Article: Weekend in Tulsa a dream come true

By | March 12, 2010

EMC Ottawa South

EMC Editorial – So, what did you do last weekend? Me? Not much, just flew to Tulsa, OK to dance in my favourite band’s music video.

True story. It was probably one of the most spontaneous decisions I’ve ever made, and quite possibly one of the best. Last Friday, my partner in crime Daniela and I boarded our flight from Ottawa to Tulsa, setting out on an adventure 14 years in the making.

Of course by now, many of my readers may have figured out the addiction I have to traveling to see my favourite band, Hanson. (Yes, Hanson. They’re still around.)

In preparation for the release of their next album, Shout it Out due in stores in June 1, the band was filming a music video in their hometown. They sent out a call to fans and fan club members – of which I am both – for participants. It began as illusive tweets, and cryptic messages, and ended with an announcement just two weeks to the date. We booked our tickets less than 12 hours after receiving the notice.

Flying into Tulsa, I tried to keep my inner 11-year-old sedated. Daniela and I spent years planning on making the trip to Zac, Taylor and Isaac’s hometown. It’s an obligatory pilgrimage for fans, a visit to our very own Graceland. There’s so much to see, like the office of their independent music label, 3CG, or the house they grew up in and have now turned to additional business offices, known as The Moe House. And the many favourite places of theirs scattered throughout the city, which we fans picked up on over 14 years of listening and watching.

The city lights, appearing through our window, gave me an instant shock of energy. No matter what I did to fight it, the child in me awoke and I was giddy like never before.

After the usual rigmarole of landing in an unknown airport, we found ourselves walking into the most beautiful hotel we’d ever seen. And just to make it that much better, the two additional (non-family) members of the band were standing right in front of us.

Before calling it a night, we spent a half hour outside rolling around in the Tulsa grass, staring into the Tulsa sky, and giggling as each car drove past us on the Tulsa streets.

The following morning, we were up and moving in a hurry. It was the morning of the shoot and we had to look just right. The dress code for the 70’s era shoot was nothing like the clothing we’d normally wear, but we did our best to pull off the look in hopes that we would have a shot at being seen in the video.

Before I knew it, we were arriving on set, meeting with staff and being corralled into the casting area. Casting? We hadn’t thought about this part, as the original notice said we ‘may’ appear in the background, ‘if time permits.’ But here we were, waiting to be cast, and being promised a spot by staff amazed at the distance we traveled.

What happened next was kind of a blur, really, but before I knew it, Daniela and I were standing in the street, learning a choreographed dance. And Zac, Taylor and Isaac were learning it too, just steps ahead of us. We were laughing, smiling and listening to a two-minute clip of the new single on a constant repeat. We must have fun through the routine 60 times before we wrapped for the day, and thanks to the repetition I’ll have the steps down forever, it’s a dance I learned for the video, in Tulsa, with Hanson.

With the shoot complete, and our fandom forever entrenched in history, we set off to take in the other Tulsa sights. We saw the Moe House, the 3CG office, and ate in restaurants we knew they’d been to before. Our return flight left the city early Sunday afternoon, and though it was a short trip, it was the perfect glimpse to what that ‘magical’ land holds. Fourteen years after we decided to make the trip, Daniela and I returned with amazing memories, amazing experiences, and a thirst to go back.

So, like I said, my weekend wasn’t that exciting. I just flew to Tulsa to dance in my favourite band’s music video.

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