Sunday, February 15, 2009

New York City; February 2009


   But before I went home, I decided to hit up New York City. Why not? I had been several times, loved it there, and always loved going back. I had a friend named Allyson to stay with and the extra trip wouldn't cost much. It was good to see some old friends, and I had a great time. I got to visit with my cousin who was pursuing acting at NYU. Later, I went to a cast party. John Waters and some other famous actor types were even there. I always have, and always will love the theatre world. I hadn't told anyone that I was coming home, so I decided to plan my own coming home party without anyone knowing. It pretty much worked.

   I've always loved NYC. Every time I go, I have a great experience. And it always stays unique. I see, hear, and enjoy something new every time. I always try to go to a new neighborhood, new restaurant, new scene every time I make it up. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Taipei, Taiwan; January 2009


   There has never been a time in my life where I was more relieved by the weather. I could not have asked for better during the Taipei setup. Leaving the frigid north of (South) Korea and stepping into the warm sunshine of Taiwan felt like a God send. The city was buzzing and frantic with life. I certainly enjoy and appreciate a nice clean environment, but sometimes the grit and grim of a city like Taipei makes me feel much more at home. Sometimes I could be damned with the Ritz. Motel 3 and 79 cent street food on a plastic bench in the middle of a crowded street corner is so much more real and gratifying. Taipei brought that grime full force. This kind of intensity ensures you that you're alive, that you're real. Turn your back on Applebee's and other comforts and dive in. You'll never regret it. There is nothing wrong with being uncomfortable. It's impossible to grow without it. 

   Some people rented motorcycles while we were there and drove to work every day. I didn't, but I always kind of regretted not doing it. 

   I visited snake alley, and spent lots of time at night checking out the amazing street stalls and markets of the city. The food was incredible and daring. I started to push my limits. I also enjoyed the tourist parts of the city. I visited the Taipei 101, a gargantuan masterpiece of engineering and architecture. 

   I didn't realize until now that I visited (in my opinion) the three best food cities in the world, all in a row. Tokyo, followed by Taipei, followed by New York City. And boy did I eat good in all of them.

   And just as fast as my career with Cirque Du Soleil started, I rolled the dice, quit my job, and turned my back on a certainly successful career. I would move to China to develop a new resident show at a super casino resort on the island of Macau. The original creative genius of Cirque Du Soleil had left to start his own company, and I was going with him. Franco Dragone was always the love, passion, and creativity behind Cirque. And now, as they begin to fall without him, I know more and more that I made the right choice. And despite the success or failure of the new project, why not be part of something fresh and new?  I flew home to Tennessee to take a sabbatical from entertainment and prepare myself for the new adventure.