Tuesday, February 4, 2014

James and the Giant Apple 

Calling out around the world, are you ready to seize the day, because we are revolting children! 

This past summer my parents surprised me with the most amazing birthday gift that included a trip to New York to have dinner at Sardi’s with Thomas Schumacher, the President of Disney Theatrical Group, his producer seat tickets to Newsies, and a chance to go on stage and meet the cast after the show…as you can imagine I was speechless! Well, the only logical thing to do combine this trip with my traveling to Prague, so this past week has been unbelievable.

We got to New York on January 28th, around 5ish, rushed through the crazy traffic due to Super Bowl crowds,  and made it to out hotel in time to decide we were going to see “Motown” that night! We checked into the hotel, grabbed a quick bite, and headed to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater.

“Motown” was…well…um…entertaining! And isn’t that what theater is suppose to do, entertain you? The music and vocals were great, and the musical review style of the show helped the story move along fast, but maybe too fast.  My favorite part though, and this is me being sarcastic, was the audience participation where Diana Ross asked audience members to sing with her!

That night we also explored all the fun Super Bowl happenings that were taking place in Times Square. It was like Disneyland for Seahawks and Broncos fans, except substitute Mickey Mouse with the multiple creepy Elmos, and the Frontier Land shooting range for a “field-goal” range.

January 29th we played more tourist and visited the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station, and ended the night with the much anticipated “Newsies.” I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to jump up on the stage and join in, but then I remembered that back flips and rounds offs were not in my basket of tricks. After the show we got to meet Corey Cott, Jack Kelly, and get a backstage tour, although there really is no backstage. It was crazy how much they were able to fit into the smallest of wing space.

January 30th I got dragged to The Met, but ended up really liking it, and having a field day with my new camera. I couldn’t stop my film brain from thinking of all the cool ways to film the opening “Aida: The Movie Musical” in the Egyptian Wing of the museum. After, we paid a visit to Rockefeller Plaza and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the night! Oh wait, I forgot to tell you the most important part of the day…Mr. Schumacher’s assistant called me while we were in The Met, and asked if we would like to meet up before dinner at their offices and see the load-in for "Aladdin". I couldn't contain my excitement!

So we headed over the historic New Amsterdam Theater, where Aladdin will be playing, which conveniently houses Disney Theatrical Group offices above the theater. You think Google and Apple headquarters have cool offices, well you ain’t seen nothing yet. First off…it’s on top of a Broadway theater, and if that wasn’t enough the office is covered in old posters, costumes, props, wigs…anything you could think of!

But then, the moment of truth; meeting Mr. Schumacher.

We walk into the offices and he greets us with the biggest of smiles and goes above and beyond with amazing stories of how he designed the offices, the history of the building, and his vision for the workspace. It was just remarkable. Then we headed downstairs into the balcony of the theater and got a sneak peek of the magic that is to come in a couple of months. I don’t want to say too much, but Aladdin is going to be an amazing show!

Dinner at Sardi’s, with Mr. Schumacher, facing his caricature on the wall; it was surreal. He is such a personable enjoyable person and we had a great time. He told me about an internship opportunity they have, and now of course I want nothing more than to go back and apply!

The next day, I made it a point to go to Central Park, just because what’s better than snow covered Central Park and a camera. We had a lot of fun getting lost in the winter wonderland, and ended our day together with lunch at The Plaza Hotel. My parents then headed to Connecticut and I got to meet up with a close friend, Kenzie Otus, to catch a movie. And later that night I joined together with Nikki Margallo to go see Matilda, which left us both with our jaws on the floor. I would see it a hundred times more, and then another hundred.

 My last full day in New York Nikki took me to the High Line, which is a reconstructed section of a retired railroad track that they have transformed into this 1.5 mile garden walk with the most amazing views.

And then came the big day, February 2nd.  I got to the airport stupid early because my parents and myself were paranoid about traffic, which ended up being non-existent. I spent time with my parents, they saw me off, and I  was off to London.

Once we landed in London I was confused how an airport that big doesn’t just have its own zip code! It was HUGE! Anyways, I got on my connecting flight, landed in Prague, and then it all became real.

I'm moved into my apartment, and read to start the party!


  1. Love, Love, Love the pictures, and reading about your impressions! Dad and I thoroughly enjoyed spending this special time with you.
    Keep on blogging, because it makes me feel that I can reach out and touch you and be a part of your daily life - which is much better than the reality of you being half a world away..

  2. I loved reading this James! I have it bookmarked so I can "travel" through Europe with you. Have the time of your life in Prague! I can't wait to see you this summer :)