Friday, January 2, 2009

Inside a Rose Parade Float

I got a call from my friend DeAnne for a strange favor the day before NYE. She needed a sound coordinator for a rose parade float she was working on, and though I wouldn't get to be seen, I would be able to ride inside the float of Jack in the Box! Since I had always wanted to see the Rose Parade and figured, when else will I ever get to be INSIDE a float? I was in!
I had to go to rehearsal on NYE to practice the music with the dancers and meet the whole crew. Her boss Ron is a super cool guy and runs Miziker Entertainment Group. I got to chat with him a lot during rehearsal cuz he was riding in the makeshift float with me (a pickup truck) and leading from the mic strapped to the speaker I was running. He was the man who developed the concept for the Electric Parade at Disneyland!!! =O
Ron and I early New Year's Day.
The rehearsal went well and I even got to sneak a peek at the float to test out the music. Of course the music that we rehearsed with was different than the music that was uploaded on the flaot, but we made due and everything turned out for the best by the end.
I partied (lightly) on New Year's Eve and went to sleep around 1am to reluctantly get up at 4:30am. We arrived in Pasadena around 6am and even though it was pitch dark, people were already around taking pictures and checking out the floats lined up on the streets. It was hard being up that early, but by the time the sun started peeking out (and finally getting warmer!) it was tolerable.
The actual ride in the float was probably not as exciting as one would think. Thankfully it was big enough for several of us to fit and stand in, etc. Rudy was my sound technician (and he was a life saver!). I got to meet Mr. Box himself (he also does all the commercials)!! A very funny man named Jack (really, that's his name) and I got to see how they put on the whole round head thing. There were two drivers, or rather, Guy was in the front steering and Jack was in the back with the brakes and no view. Scary, huh?
The satellite float. One guy drove this one on his own.

Here's the whole crazy ensemble!
By the end, it was like a sauna in there! I had to take off my4 layers of clothes and ended up with just a tank top. There was no ventilation, no bathroom (well, a portapotty bucket, but I wasn't about to squat in front of everyone), and the carbon monoxide was really starting to get to me. And there weren't any grated windows or peekaboo holes to see the parade through, so it was just me playing the disco music over and over again for like 3 hours straight in this wooden box.
But our float must have done really well because it won for Extraordinary float, which is one of the Top 3 awards to receive at the Rose Parade. And even though I couldn't see it, every time Jack went up to dance on the float, the crowds cheered and yelled and I'm sure they were dancing and singing along, so that was pretty fun. I heard we were one of the best floats in the parade because we had the dancers, Jack, a juggler, and a brass band playing with disco music running through the entire parade. Quite a production!
The float crew and I with Mr. Box.

I'm in here!
By the time I got home I was soo tired, I had a sandwich and knocked out for about 30 hours...cuz my body finally gave in to the cold/flu that it was trying to fight off all week. I down a couple of knock-out syrup stuff, so that helped. But it was good fun and totally worth it!

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