Archive for January 11, 2012
The one thing which allowed me to NOT FEEL STRESSED, when it dawned on me we would be doing a lot more than just the first six Shows, was the fact that we were lucky to have assembled a cast of “regulars” who were committed to continue; we would always be able to produce a fun Show for the Marines. And, because our regulars were all working artists who may have to skip a show or two. we would end up with a variety of sizes in our cast. One time, when most everyone was able to attend, we ended up with a Show cast of 83 entertainers!
It was also learned early on that I was not a capable enough Director to control an unrehearsed cast from a backstage seat. I could better Direct from the ONSTAGE EmCee position. This did not rattle me however because my life over the years had been ON stage. I had always felt more at home there than anywhere else; so, I disguised the Director in EmCee clothing/costumes. My task was also made easy when you are working with PRO’S and those who are working entertainers & stars. I believe I was also fortunate in the fact that I was able to look at EVERY entertainer as a STAR in my eyes and thoughts. I honestly love sharing with you in these blogs, the great folks who helped make the Show a seven-year-run where we entertained over 750,000 of our Military heroes.
Truly a star in our regulars cast of stars was the wonderful SARA JAMES & THE JAMES SISTERS; everyone loved Sara who would greet the audience with her iconic “Mercy!” and her “V” for victory signal. Their performance on stage would bring the best of Black Gospel and she would bring the men into the music and dance. Sara and the girls did this in their Night Club act also. She has such great compassion for our Military serving in Nam and her group committed to complete all seven years of the Jean London Show.
No matter what Band we had for a Show, they loved backing Sara. Here we see RON & THE ENTERTAINERS who were regulars and the Marines “really dug” their music. In the pic below, she is backed by SAGE, another regular Band for the Show.
Sara loved to go into the audience always and get the men dancing with her to the music. Here you can also see the Base Special Services BUS which brought our entertainers from Hollywood to the San Onofre outdoor theater.