21 February 2010

Enjoying the Sabbath as it was meant to be enjoyed

I survived my 11 days of work, and honestly, it wasn't the job itself that I disliked about the 11 consecutive days in a row. I mean, it's rare that you'll ever hear me say that I have to, UGH, go work at the goddamn Happiest Friggin Place on Earth - OH WOE IS ME. No, the work - as far as work goes - is relatively enjoyable. I prefer working at Disney to any other job I've ever had, crappy pay included. It's just that my body was revolting by that last day. Not that I was participating in any sort of hard labor by any stretch of the imagination, but standing still for hours on end can be incredibly tiring, and don't you look at me like that - IT'S TRUE. Okay? GOSH. Plus, walking up and down the platform half the day asking each person to lift up on their lap bars, only for me to have to bend down and lift it for them when they either 1) decide "lift up" means "push down," 2) raise their hands in the air because that's what they've been trained to do at their local Six Flags, or 3) stare at me like I just spoke to them in Swahili is more wearying than you could imagine. And do I really need to mention (again) the miles and miles of distance between the parking lot and the mountain? Or the 17 flights of stairs I climb at night? Of course, I'm not sore or on the verge of collapse or anything dramatic like that, but oh my sweet, sweet Lord - being indoors, sitting down, staring at the wall, and exerting not a single ounce effort save for that which it takes to move the spoonful (oh who am I kidding?) fingerful of peanut butter from the jar to my mouth for hours on end is a special kind of bliss that I will never, ever take for granted again.


On my first day of training (which was ages and ages ago, it feels like), it somehow came up that I played clarinet, at which point my trainer invited me to audition for the Cast Member orchestra. I toyed with the idea, but didn't take it too seriously at first because 1) my clarinet was back in NC, 2) I didn't know where to practice down here and 3) having poorly balanced music, school, and sanity many a time in the past (have I really not mentioned the times I purposely attempted to break my hands?), I wasn't sure if I'd be able to add a full-time job on top of that, although my trainer assured me that it's a relatively low-key, though formal and dedicated, ensemble. But then one of my managers - who is a singer in the ensemble - got wind (haha, wind. Didn't notice that until the read-through) of my clarinetation skillz as well and also encouraged me to try out, and at this point I should mention that I'm trying my best to network while I'm down here and thus be as impressive and outgoing as possible to all my superiors. My trainer then mentioned practice-room-type facilities behind Animal Kingdom Costuming, which is pretty durn convenient considering the fact that - hey! - that's where I work! CRAZY! And it just so happened that I sort of knew this woman who was coming down to Disney this weekend from Raleigh who was more than willing to bring down my clarinet to me rather than make my mom ship it which would have cost only slightly less than Obama's stimulus package given the weight of the case and all my music. Also, the music the orchestra is playing this year is all Disney music (as opposed to last year when it was hits from the 60s and 70s, and I prefer to leave that stuff to the good folks over at Retroactive - I'm looking at you, Trevor), which means they could easily call this year's program The Only Music on Natalie's iPod.

So based on all that information I threw at you in that last paragraph, I determined that I was definitely being led to do this audition. I was able to ask that aforementioned kind lady (who I met only the one time when she was a customer of mine at my previous job) to bring my clarinet down, which she did just yesterday, and I was able to practice behind DAK's wardrobe last night.

And quite honestly, it felt good.

Now I have just over a month to make up for the fact that I've probably only played my clarinet about 7 hours in the past, oh....5 years or so.

Speaking of music, that is the NUMBER ONE THING I miss about Splash Mountain - the background music. And not just that music specifically, I'm talking about ANY background music AT ALL. There isn't a single position on Everest that has music within earshot, and I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself singing "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" while working at any of the consoles out of shear desperation. One of my favorite memories of Splash was working in the station with my fellow piece of Splash-Trash, Dan, who would belt out all the lyrics to the music playing around us in his soothing bass voice. And when he wasn't around, I'd hum along to the tunes myself. I even have all the tracks from the attraction, the queue, and the entire Frontierland area, and each time I hear any of them, I'm immediately transported straight back to my "Laughin' Place." Music really is a core part of my being, and while I truly do enjoy my new mountain, I miss the music like I miss pizza each second that I'm not eating pizza. And pizza's like oxygen to me, so you know: music = pizza = oxyen. It's like that.

So yeah, I gotta befriend an Imagineer and composer and quick. Gotta get them on putting together some pentatonic BGM.

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