Sunday, May 27, 2012

Michael Erlewine's New Orleans Journal


I am still here in New Orleans and still not caught up on my sleep. Woke up at 3 AM this morning and was up all day. I tried to catch a nap but didn't manage to catch it, so I lay there on my back for a while looking at the ceiling and then just gave up, got up, and jumped back into the stream of astrologers everywhere. Believe it or not, aside from perhaps a few thoughts of home and missing my dog (and of course my wife!) I was OK. I know that sounds bad, but I know my dog really, really misses me, and I hope my wife does too.

I started out the day with an on-camera interview for Chinese television, which took perhaps an hour. Apparently there is a growing demand in China for astrology, and (believe it or not) Western astrology at that. So that was fun and the camera crew and interviewer were fun and so respectful. Sometimes it is nice being treated like "somebody." I am sure we all feel that way.

As for food, I have pretty much given up on what I imagined I would be doing: feasting on all this classic New Orleans food. I tried it and liked it, but it was not too crazy about me. There is only so much fried food I can eat and then it's enough. Perhaps I can be a little clearer here if I tell you I actually ordered oatmeal for breakfast. And my lunch is shifting from whatever gumbo or New Orleans special there is to something like a Caesar Salad. You get the idea. I am not living to eat here, but back to trying to eat to live.

And it is the same story with my plans to take historical New Orleans by storm. I had a strong start when I toured the disaster areas of New Orleans, like the lower 9th ward, and so on, but any such plans have kind of evaporated and I find myself not particularly interested in leaving the hotel, aid-conditioning and all. Instead, I seem to keep immersing myself in the stream of astrologers I am surrounded by. 

I am meeting many new Facebook friends, and having conversation after conversation with astrologers attending the conference. I kind of lose all sense of time and wake up realizing I have been standing there in the middle of a crowd for a long time talking to someone and ceased to see or hear what is going on all around me, like a lot of movement and noise. And these conversations are not just chit-chat, but mostly real conversations that either are reestablishing ties since I last saw the person or plunging into topics of one kind of another. All this is all fun.

Last night I went to astrologer Michael Lutin's play "OMG, the Mayans Were Right." Every UAC Michael Lutin, armed with a small army of astrologers, performs a play. I know it is months in the preparation, and many of the astrologers (well known to us all) disappear from view for several days during the conference because of the rehearsal. We miss them.

The whole event was held in a huge ballroom, and there were many hundreds of people there. There were two acts, the first was a big silent auction and cocktail party that was loud and boisterous as you might imagine. I was pretty much wallpaper through that event. Then, this huge crowd massed to a single point and entered what was called a "wormhole" and into an even larger room where the play was held.

These kind of plays are usually not my favorite cup of tea because no one has had enough time to really rehearse. However, this one was a lot of fun. Michael  Lutin is a real pro, a true entertainer, and very funny. He was like the main actor/MC or narrator of the story. I was impressed. 

All around him were all our favorite astrologers in various states of dress and undress, painted and not painted, but all carrying on. Where else could you see astrologers Stephen Forrest dressed as Albert Einstein and Andrew Morton as Sir Issac Newton singing a duet? I think: nowhere.

And Gloria Star, one of my favorite people, was "Jelly," the cabaret singer, and she was incredible. Her singing was so good that it brought tears to my eyes, and I am a professional music critic! How about that?

Anyway it was a fun romp through the night and the huge audience loved it. So there you have it, a capsule review of the play and the day. As I write this, I must turn to more serious things because today is my talk and it would seem that I left my notes at home! 

I am going to start recreating them. Thanks for listening and that is my journal for today. Hope you are enjoying these!

Photo by my friend Hal Bahr. This is our birth. I believe that is me back there holding forth about something with someone.
Photo of Michael Erlewine's Incredible booth courtesy of Hal Bahr

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