What a journey the last seven months have been. I’ve played Hundred Days 120+ times and I would be happy to double that number! This show and the people in it have changed my life in ways that I'm just beginning to process. Thank you especially to The Bengsons for embracing me and bringing me into their family. And thanks to the AMAZING all-female/POC crew at the Arsht Center for this spectacular chalk drawing!
Here’s a little clip of the drum part from the song “Hundred Days.” It cooks! It’s one of my favorite moments of the show to play.
Last night I played my 100th show of Hundred Days! It’s been a pleasure to work with such an awesome group of people on and off the stage. Special shoutouts to acupuncture, Zicam, Kick Ass, CBD, Biofreeze, and Advil for keeping me going. That said, I’m looking forward to not hitting drums for two weeks before we take our talents to South Beach.
I recently reunited with one of my cabin-mates at Interlochen from NINETEEN YEARS AGO! We haven’t seen each other since that amazing summer, but I still feel like we are and will continue to be lifelong friends. Here’s what Andrea — an outstanding horn player and music teacher — had to say:
This is a little late, but on Valentine’s, Ryan Vella and I went to see “Hamilton” at the Straz in Tampa. And if you know me, you know how much I love it, but that’s not why I’m writing this post. The best part of the night was when I first opened the playbill, and to my complete surprise, it flipped open to a photo of one of my cabin-mates from Interlochen Arts Camp ‘00, Ashley Baier who is performing in “Hundred Days,” which is running next door to “Hamilton.” So, after 19 years (seriously, how has it been that long!?) and yet again, thank you to Victoria Guyre, we got to see Ashley’s performance last Friday. Even though we could only chat for a little afterwards, it was wonderful and surreal to see you, and like you said, I hope we don’t wait another 2 decades until we see each other again! Congratulations on a beautiful performance - you all certainly give the Hamilton casts in Tampa (and NYC) a run for their money. If you’re reading this and in the Tampa Bay area, go see “Hundred Days!” They’ll be there until the end of March. ❤️
Here are some pics Andera shared as well:
The latest version of Hundred Days is up and running at the Straz in Tampa. We had two days of tech and open Tuesday. My friend from college, Scott Crawford, provided the rental — a beautiful, brand new Pearl Session Studio Classic kit. It sounds great! Scott is a fantastic percussionist and all-around great guy. It was a dream come true to have him tech for me on Sunday. I can’t wait to hang with him some more on this 2.5 month stint in Tampa.
My time performing in Hundred Days at La Jolla Playhouse was a dream come true. It was a pleasure to get to work each day with some of the most artistic, compassionate, and talented people I've ever met. I can't wait to start up the show again in Tampa in January. Until then, I'll be walking, I'll be walking.
📸: Lindsey Augusta Mercer
The cellist is naked! The throne is falling off the riser! What kind of show is this??? Let’s take a look at my setup for Hundred Days here at the La Jolla Playhouse!
La Jolla Playhouse provided me with this black Gretsch Catalina maple kit. It was amazing not having to worry about schlepping drums across the country or setting up a rental in San Diego. The kit sounds great. We are expecting some new heads to arrive any day now.
AVIOM land is a good scene! I have two running here: One for each instrument and voice and a dedicated one for just the drum mix. We are all using in-ear monitors which has been a godsend. I may never be able to go back to a wedge again!
Drum key and Moon Gels in an accessible position in case of emergency.
I’m using my trusty SPD-SX for this one. I’ve built 12 kits (some of which are just running click tracks). The electronics add a nice element to this show. All sounds were provided by the composer, Shaun Bengson, except for a few 808 bass drums and claps. I’ve enjoyed working with our sound designer, Nicholas Pope, on dialing in levels and effects for each sound. I have a few glow dots on the machine so I know where to hit during two black out sections.
I’m running a pedal trigger out of the SPD-SX for bass drum and other sounds and using a foot switch to turn the click track on and off. More glow dots!
I finally get to put those contemporary percussion ensemble skills to use during a song that features bowed crotales. It’s a nice effect for the piece and serves as a few meditative minutes for me to re-center and think about what’s coming up next.
Oh yeah, I’m a singer now! I sing harmony on a few songs. It has been a challenge for sure, but I’m surrounded by many amazing and supportive singers who are always uplifting.
Hello from Day 2 of rehearsals for Hundred Days. Things are going along swimmingly! I’m an actor now! In addition to drumming for the show, I do some singing and choreography. Pray for me! Here’s a pic of my rehearsal setup. The midi keyboard is not part of my track, it’s just to help me with the vocals, as I’m singing on stage for the first time since singing a song from Annie at my seventh grade choir concert. Yikes.