Day 1, Tampa 3/20/14… I must say, I find my self to be pretty hard to shock, but this tour caught me a little off guard on a few things!! We’ve all seen Brittany go from Mouseketeer to grinding and busting out of her latex, so it’s not like its never been done before, but little Hanna Montana? OH MY GOD!
Rewind a bit, I have 3 kids who are now 21, 17 and 12, so I’ve spent a lot of time watching the Disney Channel. I guess I’ve been out of the loop a bit on Miley’s adventures. I mean, I saw the VMA bump and grind with the tongue hanging out like a giraffe…
and her whizing by half naked on the wrecking ball…
but I was not fully prepared for the all crotch grabbing, Wendy O Williams electrical tape on the boobs version of little Hanna Montana!!! The truth is, I see the crotch grabbing, twerking, reefer madness stuff all the time on tours, I just wasn’t prepared for it on hers!
Behind the scenes were some peeps I’ve worked with before. Skylar from Taylor Swift’s tour and Melissa from Big Time Rush and Alicia Keys. They had 15 dancers on this show, 5 guys, 9 girls and Ashley, the 6’7″ Amazon woman with size 16 gun boats for feet! Ho Lee Smokes!! There was also a midget performer or “little person”, which created quite a contrast on stage with Miley in the middle!
Kyle and I were assigned to work with Melissa and the guys quick change while Lorraine and Candas worked with Skylar and the girls.
Backstage we got to see some of Miley’s costumes up close, including her bedazzled “Weed” bodysuit…
black bodysuit, red sequin outfit
and plaid sequin outfit which the seamstress was working on…
I was the lead in the local wardrobe crew of 4 working with all of the dancer costumes and shoes to get everything ready for show. Some of the most noteworthy items were a pair of black and white hybrid Adidas/Cowboy boots and the giant fur suits and other fabricated prop costumes worn by the performers. It was definitely the most interesting mix of crazy ass shit I’ve seen in a long time, including giant hands holding lighters sculpted by a FaceOff contestant, Mt. Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty, Giant Picnic items and more…
Kyle and I were assigned to assist the Pink Ape and the Green Tiger in and out of their furry creature costumes…
At the top of the show, we got to stand on stage right and watchIcona Pop perform their hit song “I Don’t Care!”
Shortly there after, we got to see Miley make her grand entrance. If you haven’t heard, there is a 3 story video screen backdrop with a vision of her face, eyes rolling and tongue wagging! The video screen then opens up at her mouth, so a giant pink “tongue” slide, comes out of her mouth and down to the floor. The thing had to be 2 stories off the ground. Soon Miley appears at the top of the slide waving and wagging, then she sits down and slides down the “tongue slide” plopping her into the stage. It was pretty funny and quite an epic entrance!
After the show opened I reported to my spot under the stage to wait for the Pink Gorilla. The under stage area was a maze of lifts, props, the band playing and multiple dressing areas. I could not stand up straight. It was about 5′ ceiling height underneath the decking. I had to squat to get around under there. I didn’t have it so bad tho, Kyle is 6’2″ and pretty much had to bend over to get anywhere! This is Kyle, he is a performer and make up artist at Universal.
Ok, so the Pink Gorilla arrives and I have to quicky undo the Velcro in the back of his fur suit, catch his head before it hits the floor, chuck all that in a basket, stand behind him with his next costume while he is yelling “shirt, shirt, shirt” I have the Versace shirt held up so he can back into it, I put his necklace and sunglasses on him, while he puts on his shoes, then I have to jump out of the way, so he can run off…Here he is wearing it…
Next, I have to grab his and another fur suit, their shoes and 2 furry heads and run thru the maze to the stage right quick change tent, which is situated under some fan bleachers.
At some point during the show I heard that Miley had spit water on the audience, but apparently it made International News and the crowd reportedly loved it… http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/23/miley-cyrus-bangerz-tour-spits-water-fans_n_5016292.html
As we are hanging up the fur suits for round 2, I notice one of the laundry baskets is soaking wet and the Blue Fox fur head is soaked. Someone on the bleacher above had spilled a beer and it landed on our costumes. Agh! As Melissa is mopping up beer, I let her know the Blue Fox head was a casualty, (she had warned us to be careful with the furry heads, as they were made of fragile paper mâché) . She asked me to take it back to the main dressing room and blow dry it, we had several songs before that costume was worn again.
So I take the furry blue fox head, cut under the stage and make my way to the back stage dressing room to find a blow dryer. Easier said than done. As I go thru every drawer of several wardrobe cases, I can’t find a blow dryer anywhere! I remember they had another room set up for hair and make up and find one in there, blow dry the head for about 2 songs then return to the tent with a dry head. The whole time I am thinking HURRY, HURRY, HURRY, DRY, DRY, DRY…..what if I don’t get this thing dry in time??? …and I imagine him performing on stage without his head…. Good News is, I made it, dried it and was back in plenty of time!! It could have been worse, it could have been barf that spilled thru the bleachers onto the costumes!
On with the show…. My next assignment was to bring a rack of worn costumes back to the dressing room with Kyle, where we sprayed the pits and crotches with a mixture of vodka and tea tree oil and put them on hangers, over the fans to dry, then sprayed all the shoes with shoe spray, grabbed an empty garment rack and headed back to quick change.
Miley performed her acoustic set, while we were briefed on our next assignment. There were 3 stilt walkers we were assigned to escort out onto the floor area of the crowd, safety permitting. As it turns out, that was cut from the show as the last minute.
Next we had to let our dancers strip out of their Bulls sweatsuit costumes and redress them as furry creatures again, Velcro them in and put their head on, Velcro the flaps down and off they went!
As Kyle and I had a minute to watch the show, we also had an opportunity to chat with Ashley, standing next to her is quite a humbling experience. She is just sooooooo freakin tall and Her giant boobs were right smack in Kyle’s face.
As the show was winding down the racks of worn costumes were filling up and we rolled everything backstage where we could hear the final encore. It was a 13 hour day start to finish followed by an hour and a half drive back to Orlando.
I will be working for Miley again as a seamstress on her Monday show 3/24 in Orlando, so STAY TUNED!