Editor's Note: Once a month we have a company member sharing experiences of life on the road. This month it's Katie Hammond talking about our recent tours to her home state.]
I love being from Michigan. I love calling myself a Michigander, and I love the expression on my New York friends’ faces when I tell them that is what we call ourselves.
I was so excited to see that we had not one, not two, but THREE shows in Michigan this winter, and was thrilled to be cast on all of them. I have a really large extended family, and they have always been so supportive of my career path, and have sat thru some of the worst theatrical productions (possibly ever), so being able to invite them to a show I know they’ll love, I know they’ll enjoy AND I know they won’t give me grief over having to sit thru it ten years from now (I’m looking at you Uncle Jake and that God awful “Robert Mitchum…” show I did in Chicago), then I am one happy girl.
I also was excited to do my first Twitter take-over for the Wharton Center. Social media is a world that confounds me; I don’t understand why some things go viral or why some tweets are or are not considered worthy. It surprised me though, how stressful it was to tweet as someone else while representing yet another someone else. If I tweet on my own feed and say something stupid, the 300 people who follow me a) won’t notice and b) won’t be surprised. If I tweeted something boring from the Wharton Center – so much more was on the line. Overall I’d give my take-over a B. Next time I’ll aim for a B+ at least.
My sister is an MSU alumna. My cousin and his lovely wife now work there, so getting to perform for an East Lansing crowd was awesome. I have only a handful of memories of the MSU campus – from visiting my sister her freshman year; staying in the dorm, going to see Shakespeare in Love in the student center and eating in the cafeteria – so I was surprised, driving around campus, that I recognized the scenery. That buildings looked familiar. They say you can’t go home again, but I love doing a show for a town that feels like home. Getting to perform for family and friends who have never had the opportunity to see what I do – who have for the last ten years listened to me ramble on about improv and musical improv but never seen it, was fantastic. They loved it.
On top of the two delightful shows in East Lansing and Clinton Township, the weekend was filled with lots of Michigan charm. On Friday, Deb and Daniel and I ate a really delicious brunch and had a server who called himself Captain Underpants. That was a choice he made, and another choice to tell us that he prefers to be called that. Only. In. Michigan. On Saturday I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch and ate so much cheese dip I had trouble zipping my dress on Saturday night. We went to a Dave and Buster’s and I was reminded how terrible I am at skee ball.
I already have half a dozen friends and family planning to see our next Michigan show in Flint. I’m so excited to wear my mitten shirt and delight in overeating and letting my Michigan accent come out loud and proud.