Back to New Jersey
August has been one of those months where every day I've woken with something definite to get done that day. Much of the early part of the month was spent scrabbling around getting the last of my errands done before essentially hermetically sealing myself in for the duration of the Rio Olympics. The last bit of actual work done involved filling in over at Les Mis as well as a little bit of Matilda rehearsals.
As expected the Olympic period was not so much a rest, but it was certainly a departure from the norm! Up to 15 hours per day was spent researching GB athletes and keeping on top of all the main twists and turns throughout a typical Rio day, with the ultimate aim being to show that ByTheMinute, a new platform I really believe in, was capable of keeping those visiting the site fully in-the-know with goings-on in Rio. In the end, I was tipped off that various news organisations were using my own Team GB updates as reference for their reports!
I tried to make sure I didn't become one with the couch throughout the 17 days, though, so I promised myself that I would prepare and cook every single meal properly and healthily throughout the Games, as well as an hour's-worth of exercise at the start of every day. I was also only allowed an alcoholic drink each time Britain won a medal. So, to start with, I was rather sober. By the middle weekend, however, it was starting to get difficult to see the screen!! Ultimately, though, the whole experience was a lot of fun, far cheaper than going abroad on holiday, and I return to my professional trade in the music business feeling refreshed and raring to go.
Thank goodness I felt refreshed, considering my very first gig back from my Rio holiday was my Keys 2 debut on the West End production of Jersey Boys - a show I know very well from being its musical director for the latter stages of the recent UK tour. The Keys 2 chair, though, is a little further out of my comfort zone, considering that it involves backing vocals, 20 minutes of memorised playing, dance moves and even a featured B3 Organ solo just to finish me off in the dying seconds of the exit music! I've had a week's worth of shows so far which has really bedded me in, and the whole band have been really supportive throughout and a good laugh. That's always a massive help. I'm looking forward to joining them for more performances throughout September and in the near future.
Unfortunately my Grandma passed away in the past month. Marie, my mother's mother, was a really wonderful parent and grandparent, leaving behind a large family who depended on her support, love & laughs over the past decades. Her funeral made for a wonderful reunion of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends, sharing memories and anecdotes. A reminder as ever that I don't see my Timmons clan nearly enough now that I have moved away from the North West. I toasted my Grandma with a Gin & Tonic late one night when I found out the news, and she will be sorely missed.
September is already another busy month: more Jersey Boys, back to Matilda, a visit to Liverpool to play Chicago, immediately followed by my first of a few visits to Newcastle to play Mary Poppins. I'm also visiting Disneyland Paris, as well as the French capital itself, for the first time in my life with my sister. I have another date in the diary to watch a live film with orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, this time Independence Day, and I return to Morphic Graffiti, helping Luke & Stewart out with a mini-project involving one of their recent successful productions, The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes. Busy busy!