I keep thinking it's going to be ok to post only twice a week or so, because who needs to post every day, and then we do tons of things and I'm suddenly way behind! So this is another biggish post – get ready ;)
On Thursday, I taught piano lessons! I agreed to teach half hour lessons to the three kids in one family. I'm pretty excited about it. These first lessons, they didn't have books yet and I was just meeting the kids and getting know where there piano skills were and what they were interested in, so each lesson was only twenty minutes, and I was in and out in an hour. I'm eager to get into lessons, to get to know the kids better, to exercise some pedagogical skills, and to be a little more in touch with the year-round Skagway locals. The other gals in the cast are getting their fingers on the local pulse at least a bit by trying out different churches every Sunday. Since I'm not interested in church, I'm hoping that teaching lessons will do that for me a little bit! There are apparently other families hoping for lessons, since the local piano teacher is out of town for the summer, so in the next couple days I'll post on the Skagway Swap facebook group to let people know that I have some limited availability to teach.
After I got back from teaching and the gals got back from dinner at Starfire, we headed out to meet up with our friends Chris, Adam, and Gabby – the ones we met at the lodge in Dyea. They'd invited us up to the RV Park where they're staying for forshpayz and wine at the picnic table outside their (rented) RV. The seven of us hung out for a while and chatted at first, munching on leftover popcorn Steph and I had grabbed from the theatre and fresh-toasted bruschetta the Oregon gang had whipped up. It was great to start getting to know them a little better! They're a bit nerdy, which I really appreciate.
After not too long, other people stopped by. Mike, the brewery owner and the Oregon gang's boss; Gregory, the manager and dance teacher at the brewery (he used to play violin in pits, and then for some years he made violins, and then he found that too lonely, quit, and has since done other work plus also in the last four years gotten way into social dancing, particularly blues); and a few other people who live in the RV park, including a mom (Jess?) and her kid Logan. We hung around for a couple hours, eating and drinking and frisbeeing and talking, until it started to get cold and buggy, and which point Mike invited us all over to his place for a campfire. So we spent the rest of the night around a crackly fire, chatting and listening to music and, well, just being in Alaska! Finally it was (mostly) dark (around midnight) and we headed home for the night.
On Friday, we were supposed to have three shows, but because one of the two cruise ships scheduled to port in town that day canceled and the other had fewer than a thousand passengers, we sold no tickets to the first two shows and therefore did not perform them. Of course, we had to be in full makeup and costume until five minutes before each show was scheduled to start, just in case we got a sudden influx and could go on! Apparently this used to happen much more frequently both early and late in the season; this year the theatre has been doing extremely well. Allison and Jon were thrilled that we had lasted this long without a cancellation.
Anyway, instead of doing those first two shows, the gals and I rested a bit at home; got ice cream at the Kone Kompany (I really do hate arbitrary Ks, by the way), where I said hi to McKenna (whose name is not Michaela) and John; and I spent my usual hour or so on my bench in the sun. (Well, there are two benches, really: The bench on the post office side of the street is my morning bench, and the bench on the Bites side of the street is my afternoon bench. I appear to be becoming a town fixture.)
The evening show was the town show. Locals can see the show for free at any time, but the town show is the specific night dedicated to them, when everyone comes. And I mean the place was packed. Every seat was full, all extra folding chairs were full, and what little standing room space exists at the gills was full. It was great! I must have been pretty excited at the top, because as soon as I started my little intro rag I realized I was top-speed-ing it! But I made it through at said top speed with no bumps, and the show got underway safe and sound. There is really nothing like performing for a completely full house of somewhat intoxicated people determined to have a great time. And everyone was super sweet on the way out, including McKenna, who gave me a hug! I think that means we're friends :p
Plus, Niles and Skipper had brought up a whole tray of homemade pastries/cake in honor of the town show, so that was great too! And Jon bought us all a drink and some snacks afterward at the Aerie – the Eagles' Lodge, which is in the same building as the theatre. I felt like I was in on something quite mysterious and fraternal, although it was really just a room with some people and a bar.
On Saturday we did two shows, got tacos at the once-every-second-Saturday craft mart (so. good. and so desperately needed. Tacoooooooos), chilled out at home for a bit, and then needed to get out of the house. Plus Sunday was our day off, so we could properly go out! We hit up the Station – the only of the three bars in town none of us had been to yet – for a quiet drink, and then moved on to Bonanza. Bonanza started out as a pretty quiet drink also, but it was dance night, so before too long it was pretty crazy in there. The gals and I had some fun dancing, seeing old (by which I mean new-ish) friends (Greg, who is always, awesomely, corralling people to dance; Mike; the redhead who works at the jewelry store next door) and meeting new ones (Trevor, who is from Phoenix and in town for the summer, and his friend Kale, who is from Oklahoma and in Juneau for the summer). Tess and I met one woman in the bathroom, when she started talking to us from the other stall about how her sister had just called her to let her know that she's seven months pregnant and got married last week! Once we burned out a little on Bonanza – I would have been happy to keep dancing, but it was just so loud – we headed to a house party down the street that we'd been invited to the day before by Nick and Jess, whom we'd met on the street! Jess is a portrait artist, although he spends most of his day working on the Fast Ferry, and actually he'd taken a photo of the cast after the town show so he can draw us! The party was pretty calm by the time we got there, but we stayed long enough to determine that Nick and Jess are pretty normal, chill guys, and that their house is awesome, so hopefully we'll hang out with them again!
On our way home, we saw a few very pale streaks in the sky – first glimpse of the Northern Lights! We're hoping to catch them for real in September, when it gets darker again.
It was almost two by the time we got home – by far the latest I'd stayed up since I left New York! We all crashed, and had a slow Sunday morning. But by the middle of the day, Tess and I were antsy, so we went morel hunting. It took us several tries to get to our actual destination, since I had been there with Michael but wasn't totally sure where it was (it turned out to be slightly outside of town; hence the confusion), but once we got there and really got hunting, we hit the jackpot!
It was super awesome to find some for the first time and also awesome to get some quality time with Tess and with the Alaskan outdoors. Now we gotta look up some recipes!
And now I'd better go to bed – three shows tomorrow, and the start of a thirteen day, thirty-nine show work week! See y'all on the flip side :p