The focus groups we observed there were interesting as well. The participants in the first group were duly knowledgeable and thoughtful, but the second group was infested with conspiracy theorists -- one of whom went off on multiple tangents about how the government is willfully keeping the public sick by withholding funding for cloning technology. And the man was a retired pharmacist.
The focus group facility itself was in the middle of a depressing trailer-park neighborhood a couple miles down the road from our hotel, which was relatively nice -- and decorated very theatrically in a Mexican villa sort of way. It even had a courtyard with a huge fountain, and I spent a couple hours Friday morning reading in the sun next to it until it was time to head to the airport. Business travel can be so exhausting.
I'm choreographing the chorus' holiday show (if you loved me you'd get your tickets now), and Saturday was the first of our two dance auditions. I'm always so impressed by how hard people work at my auditions -- and I'm always amused when I see them struggling to perform combinations I put together dancing around the house in my underwear or even in the shower -- but I HATE the casting part of the process; people are guaranteed to be disappointed or get their feelings hurt and there's nothing I can do to make everyone happy. But I get a huge kick out of seeing my ideas take shape on stage and an even bigger kick out of seeing my dancers' confidence and skills grow. (Plus, it's my personal mission to teach the entire world to soft-shoe, and I'm almost done with the Homosexual Phase of the process. So if you're a breeder, start limbering up and practice dancing on the balls of your feet. You're next.)