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April 25, 2014

Here we are – Jacksonville

Here we are, after 3 weeks on the rivers ! we are now in Jacksonville. Almost all the crew is here and we are starting the rehersals. The boat is lively, it’s lovely !

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Hi Everyone,

If you come by Jacksonville, do not hesitate to come and say hello, we are docked at the metroplitan park.

Amira, one of our costume/props maker, gave us a nice view of the last few days (see below). Enjoy !

” I’ve been aboard the Amara Zee for 8 days now, and it feels like much longer; probably anyone who has spent time on boats can attest to the way it makes you really be in the moment. Paying attention to all the details while navigating the Intracoastal Waterway, learning the ways of this particular lady’s operations, getting to know the entirely lovely and skillful crew who have brought her all this way. I am very fortunate to have travelled the last leg of an 1100 mile journey from Lafitte to Jacksonville; if things had gone according to schedule, I would not have had this wonderful experience. And, the crew and performers of this summer’s tour have been accumulating, so its gone from a skeleton crew to an overloaded manifest: packed in tight as we arrived in Jacksonville yesterday, there were about 24 Caravaners with more arriving almost daily. Thankfully soon we will have 3 borrowed RV’s for production crew (like me) to camp in at Metro Park, where we are docked now. We stopped a day in Titusville due to windy weather, which turned into a good day to acclimatize new folks to the ship and do a read-through of the script “Hacked: Treasure of the Empire”. Looks like wild and crazy stuff is going to be pulled off in this show… spectacular dance and visual effects, moving set pieces to be built, completely original sound, music, and projections to be created. It starts off with the intensity of an action movie and only gets more fevered from there. Personally I am excited to get my mind and hands into making puppets, masks, and set dressing; there are some challenging and fascinating puzzles ahead.
Then on April 21 we carried on, guided by green and red marker posts the whole way north through a fairly narrow channel. Myself only having a few days experience with this vessel, well, suddenly I was training others in what to look for in the Bow watch, and how to read the tachometer, gage the wind speed and direction, and measure milage and our latitude and longitude position, and more, every half hour. Not to mention I got to steer the Amara Zee a few times too: taking the helm was daunting but with the careful guidance of the Captain, ship’s engineer Paul White, and First Mate Nans, I did it!
Our passage went past the Kennedy Space Centre through shores of mansions and condos, beach houses, thousands of private docks, and we even spent a night at a deluxe resort marina with a pool and hot tub. Grasslands, mangroves, cypress islands, jungles, gave way to sand dunes and beaches, dotted with pelicans, seagulls, many dolphin sightings, and once a great bald eagle ignored us from its perch on a marker about 10 feet away from the starboard side. Then we made it to Jacksonville Beach night before last, a wide, white expanse dotted with human beach life.
We’re in Jacksonville now and we are beginning to transition into production mode… finding places to build the elements of the show, getting ready to raise the mast, and sorting through the specifics of agreements with the municipal officials on land. More artists are arriving and everyone seems to be absolutely thrilled. This is a beautiful and demanding way of making theatre, so far: I won’t say I’m excited for the next thing, because I’m enjoying every minute of the moment.”

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Tour 2014