#jemlife💖

Back in January, I got an Instagram message from a dude who plays trumpet for a lot of musical theatre shows.

I thought he got hacked.

Fast-forward a few months, and I just sang my first gig with Bantum Rooster.

The band’s main female singer was stepping back to focus on a food business with her husband (how much do I get that??) so they were looking for someone else to jump in to the roster, and Doug (trumpet dude) recommended me from various theatre shows. Shortly before COVID, he played my ANNIE — whose opening trumpet solo will always be one of my favorite licks ever.

Bantum Rooster is a cover/party band led by brothers Shane and Christian Morgan. They do everything from Motown to current pop — with a heavy side of beach music and the ability to morph into a classic jazz cocktail hour.

As a child of the ‘80s, I *loved* JEM. The fact that a “normal” girl was secretly a rock star? And with pink hair?? So you can see how this introverted wannabe librarian with pink hair jumped on the chance.

So much of the music echoes the rock and roll shows I did my first dinner theatre. I was really nervous there, too, until I was given the advice to “just bounce and smile.” Advice that has served me well over the past 20 years! Including this fancy wedding on a car-free island.

Here’s some video shamelessly stolen from the event planners, Kickstand Events. This was fairly early in our set, and I thought the floor was full then.

Later on, from our keys leader, Shane:

The band put us up in Southport and after breaking down, loading the tram, unloading the tram, loading the trailer, and getting to the hotel — most of which I was not helpful for — I planned to sleep in until checkout.

The week before, I looked for a fancy brunch in town, but my eye on Google maps kept leading to public beach access on Oak Island. So I decided to do a few miles on the beach and then go to some low key beach bar that wouldn’t care I was sweaty and in workout clothes.

Between heels the night before and general exhaustion, I just did two miles. Two Extra Slow miles. But they got done.

The first restaurant I chose, based on location, despite Yelp’s insistence, was closed. Which is all for the best, because the one I ended up at despite its 2.5 Yelp review — was *exactly* what I was looking for.

I even stayed for a second Bloody Mary to finish this particular white lady thriller because LOOK AT THIS VIEW.

Full disclosure: I almost didn’t tell Hampton I could have left sooner… but I did and his extroverted self who really wanted me home Totally Got It. In case you’re wondering why we’re married. (…the three bags of boiled peanuts I picked up on the way home didn’t hurt, either.)

Altogether, a delightful day and change. I got to belt my face AND have some quality alone time. Now: to bed. And then full steam ahead into INTO THE WOODS. Which I still haven’t written about….? Baby steps to proper blogging…

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