For those of you who caught the show and wondered if we really do have brass bands playing in the airport, the answer is – yes, sometimes, and it is always the best airport music I’ve ever heard, a welcome that sets the tone for time in the Big Easy.
This was an interesting week for me as a viewer as there was a part, a pretty big one, that I auditioned for and had to watch someone else do on this episode. The good news is that I’ve spent years and years watching other people do jobs I auditioned for, it’s the nature of the beast so I’m fairly immune to the ego bruises and dashed desires. No excuses, I blew that audition, uncharacteristically and fairly thoroughly. I’d just attended 27 parades culminating in the 8am – 5 pm marathon of Fat Tuesday. The audition was early on the following Wednesday and I was a slow talking Southerner when they needed a fast talking New Yorker. Here’s the great news. As much as would have liked to be on Treme this season, to have my new friends see me do what I do in a show they all love, I wouldn’t trade Mardi Gras 2010 and those 27 parades for anything. I’d rather be a part of New Orleans than play a part in a show about it.
There was a lot of music, as usual, in the episode. Though it was all wonderful, the music of the Mardi Gras Indians takes it to a whole other level, reaches somewhere deep inside me. I’m shattered to say that I will not be able to attend this weekend’s Bayou Boogaloo Festival. 3 days of local music and food for free in nearby Bayou St. John.
This was the first episode where I noticed that they staged a parade, rather than shooting an existing parade. Could you tell the difference because I sure could. Having attended this year’s Krewe de Vieux parade, I can see why they weren’t able to use it as an early parade after the storm. The crowds were huge. We were literally pressed together, packed tightly on Bourbon. We found a little wiggle room on the side street the parade turned down, but not much. It’s not just the crowds, Krewe de Vieux is political satire so the floats are topical and current. So, they couldn’t have used the existing parade and all must be forgiven, but it illustrated perfectly the difference between a fake parade and the energy of a real one. All that said, for those of you who wonder if the sperm costume family was going too far, I give you this photo evidence that the producers don’t need much poetic license in a town as bawdy and creative as this one.