Each episode of “Who’s the Ross?” presents its own litany of challenges. This is because each episode is brand-new, meaning: new material, new guests, new props, new set-up, new music…and the list goes on. Add in a new venue, and things become even more challenging.
In the past month, we’ve played an eclectic group of venues: strip clubs, east side bars, patio parties…and this time the historic Star Theater. It is one of the most gorgeous places to play, and we were honored to take its stage. We wanted to create a show that was unique to this wonderful space, something BIG, so we pushed hard to have an extraordinary line-up, presenting material that would match the grandeur of the stage we would occupy.
Aside from having a new venue, and new material, life can add its own group of hardships. It’s not easy to push these to the side to take charge of a full production, at the same time being the face of funny and confidence that the audience relies on.
Everything came to a head at the Star Theater, and despite our huge line-up of an NBA basketball player, two critically acclaimed musical guests, swimsuit models, and the oddity of land-based synchronized swimmers (yes, this is Portland after all), the challenges of this EXTRA LARGE show came with XXL issues.
I will not inundate you with my own issues, because my personal life is not for public consumption. But the challenges that arose from the venue, created a weight that I had not felt as a host in a long time. Most difficult was that, with a 9:00pm start time (an hour than earlier than normal) the venue had yet to open its doors till 9:20pm, unbeknownest to me. I may be “The Ross” but I’m not the doorman. When you assume your show is running on stage, and the audience has yet to be let in, needless to say, that can be a very stressful moment.
We have wonderful supportive staff on WTR, so regardless of the challenges, people put their heads down, and leap (with faith). I was shocked 30 mintues later to hit stage to an audience full of fans and friends; a sizable house that was supportive of the effort, passion, and joy that we have for our craft. We are driven to entertain them, and they were ready, in numbers I had not anticipated after the production let down moments earlier.
The show was one of our best of the year. You would never have known we had any issues, but that’s what we do, we’re professionals, and we’re not supposed to tell you. But, with this platform, I find the insight to our hard work worthwhile for those who will listen. And now, for the good stuff…photos and video from another lovely evening ON stage!
All photos by Tom Chamberlain: