Senior year, orchestra tour, spring break! We piled equipment, luggage, and finally ourselves onto the tour buses on a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon, preparing to venture out into the Wild, Wild West (read: Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas) on orchestra tour. I was SO FUCKING PUMPED. The year before, I had spent spring break in Hawaii, but I knew that this was going to be just as epic. It was my first orchestra tour, and I was wicked excited.
When we got to the first concert site and started unloading stuff, it was discovered that Philippe, our darling celesta, had been left back at school.
I will here defend myself by saying that it was NOT my fault. Here is my reasoning: I was not actually assigned to the percussion crew. Seniors get the perk of not being assigned to crews. So my only job on tour, aside from my usual tasks of oozing sex appeal and relieving Dr. Beauregard’s excess sexual tension whenever needed, was to stay the fuck out of the way. I’m really good at that.
[Clarification: that was humorous misdirection. I am not, in fact, Dr. B’s personal sex toy. Much as I might wish otherwise.]
Though I love Jared (percussion section leader) like a brother, I have to pin much of the blame on him. As principal percussionist, he was leader of the percussion crew. The celesta is a percussion instrument. Ergo, my beloved Philippe fell under Jared’s jurisdiction and it was NOT Sadie’s fault. Repeat: NOT Sadie’s fault. Well, a little bit Sadie’s fault. Philippe was Sadie’s instrument. But mostly NOT Sadie’s fault.
But I do not tend to panic, and I have mad skills when it comes to fixing shit. So as soon as I realized that there had, in fact, been major fuck-uppage, I whipped out my ghetto-ass cell phone and turned into Jack Bauer (WHERE’S THE CELESTA? DAMMIT! WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?). Since classes hadn’t ended till after the tour buses left, there would be a school van headed to us after classes finished, bringing a few last musicians. I knew this, and I knew the driver and a few of the people who would be on it. Within seven minutes, I had made two phone calls and single-handedly fixed the problem. Philippe would be on the van and to us in plenty of time. Crisis averted. You may present me with the roses and tiara whenever you like.
But because it’s a cruel, cruel world, I was the lucky person who got to walk up to Dr. Beauregard and explain what had happened. That was not fun. I was smart about it, though. Instead of waiting for him to reach the podium and then announcing it, loud and proud, over the whole orchestra, I walked up to him privately (while mentally chanting fuck my life) and explained that although there had been an error – and I used neutral language, not pinning the blame on anyone, toning down the scale of the crisis, which really wasn’t so bad anyway – it had been fixed and the celesta was on its way. I think I handled it well. There was no anger, no yelling, no frown. Merely a frustrated laugh (understandable) and I was set free. Uff da. Seriously, that was not fun. Our perky little tour manager scurried over – “What about the celesta?” – but I semi-blew her off with “It’s on the way.” She was more or less useless. And I didn’t feel like running through the whole spiel again. Besides, I had fucking Macgyvered that solution (well, okay, not really, I made a few phone calls) and was a hero in my own mind. She was raining on my tickertape parade.
Sure enough, Philippe arrived safe and sound before we took our dinner break, and the concert was lovely.
Percussion equipment and large instruments were stored in the church overnight, and the next morning we loaded everything onto the buses before leaving. As we rolled out Philippe to load him onto the bus, Dr. Beauregard was standing on the sidewalk chatting with the bus drivers. As I am a shameless eavesdropper at all times, I heard him snort and comment to one of them, “Well, it’s nice to see the celesta.”
Smartass. But also fine ass, so I’ll let it go.
Next on “Tales From Orchestra Tour:” I am sexy and shirtless.