On Wednesday night, after having worked all day performing and teaching, I packed up and drove to Los Angeles. Bay Area artist, Kaylah Marin, with whom I’ve performed recently, asked me to travel to LA to perform at the Urban Network Conference held at the Pacific Palms Resort in City of Industry. The rest of the band was traveling via van earlier in the day, but because of my teaching schedule, I wasn’t able to leave until late. I set up my navigation and my iPod and I hit the road, listening alternately to audio books and my favorite high energy music: usually a mix of spirited contemporary gospel, popular R&B and dance pop and alternative metal – anything that I can sing along with and keep myself awake on the long drive. As I was traversing the Grapevine, I felt myself starting to get drowsy, and was at the point where I felt the need to pull over. In the moment before making a decision to stop the car, a gigantic bird, with a wing span nearly as wide as my windshield made a dramatic dip towards my car, sending my adrenaline through the roof! The bird swooped low and then went off to the right of my car. I’d never seen anything like it. The bird’s appearance was very well timed, and the energy I gained from the sighting propelled me all the way to the Resort, thus sparing me an accident and saving me time.
I arrived at the Resort at 2:35am, went to bed and slept until 12:30pm…a much needed respite! I got dressed and went to lunch in the main restaurant on the ground level. I noticed a camera crew and several people dressed in golf wear. Given that the Resort is a popular golfing location, I assumed there was some kind of golf event taking place. A group of young men came in and sat at the table next to me. They appeared wealthy (the haircuts, the glowing skin, the tight bodies), and I assumed they were golf pros. One of the men looked familiar, and I thought to myself “he really looks a lot like Matt Dillon, but that’s not Matt”. I don’t watch golf at all, unless Tiger Woods is playing and he’s in a good match, so as far as I knew, they could have actually been golf pros. While sitting alone at my table, with apparently nothing better to do, contemplating who these men were, a young African-American women walked over and asked to take a photo with the men. Now, I’m sure there are African-American women who are avid golf fans and know golfers who aren’t Tiger Woods, but I don’t personally know any such women! So, I thought to myself “wow, it’s so cool that golf appeals to a diverse audience today”. Intrigued, I asked my waiter who the “golfers” were. Apparently, I’m not only ignorant of sports figures: these men were actors from the HBO show “Entourage” and the reason that one of the men reminded me of Matt Dillon is because he was Kevin Dillon, Matt’s brother, a cast member of the show. Of course, Ms. Lives in a Cave (that would be me) has never seen the show and is utterly clueless about who actors are except the Ultra Famous (Brad, Will, Denzel, etc. – oops, am I drooling?). My phone rang, breaking my voyeuristic spell, and I was summoned to sound check. I had to leave TV land, but it was fun to watch the set for a few minutes.
After sound check, I dressed for the show and received abundant validation of having made the correct wardrobe choice: form fitting pants, sky high boots and a subtly sexy bustier. I could barely walk 3 steps without receiving additional "validation"!
The show went well, and Kaylah received lots of attention. Hopefully she’ll gain the exposure that she and her staff were hoping for in booking the gig. Several people watched the show, and I heard only positive comments when walking around after the show.
The band had dinner as a group, reveling in a job well done. Earlier, I had informed everyone that I would be driving back home after the gig. I had hoped to secure a Friday night job in Los Angeles, which would have justified staying an extra day, but I had no further booking luck, so I didn’t cancel any of my obligations back at home. Marvin, one of the background singers, was kind enough to be my co-pilot on the drive back to the Bay Area. It’s amazing how much easier it is to make a long drive with another person in the car. I don’t think I’ll be doing that drive again on my own, errant hawk, notwithstanding!