture? In my robe? YOU! Camera-person! ZOOM IN!"
Me and Emma with McCree O'Kelley, our Mistoffelees. (*sighs* I loved him as Misto.) When I gave him his picture, he stared at it for a second, wide-eyed, then looked at me with this huge grin. "This is beautiful! You drew this? What's your name?!" Which made me feel pretty special. :)
Me and William Hartery, aka Gus. He was really nice, too, and he says that: "Yes. The Gus costume is hot. Especially in summer." :)
So, there we were... me giving Dave his picture (well, everybody was giving Dave art, so...) He professed that he was going to take full credit for our artwork, did we mind? 'No, not at all,' we replied, too happy to say much else. When, down the street we see someone else coming...someone costumed! "OBSIDIA!" we all screeched in exaltation. So we run up to her. "Hey! Is this a new costume? Where's Jaime? Where's Dani?"

"Uhm," she said, looking nervous, "I think you have the wrong person." It was Sylvani. :)

THEN Obsidia showed up, dragging Dani. "Hi!" I said, bouncing up to her. "Can I touch your wig?" I think I scared her, but she let me. :) When she and Dani and everyone else were together, she requested introductions, which we made. When it got to me, she's like, "Oh! You're Bal!" and I'm like, "Yup. I'm Bal." And she's like, "I'm so sorry! I really am! I thought you were some random lunatic!" And I said that it was okay, I was a random lunatic to most people. ;)

So we went back to the library to fetch Jamie, and these to guys were there. they were really nice, and we gave them our website address on a paper plate. They also gave us a couple of group shots, before we ate our kitty-litter-cake. (that thing just looked tooooo real. *turns green*)

Eurgh. Okay...(l to r)Jaime, Me, Danilady (we're having too much fun), Obsidia, Java, Saffity, Emma and Sylvani. You can't see this, but Dani's still got ma tail. *glee* is fluffy.
(l to r) Jaime, Obsidia, Emma, Me, MsJellicle, Nick-Ko-Las. Bottom row (l to r) DaniLady and Sylvani.

We had just enough time to face-paint MsJellicle as her own character, and I got to face-paint Nick as Macavity. (Mrowr!) Unfortunatly the pics of the makeup didn't turn out. *pout*

After lots more talking and me drooling all over Obs's art, we headed for the Queen E. *cower* The flashbulbs! The flashbulbs! Everytime we stood still, a million camera's went off. Then we told them we weren't in the cast, they said they didn't mind, and they took a few more. Inside the theater was even crazier. >_<

Anyways, two seconds to show-time, the announcements came on: Colin Cuncliffe as Skimble...blah blah...AND MUNKUSTRAP?!?! We won't have a Munkustrap? We'll have a scurrying Skimblestrap?! At leats he's still a tabby. I growled to myself and slumped down in my seat. Dave toild us later that grant had twisted his ankle during warm-ups. :-/

Then the mnmusic started and I forgot my qualms...there is nothing in the world like seeing CATS live. During Greeneyes, Cassandra Greeneyesed the guy across from me and I had her tail in my lap for a minute. I made a very audible squeak. :)

Everyone was wonderful, especially Colin, who was filling two roles at once. The only person I had problems with was Sillibub, and I could NOT stand her.

When she sand, it was nasal and you could barely hear her. She couldn't hit the high notes. Saff tried to explain to me the next day that the part was out of her range, which didn't help...why did she have the part, then?! If *I* can pronounce vowels properly when soemthing's too low or high for Me, why can't she? Anyway, rant over.

*giggles* I missed the swelling of the costume and the boat, which they didn't have in London.

And McCree and Colin, and Misto and Skimble respectively, were both wonderful, and brought a youthful energy to both those parts that I love. *grins* Oh yeah,a nd Dave as the first cockroah was ADORABLE! In fact, just the cockroaches' antennae...*starts giggling* Man...

Intermission was also an experience in itself, us standing in the middle, a three foot space, then being surrouded by this huge CROWD of people. We shelled out twenty bucks for a cheesy photo thing against the CATS background:
Our cheezy photo! WHAT FACE IS THAT THAT I'M MAKING! Oh, who cares. (back row, l to r): Java, Obsidia, Emma and Me. Front Row (l to r): Sylvani, Saffity, DaniLady, jaime aka Lala. :)

After the show, we all had a kind of empty feeling: our internet friends were parting with us, maybe never to see each other again. CATS was leaving. Tour V was losing most of its cast members in two weeks. So, even as I collected my autographs, gave Bryce his picture (he gave me a big hug, too! *bounce*), and thanked Dave, I felt sad. Thanks everybody so much for the most awesome day of my teenaged life so far, and I hope we all meet again some day. :)

Jaime as Cassandra! *thunderous applause*.
Our very last group shot. :( What's the red light? I have no idea. Oh well. (Top, l to r) Java's sister, Java, Obsidia, Dave, Emma, Me. (Bottom, l to r) Sylvani, Saffity, Dani and Jaime aka LaLa.