Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Epilogue – Stella, this ain’t Hollywood

This is the last article in my report for my November 2011 trip to a Hollywood movie premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. For the beginning of the story, click here, then follow the story by clicking "Newer Post" at the bottom of each page!

So we’ve now been to a Hollywood premiere. And it was every bit as surreal as we thought it might be. We had a wonderful but too-brief visit with DisneyMom, were weirded out by Hollywood Boulevard, saw a couple of movie stars (no NPH, though), enjoyed the glitz and glamour of a Grauman’s premiere from the perspective of both participants and outsiders, and then woke to a California sunrise with a view of the Pacific ocean. All in a little more than a day.

That was one wild movie date.

Exactly one week after our return, I’m standing on a stage waiting for the curtain to go up – the Vocal Majority chorus is in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, for four shows. The shows have been sold out for months, and there is a waiting list in case any tickets become available.

Over the next two hours a packed theater will be treated to a world-class performance of sights and sounds they won’t believe, and I can’t help but compare these shows with our Hollywood movie experience. Unlike with Harold & Kumar, there won’t be any drugs or four-letter words in our show. We will be in 3D, but no glasses are required. There will be no nudity – and looking around at the 80+ guys with me on the risers, my VM brothers, I am thankful for that!

What there will be is some amazing, jaw-dropping harmony, timeless songs – this show features a mix of Bandstand-era hits, patriotic songs, Christmas and inspirational music – and lots of love from the chorus to the audience and back again.

It’s still show biz, but of a completely different sort. And the joy and friendship we share as performers, and the heartfelt response from our audiences, pays us in ways that mere money never could.

Hollywood? Movie business? Eh, seen it. They can have it.


THANKS: Our Hollywood trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, though, and we are very grateful to those who made it possible: first to Demand Media and Cracked.com for supplying the trip, and especially to Louie & Jon at Demand for all of the arrangements and support. Thanks also to Sam our Hollywood driver and tour guide, and to my dad, who was our Dallas driver (and tour guide?), and also to my parents for letting our boys stay over on short notice while we were out of town (big sacrifice, I know). Finally, big Texas thanks to DisneyMom for being such a friendly, normal person in the midst of the Hollywood Boulevard chaos, and for your incredible generosity!

P.S.: Becky says that if I ever again enter a contest where a trip to a Hollywood premiere is a prize, it better be for a Disney movie. I’m okay with that.

Watch for the hour-long Vocal Majority special on the Daystar Network, on Christmas day!

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