Michigan was absolutely freezing. We arrived in October and stayed in a fantastic hotel on the first night as a stop off before travelling by coach to the hotel we would be staying in for the rest of the run. The first hotel was vast with huge fountains displayed in the foyer and throughout the lobby area. A small group of us stayed up after dinner with some of our sponsors and drank baileys. I was definitely tipsy as I rode the lift to my cosy hotel room that night. A lovely start.
The next day a coach arrived and took us all to the Ann-arbour hotel which was within close proximity of the theatre. It was gorgeous. Three weeks in a room with an en-suite bathroom, wonderful full breakfast served every morning, internet access and room service. Yet again I felt like I was on holiday. I would have paid but I was being paid. This was the life apart from the fact it was minus something degrees which made for a cold stay. Still the odd serious flurry of snow created a romantic feel.
Whilst in Ann Arbour I purchased my first ipod and downloaded a cast members tunes as at that stage I did not own my own laptop. As I sashayed along the streets of the USA I had Gwen Stefani blaring in my ears:
‘Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock. You’ve got you’re million dollar contract and they’re all waiting for your hot tracks. What are you waiting are you waiting are you waiting for?’
We performed Anthony and Cleopatra and The Tempest in rep for three weeks and whilst we were not acting several events were organised for us. Some were for the benefit of sponsors and I frequently found myself at some dinner or other because the other cast members were performing Julius Caesar. The only other people not in Julius Caesar were much more prestigious than me. Think Harriet Walter, Sir Patrick Stewart. They attended many events but not all. Muggins attended everything. Every tea, every dinner, every concert, every trip. One was amazing. No, make that two. The first was a trip to the ford car manufacturers just outside Detroit. We watched how the cars were made and then went outside to test drive the fastest car I have ever driven round a real assault course. Naturally it was all for Patrick but I was happy to go along for the ride! The second amazing trip was a trip to the super bowl. When I walked behind Patrick into the arena and the entire orchestra and football team cheered us the entire way I really suddenly felt what it must feel like to be a celebrity of his calibre. 'Make it So!'
I enjoyed my hotel room, I enjoyed the evenings I had out with Harriet Walter and Julian Bleach and even on occasion The Rogue. I began to feel sorry for his girlfriend as I watched him down tequilas flanked by teenage American groupies who he followed to frat parties even though he was twice their age. At least I was out of all that. Problem was I was into nothing and there was no point in my getting into anything in America. So although I had a couple of hilarious snogs, mainly I was resolutely single.