Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Norwegian SPIRIT Rehearsals - Part Deux

Here are some more shots from today's rehearsals for the Norwegian SPIRIT. See the blog entry below this one for more photos and the complete story!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Norwegian "SPIRIT" Rehearsals

The cast of the Norwegian SPIRIT are in the final days of rehearsal at our studios here in Nashville. This afternoon several of our GMC team members came to watch a run of "On the Radio", one of the shows they'll be performing when they head out the ship next week. They have been really working hard this week, and it showed in their performance. "On the Radio" is a pop/rock show with music from the 70's - today. It is a non-stop high energy show for the dancers and a great showcase for the singers. It was really great to see the cast in performance mode. They are going to be great! Tomorrow, they will run their Broadway show for us. Congratulations to Claire Williams (choreographer), Brandon Thomas (vocal coach and production manager), David Patton (music director), Garris Wimmer (production coordinator) and Mindy McLemore (cruise operations manager) for the great work in putting the cast and shows together. Looking forward to seeing them in action again! These are photos I took during the run through.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We had a big anniversary at GMC this week! GMC senior producer Curt Wallen and his wife, Kay Witt, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary this past week. Here is a shot of Curt and Kay at the Predators Ball this past Monday night. Apparently, the Predators Ball falls on their anniversary every year, so they've chosen to turn the Preds' party into the biggest anniversary celebration in Nashville! Congratulations to Curt and Kay!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First Tennessee Horizon Awards

Last week, we had the privilege of producing the Horizon Awards for one of our long-time clients, First Tennessee Bank.  The Horizon Awards honors the top performing bankers in First Tennessee's network of financial centers and service locations. More than 325 guests enjoyed a relaxing 3-day meeting and incentive trip to Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa in Fort Meyers, Florida. The highlight of the conference was the actual Horizon Awards dinner on Friday night. Our GMC team created an evening of elegance and sophistication with a tropical Asian flair. We used giant Japanese lantern set pieces, elegant damask linens, and exotic orchid centerpieces to help make the evening a memorable one for our guests. 
Saturday evening featured an awards presentation for a smaller group of about 100 individuals who were also high achievers in the First Tennessee Family. This was the Leadership Circle awards. The decor for the evening was based on a silver and platinum color palette, with floral centerpieces placed in silver julip cups. We again assisted with the staging of the AV, sound, and lighting for the evening.
Here are some photos of the decor and awards staging for both events. A special thanks goes to Connie Washburn (the meeting planner for First Tennessee) and her team for all the help and support they offered during the event. Also, thanks to Anne Marie Potter from the Sanibel Harbour Resort for her help in making everything run smoothly. It was a great team effort!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, Feb. 25, 2008


Tonight, my wife and I attended the Predators "Unmasked Ball" in Nashville. This annual event is produced by GMC producer Curt Wallen. The theme this year was "Unmasked Hollywood". The Predators Ball benefits the Predators Foundation, one of Nashville's leading philanthropic organizations supporting children's charitable organizations. We had a great time! Many of the guests dressed as favorite characters from classic Hollywood movies.  Our scenic team built a mock up of a Lexus SUV (see the photo above) which was used as a gimmick to introduce the Predators team members. Giant mock ups of Hollywood movie posters encircled the floor of the Sommet Center where the Nashville's NHL Predators play their home games. The dinner was staged on a thermal floor laid over the ice. In spite of my best efforts to maintain my sanity, I ended up buying two movie posters in the silent auction: one was from last week's Oscar telecast and was signed by the director of JUNO, and the other was an autographed copy of the movie promo poster for the same movie. The event was great fun and raised a good bit of money for the Predators Foundation. We have produced the event every year since it started some 10 years ago. Congrats to Curt for creating a great evening!


Sorry to have been absent from the blog for so long...I have been on the road for the past week doing shows for a couple of our best clients. Jim Sheridan and I spent a couple of days in Palm Desert, California, producing a regional meeting for the National Association of Electrical Distributors. The show was at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs. Here are a couple of photos taken just before the general session started. Palm Desert is a beautiful place, with amazing weather and some of the the most amazing landscape I've ever seen. One of the most unique things about the desert out there is the bizarre environment created by the hundreds of giant wind mills in the area around Palm Springs. I took some photos of the windmill fields from the car on our way to the airport in Ontario. It is quite eerie looking, and very different than anything you'd see east of the Mississippi. After leaving California, Jim and I flew to Tampa to reconnect with the rest of our team for the production of two major events for First Tennessee Bank. I will post those photos later today!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


As some of you may know, we are working with Norwegian Cruise Lines to build and install the scenery for 4 new shows being mounted on the newly renamed Norwegian "Pride of Hawaii" - now to be known as the "Norwegian Jade". Our scenic team is being led by GMC Technical Director, Eric Cardwell. Here are some "in process" photos of the first set that went up this week. The Jade is going to feature 4 shows that are distinctly different from anything out there currently. Since they have not premiered, I will wait to tell you about them. The Norwegian Jade will be repositioning to the Mediterranean in a couple of weeks, where all 4 shows will open. Watch for more photos as they come in!

Jim Sheridan, Greg Tipton, Gabe McCaulley and I are in Palm Springs/Palm Desert, California, producing a show for the National Association of Electrical Distributors. Here are a couple of shots that we took on the way in from the airport. What other city in the world has street names like Frank Sinatra Boulevard, Bob Hope Way, Monty Hall Road, and Milton Berle Road! The weather was nice today, although a little windy. Tonight, we are producing an intimate dinner party for General Electric for 50 of their top customers. The show is called "Unforgettable", and is a tribute to the music of Nat King Cole as performed by Donny Ray Evins. Donny is a guest entertainer on many top cruise ships and has been a mainstay in Las Vegas for a number of years. He is an amazing singer and showman. I'm looking forward to this!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The awesome cast of the MARCO POLO!

Rochelle Kives and Juliana Bergstrom in Antarctica.

I got an email from Juliana Bergstrom on the MARCO POLO a couple of weeks ago telling me about their adventures in Antarctica. It sounds like it was a lot of hard work down there, but it was a once in a lifetime experience. Here are s couple of pictures from her Facebook site. Thanks for the great photos, Julianna!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

TGIF! It has been a long, but successful week at GMC. Our staff is busily preparing for shows in California and Florida next week, and our scenic team is onboard the Norwegian "JADE" installing scenery for 4 new shows. Meanwhile, we have two cruise casts in the rehearsal facility learning shows for the Celebrity Summit and Norwegian Jade. Curt Wallen is out on the Norwegian GEM doing a mid-contract visit, and Kelly Evans is on the Celebrity CONSTELLATION doing a maintenance visit.  A heartfelt "thanks" to all the families left at home here in Nashville for allowing their loved ones to venture forth on projects around the world. Many think all the travel we do is very "glamorous", but I can assure you its not. 

Yesterday, I had a wonderful Valentine surprise from two of my favorite young friends. Ella and Sam Thomas (Brandon Thomas's kids) brought me a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries and pretzel sticks. I love the Thomas kids - they are incredibly sweet and they crack me up every time I see them. Thanks to Sheryl Thomas for bringing them by the office to visit!

I wanted to send out a word of encouragement to a great friend of many of us here at GMC. David Holloway is a successful event producer based in Nashville, and is one of our best long time clients. David was also the original general manager of our scenic company and was instrumental in helping us get our scenic department up and running.  He recently experienced a devastating setback as a result of a new business partnership gone bad. We wish David and his family the very best as he works to find a way through this situation. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I'll try to post some shots of the new casts in rehearsal sometime in the next few days. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today was my first day in the office in a while. I spent the last two days in Washington, DC, doing a site visit for a major corporate show in June. We are planning a couple of great events for this convention...the first will include a huge international themed musical pageant of singers and dancers, international and state flags, a bagpipe corps, and some amazing multimedia support. The closing event features a theme party based on a Super Heroes and entertainment icons theme. We will be turing the Marriott Wardman Park into Gothem City, Superman's Crystal Cave, a giant superheroes video game arcade, and a headliner showroom that would rival anything in Las Vegas. I love client who let us be creative! 

Today, I met the new cast of the Norwegian SPIRIT for the first time. They are a great group and are learning their first show with amazing speed! We should have the first show ready for a run through next Monday. This is our first time to produce the shows on the Spirit - I'm looking forward to seeing the new cast in action on board this beautiful ship. 

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

DRAGON DANCE from our CYDCOR industrial show this week.

The drummers on stage were from Georgia Tech University's marching band.

Maureen Callahan and Paul Vann pause for a shot just before the show.

We just returned from the CYDCOR show in Atlanta! It has been a week of long hours, but great success for our client and our shows. We arrived in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon, then began our load in early Friday morning. By 7:00pm on Friday night, we were rehearsing for the opening general session scheduled for the next morning. Video editor Greg Tipton helped us put together an opening motivational video that helped set the tone for the conference theme..."Growing Opportnity". One section of the show featured a cast of our singers and dancers in a Broadway style tribute to Raff Diaz, one of CYDCOR's up-and-coming associates who was receiving a major promotion. The number was a big hit with the audience, and Raff was definitely the star of the show when it came time to perform the number.

Last night, we produced a dinner and show that featured an Asian theme in honor of this week's Chinese New Year celebration. A cast of 10 performers came from Nashville to perform a traditional Chinese "Lion Dance" and "Dragon Dance" as part of CYDCOR's awards program. Both numbers were choreographed by Claire Williams. She is an amazingly gifted dancer and choreographer and helped turn our cast of dancers into a well-trained troupe of Chinese festival-style performers. The show closed with a highlights video that our videographer, Gabe McCauley, and Brandon Thomas (our Associate Producer) helped stage, shoot and edit. The video featured the conference attendees in a really fun montage of staged and candid shots edited to the music "All Star". The audience loved it!

A special thanks goes to Claire, Brandon Thomas, Jonathan Yeaworth, Johnny Jones, Jimmy Davis, Sean Yeaworth, Jacob Driver, Randall Brooks, Todd Honaker, Gabe McCauley, Jim Sheridan, and the entire cast of performers who made the show a great success. And a special thanks to our client, Bill Schreiber of Orion Performance Group, and Suzzanne Fleet (CYDCOR) for allowing us to be part of their production team again this year.

I head to Washington, DC, tomorrow for a site visit and planning meeting with a client who's heading there with their convention later this summer. More on that show later!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wednesday, January 6, 2008

This it the lobby at Pineapple Studios in London. It was packed!
Mindy McLemore and Garris Wimmer about town during some time between audition sessions.

Steve Kummer, one of our vocal directors, sent me some pictures he took during our recent auditions in London. We had a HUGE turnout this time - around 600 singers and dancers over the 2 days we spent at Pineapple Studios. Thanks for the shots, Steve!
We leave tomorrow to do a three-day show in Atlanta for a company called CYDCOR. It should be a fun show! We're doing an Asian themed dinner on Saturday night that will include an authentic dragon dance with a 30' Chinese dragon costume and an beautiful Lion Dance costume featuring 2 dancers in an exciting entrance dance for the 400+ guests in attendance. I hope to have some great pictures for you this weekend. 

I got to see the Summit cast perform several numbers from Night of Stars today. They are a great cast with a lot of returning performers and a few great new additions to the Celebrity team. We wish them well for these next three weeks of rehearsals!