Category Archives: Story Time

The Worst New Year’s Eve of My Life

31 Days of Holiday Memories!!

Day 15

My first New Year’s Eve working at Mouseland (Disneyland). I was on firework crowd control.

It was my worst New Year’s Eve…ever.

First off, red flags at our little meeting before we went out. They told us there was undercover security out in the park and to not feel nervous. But the main red flag was what our lead told us, “If you feel unsafe, jump into the planters”…excuse me, what?

I was stationed at the entrance to Tomorrowland. Me and another cast member were in charge of this rope that was meant to control the inflow and outflow of traffic. Fine.

There were no planters nearby…but we’ll get to why that was a problem in a moment.

Now Mouseland will probably deny this, but they were WAY over capacity that night. Like dangerously over capacity. So the crowds were already a little unruly and frustrated long before midnight.

A large surge of crowd was urged into Tomorrowland. There were other cast members stationed at the other smaller entrances into Tomorrowland. All of the sudden, I heard yelling and saw people crowding around an area.

It was too far from me to see what was going on, but I learned later what happened.

Apparently a guest head butted one of the cast members…to be fair the cast member did give off a bit of a rude attitude, but I mean, we were all not our usual happy, willing to help selves that night.

Anybut, the guest head butted the cast member, causing his nose to bleed. Instead of going backstage and reporting it….he chased after the guest and, this is what I heard from those who saw what happened, basically tackled the guest to the ground and started hitting him.

Security pulled the two apart and the guest was escorted out of the park and the cast member was fired. Fair.

On to the actual part of the night that entered terrifying and dangerous territory. It was about ten or fifteen minutes until midnight. The crowd was a constant flow of people. There was very little room to move around.

All of the sudden, the rope is somehow dropped, a guest probably undid it trying to get to the other side. We lost control of the crowd and all of the sudden…NOBODY COULD MOVE!!

The crowd stopped and it wasn’t hard to understand why. Other cast members gave up controlling the crowd and let too many people stop to wait for the fireworks.

Guests were screaming at me and the other cast member caught in the middle of the crowd. They were screaming to let them out. They were screaming that they were having panic attacks. They were threatening me and the other cast member.

Oh yeah, and that tip to jump into a planter? There were NO planters near me and there was NO WAY I could get to one. The only thing I COULD do if I try felt extremely unsafe, like someone grabbing me or trying to hit me, was jump into the rocket ride. You know the one at the entrance to Tomorrowland that is like Dumbo but with rockets?

Yeah, I could’ve jumped in there. It would’ve caused the ride to emergency stop and I probably would’ve been fired….so I didn’t do that…but if anybody attacked me…I was ready.

It was the scariest night of my life.

Did I also mention there was a fog that rolled in right before midnight and nobody could see the fireworks?

Yeah, I thought I was going to be murdered for that…

I honestly don’t remember how the crowd started moving, I don’t remember how I got backstage, but I DO remember EVERY cast member commenting how all of the managers and leads stayed backstage…..they basically abandoned us when it started to look really bad.

Mouseland will deny all of this. They’ll state they NEVER exceed park capacity. They’ll say cast members are protected and are never abandoned. They’ll say it never gets that bad.

But that night (December 31st 2008 into January 1st 2009)……I  honestly felt unsafe. I honestly wished I had not shown up for the shift.

When the ratio of guest to cast member for such an event is probably (at least) 75 guests to 1 cast member………that’s a problem.

Has it changed since then? I don’t know. The only other time I worked a New Year’s Eve shift was when I was stationed in front of It’s A Small World….and that was a FAR better experience.

But if you’re ever thinking of spending New Year’s Eve at Mouseland………be prepared. If you want to leave before fireworks…leave at least 2 hours before. Otherwise you may not be able to leave until after fireworks.

Of course, they’ve probably figured ALL of this out by now….I’ve heard they let guests exit through backstage now….back then….they didn’t even consider that. It wasn’t an option….they didn’t consider what happened that night an emergency.

I felt abandoned by my superiors. I felt abandoned by the company. It was obvious they cared more about letting as many people into the park as possible then the safety of those guests.

But they’ll deny all of this.

Not Just Stealing Packages…

This is a warning…

As everyone is aware, every holiday season there are folks who take advantage of those who order a lot from online. Especially around the holidays when those who don’t order a lot suddenly do.

Anybut, thieves love this time of year. Most people still have to work and don’t get home until evening. So packages tend to sit on doorsteps all day. Thieves drive up and down neighborhood streets to find these packages. They run up tot he door, nab the packages and drive off.

Well…that’s not the ONLY crime happening now.

Most people who are expecting packages to be delivered tend to have their guards down when someone knocks on the door. They think, “Oh! That’s probably that package I’ve been waiting for!”

BUT HERE IS A WARNING!! And I’ll tell you based on something that happened to me this past Tuesday:

I was on my computer upstairs. Just messing around. Somebody pounds, not knocks, POUNDS on the front door.

I initially think…do I have a package scheduled to arrive today?

The person pounds again. I go downstairs and, because I was alone, peeked through the peep hole.

I see a guy. No package in hand. He’s wearing a hoodie with the hood up. He’s kind of hanging out as though trying to avoid the sightline of the peephole and kept his face turned away from the door.

IMMEDIATE RED FLAGS!!

I stand there, staring out the peephole, not saying anything and watch him…ready to run upstairs to get my phone if needed.

He shifts his weight a bit and then storms off. I wait a few minutes to make sure he’s gone. Then I go back upstairs and keep my phone close. Some time later I go downstairs and turn on a lot of lights and even the TV to give the impression there’s more than one person in the house.

Today, the Thursday after this happened. A neighbor asked if we saw the criminal (thier words, not mine) walking around the neighborhood. Apparently this person (who I guess was also wearing a mask? I couldn’t see his face so I can’t confirm this) was going to every house and knocking on the door.

This person wasn’t out trying to steal packages. Package thieves DO NOT KNOCK! This person was looking for something else. It could’ve been someone easy to overpower and rob from, it could’ve been someone scoping out houses to see which ones were empty, or it could’ve even been somebody looking to nab someone.

I’ll never know. But I do know that I’ve learned a lot living alone. And when you feel like something is weird or giving you red flags…you listen to that feeling. If you’re wrong, no harm no foul.

So please, please, PLEASE!!! Be careful this holiday season. There are some real bad people wandering around.

Story Time: Paris Edition

Don’t get too excited…

I was very lucky. When I was in middle school I had the opportunity to travel to Europe. We went to England, Spain, and France.

But the focus of this story time is one night in Paris, France.

My french teacher thought it would be a good (and informative) idea to take a group of MIDDLE SCHOOLERS to see a musical in french.

What musical?

The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Now, the Disney Hunchback had already come out and we, the naive students we were, thought we were seeing a stage production of the Disney movie.

OH HO HO! Definitely NOT!

We were seeing a musical that didn’t resemble the colorful Disney film in the slightest.

It was Notre Dame de Paris…starring Garou and Bruno Pelletier.

Now for those of you who don’t understand why I put that pause there…well, it was kind of a big deal in France. It almost single-handedly revived musical theater in France (ok, confession, I looked this up and this is what Wikipedia says so…take that as you will).

Also, if you’ve ever heard of Il Divo, they sang the opening song from this musical…a lot.

The song is Le Temps des Cathédrales. Look it up and you’ll most likely say, “I’ve heard this song before…how is that possible?”

Well, a lot of classically trained singers >cough< Josh Groban >cough< love to sing this song.

It’s a gorgeous song, don’t get me wrong, but this isn’t exactly the point of this story.

Anybut, Bruno Pelletier was the one who sang this song and he became very famous for it. And Garou went on to become a very popular singer in France, too.

The point I’m trying to make…I was too young to really give a crap about who was in the cast.

And, spoilers, I fell asleep about halfway through Act I. I was barely a tween.

All I truly remembered about this show was that opening song (even as a kid I knew that was a killer song), Quasimodo having a very gravely voice, and actors climbing up and down a wall. That’s it.

Have I looked up the musical online and watched the whole thing? Yes. Did I do it mostly because I wanted to make sure I didn’t make up the entire thing? Also yes.

Whew…this was a longer post.

I guess the main point I think I was going to make was the fact there are things that happen in your life that seem like a small blip in your life. And then when you get older you realize that tiny blip was a larger blip for…well in this case an entire country…sort of? I don’t know. It’s 4 in the morning and I need to sleep.

Goodnight.

I Feel Attacked

I just wanted lunch…

I went to ask my dad what he wanted for lunch. He was watching Thor: The Dark World. It was the funeral scene. After Frigga’s death. Here is the transcript:

Me: Thor?

Dad: Mm Hm. It’s Frigga’s funeral.

>a pause<

Dad: It’s Friggin’ sad.

Me: …

Dad: …

Me: No.

Dad: It’s even sadder because it’s Thorsday.

Me: Stop.

Dad: Good thing it’s not tomorrow.

Me: …

Dad: Frigday.

Me: I hate you.

Three puns within a minute…My dad has killed me.

 

A Boy Once Told Me…

In a previous post I mentioned a story about something a boy once told me.

Well, here’s a second one…that comes up a lot.

I keep getting told by guy friends, “You’re gonna make some lucky guy happy.”

…………….Thanks?

Gentlemen: THIS IS NOT A COMPLIMENT.

If anything this is kind of a blow off. Like saying, I don’t like you but some guy somewhere will.

Oh and also, maybe the way I am isn’t for a man? Maybe I am the way I am because it makes ME happy?

This was more of a vent than anything. Please stop saying this to women…unless they’re crying after a break up. That is the ONLY time it is appropriate.

 

Child Magnet

Children are drawn to me…

I don’t know why…it may have to do with the fact I have purple hair….that’s probably the exact reason.

Anyways, I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned this but I don’t like children…okay, I don’t dislike children, I just…am not 100% comfortable with them. I can communicate with them for short periods of time. I can keep them entertained (if it doesn’t require chasing them around a room…I’m not a runner) and I know enough references on recent children shows to keep up when they talk about them. But I sort of short circuit a little bit when left in a room alone with children. I think it’s because they just understand things in such a different way than adults and sometimes they say things so profound yet they don’t understand that what they said was profound. They’re just so innocent…and I don’t want to ruin that innocence. I remember those adults in my life who ruined it for me.

ANYBUT, I wanted to add this to my rehearsal posts but I didn’t know how to fit them in.

But there are children in our show and they’re very nice, professional, and well-behaved children. BUT boy howdy they ask me questions more than they ask the Stage Manager….who actually has the answers.

There’s also a husband and wife in the show who’s son is in the show and their other son visits rehearsals at times.

Today was one of those times. During my dinner break I was eating alone in the rehearsal hall (sorry, actors, y’all are too loud during dinner) and he was in the room, too. There’s a green drum set in the show and he fell in love with it. It started conversations. And I mean I couldn’t just ignore him.

That’s rude.

So I answered his questions and he began to follow me around as I finished setting up for the Designer Run Through.

I never told him to leave me alone, but I did find little creative ways to keep his hands away from the props or set pieces (such as: the rats need to sleep before the show, the tower isn’t ready for people to stand on it yet…okay not that creative, but it worked, and so on).

Now I do need to mention, I’ve known this particular child for almost 5 years. And by know, I mean seen around the company. He’d always been very quiet. The only words I ever heard him say was “Hi” and “Bye-Bye”. THAT WAS IT!!

Now I was having full conversations about a dragon with him. Times sure change.

I lost track of what I really wanted this post to be about…but yeah. Kids always find a way to cling to me on shows and in life. My friends have always found it funny. They say it’s ironic since I’m the one in our friend group least likely to have children.

I could do without the irony, thanks.

Map, Map, Map it Out!

I love maps…

All kinds of maps. I love road maps, world maps, those maps with all the lines geologists use…or some kind of scientist I can’t remember…point is: I LOVE MAPS!!

And some of my all time favorites are maps from books or video games. I mean it’s amazing to me how detailed they are.

And I can only imagine as a child having my mind blown after reading the Hobbit for the first time and moving on to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and seeing the map you memorized for Bilbo’s adventure just expand into this monstrous thing!

…Okay, maybe that was a little too on point or too specific, but I also happen to have the map Bilbo had on my wall sooooooo, sorry not sorry.

Anybut, if I can get a copy of a map I get it. My dream one day is to have a room (maybe even my office or writing room) with maps from all of my favorite series on the walls including real life maps.

I’m a bit of a nerd…but I LOVE MAPS!!!

WORST NIGHT EVER UPDATE!!!

This is an update on the previous post…

The spider is still MIA. I haven’t seen it in over 15 hours…but I know it’s still there!

It’s waiting for me to drop my guard and then it’s going to try again.

Anybut, next post won’t be about the awful spider hiding in my room…I hope.

WORST NIGHT EVER!!

This may be a bit of an overreaction….

Last night (and by last night I mean like two hours ago), I was doing my usual insomniac act. I was watching stupid videos on YouTube. I had one earphone in and the other sitting on my chest (cause I was lying in bed).

A black blur ran across the keyboard of my computer….straight at me.

I shoved my computer off me, the earphone ripping from my ear, and leaped, I mean LEAPED, out of my bed. I grabbed my phone and turned on the flashlight and there…it…was.

A spider.

A spider the size of a dime (which for a spider is pretty big), was scrambling over my covers, running from the light. I chased that little punk to the floor, grabbed a shoe and swung….

But I missed.

And it disappeared under my bed.

………..I haven’t gone to bed. I’ve been awake all night.

Where were my cats? One was downstairs eating food. The other was in the hallway watching her owner run around the room with her phone in front of her.

I MEAN SHE JUST SAT THERE!!! YOU’RE A KITTEN!! KILL THE SPIDER!!!

Instead, she grabbed her bird toy and started rolling around on the floor…..my hero.

Anybut, I still don’t know where that spider is….and I had to fight not to burn the house to the ground…or at least my bed.

Armadillo Cake

I was in a play in high school…

My senior year of high school I was cast in our school’s production (Thespian Society production to be clear) of Steel Magnolias. I was cast as Ouiser Boudreaux. If you’re only familiar with the movie, or even if you are not, that was the character played by Shirley MacLaine. She was the kind of stubborn, angry one. Of course there’s more to her character than that, but for a public high school production in Indiana that is the best description I ever got.

Anybut, the point is! In the script is a scene mentioning a strange cake. A red-velvet armadillo cake….as in, when you cut into the cake…it looks blood red inside.

Now as a mature high school student, I made the best decision ever. For my senior graduation party (which I shared with another girl because there was no way enough people would show up to one thrown just for me, but that’s a story for another day), I decided to have an armadillo cake. The other girl who I shared the party with was in on it. She played Annelle in the play with me.

Did we get a lot of confused stares? Absolutely.

Did we care? Abso-fucking-lutely not.

It was funny. We were proud of it. And it was amazing.

And do I have a picture of it? OF COURSE!! But not cut into, but trust me….it was blood red inside.

armadillo cake

 

Do  I also have pictures of me as Ousier Boudreaux? Yes, but you’ll have to wait for a future post for those. 😉