Friday, November 30, 2007

Me and the Baby Lamb

The Lamb (who has not been officially named) visited the cast backstage before the matinee yesterday. We had a good time petting him and taking pictures with him. Lambs don't exactly have a fuzzy soft exterior.

The Lamb does not have a name yet. The animal wranglers are taking suggestions and will decide what to name him. Another suggestion I heard yesterday was to name him Porter. He would be named after Porter Wagoner who started the Grand Ole Opry (I think). Porter Wagoner passed away last month and had his funeral in the Grand Ole Opry about four days before the Christmas Spectacular descended upon the Grand Ole Opry. I will keep you posted on what name is finally decided on.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's a Boy!!!

Much to all of our surprise, it was announced yesterday before the show that Sheep #104 would be out of the show because she had a baby the previous day! She had a bouncing baby boy! Sheep #104 was on maternity leave so those who saw the Sunday matinee saw one less sheep than normal. I think that sheep maternity leave is only one day. Sheep #104 should have planned the birth better and had the lamb this Saturday because we have four shows that day! Sheep #104 just got out of one show.

Both Mom and Baby are doing well. The Little People named the baby BJ. It is short for Baby Jesus. We thought it was only fitting! I just got back from a birthday party for a cast member and other cast members were calling the lamb BJ as well so other people had the same idea.

The cast thought that Sheep #104 was having a bad day at the Friday matinee. The person in charge of her was practically wrestling her onstage because she was having a fit. Who knows? She was probably having Braxton-Hicks contractions! Rumor says that she started having the baby onstage during the Saturday evening performance. For those of you in the audience, you got a little extra show with your ticket for no additional charge! Lucky!

Here's some pictures of BJ. Isn't he cute? Momma was very protective and not very cooperative with the photo shoot.

Kelsie with BJ and Sheep #104.

I have decided to add BJ to my Christmas list. Isn't he cute? I'm wondering if they will add BJ to the show? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Ruined Christmas for Everyone!

Here's the latest Grand Ole Opry story.

Last Saturday at our 3:30 PM performance an interesting thing happened. I was going along in the show minding my own business and doing everything that I was supposed to do. I walked over to dust off Santa to get him ready to leave with all the sacks of toys. After I dusted him off, I noticed there was a letter to Santa on the floor of the stage. I picked it up off of the ground and put it in the basket I was carrying. It kind of threw me off but I kept going. After I got off stage, I wondered why Santa had a letter in his pocket to begin with because he doesn't read any letters in the second act. I was totally confused but didn't really think anything of it. I just felt proud of myself for being so professional to roll with out of the ordinary stuff.

Here's the rest of the story.

After the dinner break before I was getting ready for the second show, I was talking with my friend Matt. He was telling me about how in the last show Mrs. Claus didn't have the letter she was supposed to read after the elf scene. My jaw dropped open! I ruined Christmas for everyone! I felt so bad that I had taken that letter! I told Matt about how I found it on the ground and put it in my basket. Anyway, he said that Mrs. Claus played it off really well and improvised until one of the stage hands off stage gave her a copy of the letter.

Apparently during the dance that Santa and Mrs. Claus have the letter fell out of her pocket. She didn't realize the letter had fallen out until she went to get it out of her pocket.

I felt so bad that I had taken the letter! I went and talked with Tina who plays Mrs. Claus and apologized for taking the letter. I hadn't even put it together that the letter was hers. She wasn't mad at me! (Thank goodness because I would hate to get on Mrs. Claus's bad side! No presents for me this Christmas!)

Life onstage. Expect the unexpected. No two shows are the same (thank goodness)!

The Family Invasion

Well the Fam made it out to Nashville for a week of fun! Mom and Dad flew in from Salt Lake City and Chris and Allen flew in from Orlando. It was nonstop excitement (or at least it seemed like it) while they were here! Mom celebrated her birthday while she was here. She loved having all of her family with her to celebrate. Her favorite part of her birthday was seeing her favorite child (me!) perform in the Christmas Spectacular. Here's some pictures of us and the many things we did.

My parents and I drove to the state of Alabama. I can now add that to the list of states I have visited.
Our first full day began (way too early) with a trip to ICE. ICE is an exhibit filled with ice sculptures. Everything is made out of ice. This year's theme was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. ICE was super fun with all the bright colors and super cold! My fingers were frozen by the end of it.

There was even an ice slide which Mom totally loved. She had to be dragged off of it!

Then we headed off to the Belmont Mansion. (Yes, Jim, apparently you have a fortune awaiting you here in Tennessee. Who knew?) This lady named Adelicia had a HUGE fortune. She had three husbands and gave birth to 10 children. (Only 4 children survived to adulthood.) After touring the mansion, it made me immensely grateful I live now instead of 200 years ago. Here's a picture of Mom, Chris, and Allen on the steps of the Belmont Mansion.

Another day we went miniature golfing in the outlet mall near the Grand Ole Opry. The miniature golf was totally dark inside but the course glowed thanks to flourescent colors and black lights. That was a lot of fun! I even got two holes in one!!

Thanksgiving Day was spent with my cousin Vanessa and her family who drove to Nashville from Blacksburg (or something like that), Virginia. We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, via buffet, at a hotel. I ate too much because I felt lazy the rest of the day. Lazy is fine if you sit around and watch TV the rest of the day. Unfortunately I had the privilege of playing perky elf that evening. Boy, was that fun! Anyway, I had a great show which my mom and Vanessa were able to watch. Then I gave Va the exclusive backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry (which I gave my family the evening before when they came to the show)!

I love my family and am so grateful they took time out of their busy schedules to visit me. But I must admit, I love being back on my own time. I enjoy not being rushed in the morning to be ready by a certain time. I love to lay in bed until I am ready to get up. I love to exercise at my leisure (is that an oxymoron?). I love to eat breakfast between 11 AM and noon. Oh yeah, I HATE alarm clocks! They are the bain of my existence!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Opening Night

Well, all our hard work for the past few weeks has paid off! Last night was opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! Yea!! I had a great show last night. When I made my entrance, someone actually cheered (loudly)! I would like to give a shout out to that person who ever they may be! One of my many admirers! :)

I received some great gifts for opening like some roses and a balloon from my parents. Radio City gave us an awesome umbrella for opening!

After the show, the cast headed off to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel (which is as big as the state of Rhode Island I think) in style of course (Hummer limo)!

The Party was so much fun! There was so much food! There is nothing like eating pasta, chicken, fruit, vegetables, and a chocolate fountain that was taller than me after 11 PM. After eating everything in sight, I spent the rest of the night dancing and taking pictures. Here are some pictures of me and members of the cast. Enjoy!

Me and my dresser, Tammy (She gave me the shirt I am wearing for Christmas last year!)

My good friend Matt Hoglund (This is our 3rd year of doing the show together in Nashville!)

Me and the boys (the two little boys switch off shows and of course Matt)

As my Dad would say, "Here's my people!" (from left to right: Laura Atkinson, Julio Maldonado, Julio's date that's not in the show, Blake Windsor, Steve Cotoia, and Kelsie Hankins)

I danced and danced and danced.....I got home about 2 AM. I had a great time. The only thing that would have made it better was if my dancing partner was there. I had to make up for his absence and I think I did. Well, I better get ready for the next show!

If you are in Nashville this holiday season, please come see me in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular performing at the Grand Ole Opry. It's a Christmas-palooza! You will be entertained to the max!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Last of the 20s

As most of you know (because I reminded you frequently), my birthday occurred over a week ago on November 1st. I turned the awesome age of 29!! It has been a week and a day and I love it! I had a marvelous birthday (many times over).

Before I left for Myrtle Beach, SC, my parents celebrated my birthday. They took me out for dinner at Market Street Grill (which I highly recommend). Then I opened presents at home and blew out the candles on my birthday cake. My birthday cake was delicious-cinnamon cake with white frosting! YUM!!

I was in Myrtle Beach, SC for my actual birthday rehearsing for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I spent most of the day at the rehearsal hall watching the world famous Rockettes do what they do best-kick! It was great! I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday. Just before the cast went to lunch, they all sang Happy Birthday to me. It was awesome! I loved the attention! After work, about half of the cast went to Fiesta Del Burro Loco-a local Mexican restaurant-to celebrate my birthday. Apparently the birthday person has the privilege of riding the burro loco (crazy donkey) around the restaurant. I gracefully turned down the offer to ride the donkey but agreed to wear the sombrero and stand next to the burro. We all had a great time eating, drinking, and creating friendships.

I had an awesome birthday! Thanks to all those who sent me emails, voice messages, and text messages wishing me a Happy Birthday! I loved them!