Friday, February 21, 2014

The Top Ten Moments of the Olivia Caribbean Equality and Leadership Cruise -- Part 2!

Pledge today! 5% of proceeds after goal go to GLAAD! 

#5 Suzanne Westenhoefer and Judy Gold.
The last time we hung out with a comedian, it was Lisa Lampanelli. She called us a dyke band right
Suzanne & Judy
into the mic to a full house at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York City ("Let's hear it for the dyke band," were her exact words).

At the time, we didn't really "identify" as a dyke band. I mean...I do chuckle as I type that. We certainly knew we were a band with a few dykes in it. We just didn't realize dyke band was a genre of music until the soft spoken Lisa Lamapanelli pointed it out to us in front of a live studio audience.

We were young. Clearly. Maybe a little naive. And a lotta sensitive. NO DOUBT.

Our bass player at the time dove under the front row of tables, and Dena fell backward in her drum throne.

And so, conicidentally or not, we never double billed with comedians after that.

Boy, am I glad we lifted the ban on spending time with comedians!

Antigone Rising & Suzanne Westenhoefer
We had SO MUCH FUN hanging out with Suzanne Westenhoefer and Judy Gold. Our band basically stalked them around the ship. They each did two shows on their respective nights. We went to both shows, both nights. We would watch their group in the main dining room every single night and wonder what it was like to sit at their table. And on a few nights, we actually hung out with them in the sports bar and had drinks, so we felt complete. And while they were both hilariously funny, neither one of them ever referred to us as a dyke band. At least not into a microphone. Amazing what happens when you're out and actually comfortable in your own skin...and not hanging around Lisa Lampanelli.
Antigone Rising, Judy Gold & Dena's nose

For the record, Dena + Judy Gold = Things flying out of Dena's nose 100% guaranteed.

#4 Elyse Keaton.
So. Elyse Keaton was on the boat. And everyone struggled not to stare at her. It's impossible to quantitatively measure the amount of time I spent gazing at Meredith Baxter on my television screen. So it's super weird to have her floating around the lido deck, especially when you're drinking frozen rum cocktails with umbrellas in them.

I loved Family (I really believed I was Buddy). And I loved Family Ties (obv, who didn't).

There is one thing more weird than having Meredith Baxter walk past you on the Lido Deck while you sip frozen rum cocktails.  It's when Meredith Baxter sits next to you in the Vista Lounge to watch the afternoon viewing of 'Edie & Thea,' the documentary that basically led to the death of DOMA.

And the weirdest thing of all is when you cry with Meredith Baxter while watching the movie, and she offers you a tissue.

That happened. To me. A coupla weeks ago. On the cruise. Whoa. That was weird.

Hangin' in the Vista Lounge with the incomparable Meredith Baxter. Most Amazing Photo
Bomb Ever Award goes to Judy Gold...

This entry was longer than intended. Which means we will need a PART 3 for me to finish up The Top Ten Moments of the Olivia Caribbean Equality and Leadership Cruise! So, until next week....


 5% proceeds after goal go to GLAAD
5% proceeds after goal go to GLAAD!

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Top 10 Moments of the Olivia Caribbean Equality and Leadership Cruise -- PART 1!

Help Antigone Rising Tour and Record in 2014! 

Antigone Rising spent the last week aboard Olivia Travel's Caribbean Equality and Leadership Cruise. I suspected when we climbed aboard it was going to be a career highlight for us. We have been blessed as a band to be handed some seriously major perks: opening for The Stones and The Allmans, traveling to Israel and the West Bank via the US Gov't., and now this past week on board a ship with some of the most influential women of the 21st century, including Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, Maya Angelou, Indigo Girls, and the list goes on.

So I have compiled a Top 10 list from the event. Fortunately, much of the week was captured by photo or video! So without further ado, I bring you the highlights:

#10: Jammin' with Vickie Shaw! 
Comedian, Vickie Shaw, joined us on stage one night. Fortunately it was caught on video, because words could not possibly describe. Just hit play:

#9: Towel Origami
I did not know towel origami existed until we returned to our cabin every single night of the cruise to the most interesting designs! I airlifted these photos from  Olivia's Eastern Caribbean Cruise 2014 Facebook page. 

Photo credit: Sue Meyers

Photo credit: Sue Meyers

#8: Amy Ray from Indigo Girls at our first show
Whenever you are on board a ship with the Indigo Girls, you secretly hope they will come out to your show. Or not so secretly hope it. And you also hope their amazing guitar technician, Sulli, will hang out as well. Fortunately, on Super Bowl Sunday, Sulli and Amy did not disappoint:

Amy Ray from The Indigo Girls at our show on Super Bowl Sunday 2014!

IGs guitar tech, Sulli! We promised Amy we would not 'poach' Sulli,
so long as Amy would not 'poach' our Tony.

#7: Mona Lisa Breakfasts
Aboard Holland America's Ms. Westerdam is the nicest group of people working to make your week extremely pleasant. Our number one favorite employee aboard the boat was the ever friendly morning chef, Mona Lisa. On day one, she looked up at us and said, "you're tHE BAND!!!!!!"

Yes, Mona Lisa. We are the band! Thank you for noticing!

"I play guitar just like all of you," Mona Lisa told us. She was so sweet and friendly every single morning. She accommodated all of our various egg needs - from hard boiled to over easy. And she made us feel right at home. Mona Lisa, thanks for making our trip so special:

Antigone Rising with Mona Lisa aboard the Ms. Westerdam! 

#6: Singing show tunes with Elizabeth Birch
It turns out the most beautiful place on Earth is Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. It is a private island owned or rented by cruise lines - I couldn't completely follow it - but basically our cruise ship rolled in, and we were the only people inhabiting this beautiful swath of beach for the entire afternoon. Olivia Travel threw a party for all the artists and guest speakers aboard the boat, so we spent the afternoon floating in the caribbean with women like Edie Windsor, Elizabeth Birch (former CEO of HRC) and Kate Kendal (President of NCLR).

Intelligent conversation with influential power players turns to Broadway Show tunes on the first deck of the Olivia Cabana, with your hosts - Dena Tauriello, Kristen Ellis-Henderson and.....Elizabeth Birch? An unlikely threesome, we know, but the chemistry was undeniable as we sang songs from Blood Brothers to Pippin with some Ann Murray sprinkled in!

Of course, we lived the moment rather than captured it on film. So you must use your imaginations to picture it. We were actually wearing bikinis and holding drinks in coconuts with umbrellas as stirrers, but you get the point with the above doctored image and we don't have to be reminded how bad we looked in our bikins.

And now meet Elizabeth Birch via video. We think she'd make a fine addition to the band. Don't you agree?

Stay tuned for highlights 1 through 5 here at "Hangin' With Hendo" next week!

Happy Valentines Day!