Sunday, February 20, 2011

2006 - Losing my International Virginity to NYC

Hi there.......

The other day I was reading some diary posts of when I first became a part of The Ten Tenors, all the way back in 2006.

I thought I would share the first few, including my first real international trip, and my debut gig in Raleigh, Nth Carolina.

Tour Diary
Saturday 28th January
It Begins
      Well, what a start to the day and the tour, I slept in! Yesterday
turned out to be mad rush getting organized to leave. Just as the packing
commenced my computer decided to crack it. As a result I spent 5 painful
hours recovering my hard drive, loading programs and setting up all my
files. I'm pretty sure that was the direct reason I was so tired the night
earlier! Anyway, I made it to the airport to be greeted by family and
friends. A welcoming site! I think the worse part about this trip has
already passed, the Going away. It was tough to leave the only place I
really know, with a bunch of people I've only just met, to begin my journey
of performing to the world. It was made even tougher when Mum started
bursting into tears as I was leaving. I've already decided I like quick
goodbyes. With a bit of luck, hopefully my first tour and my first real big
shot at singing to the people will be successful!
      The boys were very welcoming; advice about the long journey ahead
was the topic of discussion in Qantas Lounge prior to departing. Yes that's
right, the QANTAS LOUNGE! So kind in fact that all us new kids were signed
in to the bar for some complimentary beverages and a meal before leaving.
Very lucky!
      Currently I'm sitting on the plane, 7hrs into the 12hr flight to LA.
According to my screen we've got 4hrs and 53minutes until touchdown. We are
sitting at 37000 feet traveling at 1053km/hr. I wish it were twice that
speed! I have decide to go all natural on this first leg and not subject
myself to the 4 bottles of sleeping tablets Liam's dad kindly prescribed him
to share amongst the boys (His dad is a doctor). To this point I have
watched 2 ½ films, Deep Blue, 40 Year Old Virgin and began to watch The
Exorcism of Emily Rose. Big Mistake! I really don't do Scary Flicks! I
almost started to hyper Ventilate. Outside air temperature is -37 Degrees
Celsius which would explain the fact that my toes are very cold. I had to
ask for an extra pair of Qantas socks! I'm not sure what to do next? I'm
probably going to test out the IPOD and listen to all my concert notes!
Really have to try not to stress and have fun. It's very hard though being
surrounded such amazing musicians. I have so much to learn and explore in
order to catch up. This is definitely one of my main goals for this tour.
Any way I better not bore you any longer! Time for some sleep!
 Sunday 29th January
New York
      Well, according to the date I have given, it should technically be
one day after I departed sunny Brisbane. Not the case in this instant. Due
to the International Time Line, all trips west over the Pacific from
Australia to America actually lose s considerable amount of hours. In Our
Case, we left Brisbane at Midday on Saturday the 28th. After the 12 hour
flight to LA, the 5 to New York and the transfer time included, we arrived
in New York approximately 20hrs from departure! The time in New York was
5pm, but here's the shit bit! It was still Saturday the 28th! Very
disorientating, I look at it as though the trip actually went for 5hrs and I
just vanished off the face of the earth for the other 15hrs. Really sucks
though because energy level has really depleted by the evening, and you have
to try and rejuvenate 2 days in one night! 
      The flight from LA to NY was tough. Very boring, American airlines
aren't like Qantas. Service just isn't as good, and for some reason I had to
keep going to the lavatory (Toilet). It got me wondering though, does the
business really get dumped off the airplane into the sky. At the rate it
gets sucked down the tube upon flushing, you would think so! Poor Americans!

      We arrived at JFK to a nippy chill of 5 Degrees Celsius, it was
quick felt though as the bus was waiting, all set to take us to our
apartments in the City. The traffic was horrendous, peak hour in NY is much
worse than Brisbane. We arrived to our small but comfortable rooms in
anticipation of a well needed rest. The thing is though that outside our
front door was TIMES SQUARE and the biggest Theatre district in the world.
We were staying on Broadway! More neon than you could poke a stick at. It
was amazing! The boys talked our rooms down on the bus as they are quite
tiny and the building is a little run down however the position was perfect.
Tiredness soon vanished and we were out for some Thai food and some happy
snaps. So big and bright it's indescribable, I'll let the pictures do the

Monday 01/02/06
Raleigh, North Carolina
      Well, morning after the first show! It went really well, the fans
went off. I thought nothing could top my only other theatre experience (Les
Mis) but this certainly raised the bar. It was standing ovations all round!
Yahoo, first gig out of the round, now I just have to try and sustain my
voice and perfect it! 7 more shows this week. 
We're in the town of Raleigh, located in the south of North Carolina. The
theatre we're performing at is called The Raleigh Memorial Auditorium,
located just down the road from our motel in the downtown district. The
theatre holds around 3000 people and last night was almost full. It was
extremely exciting walking out on stage to the roar of the crowd, very hard
not to smile! Prior to the show I was less nervous than I thought I would,
however as we began and as I expected I got a terrible bout of old dry
mouth. I started packing it at that point but soon calmed down and it was
ok! First act just flew and before I knew it I was off stage. A few vocal
mishaps but according to people in the crowd you couldn't tell. Second Act
also flew, this was the one I was worried about! I got kinda lost on a
number of occasions but I had to just go with it. It was very funny though.
At one point in Bohemian Rapsody before all the head banging, I was looking
at Drew and singing to my left but he had to alert me my mic was in my right
hand and still at the front. Would have looked quite humorous from the
audience I think, and there were a few bits where I was moving my mouth but
nothing was coming out. Oooops, got lost again. Anyways it was all pretty
minor and very fun! 

The signing after the show was a lot of fun but very draining. Talking to
all the fans and signing autographs seems really fun initially but after
about 100 it really takes it out of you. All the people in the South love to
have a chat and it is hard not to like their accents. They seem to like ours
more though. I had one man shake my hand and not let go for about 2 minutes,
kinda scary. The guys alerted me that he is known as one of the freaks. 
This town is very boring, as were located in the downtown business district
there is nothing to see or do for miles, it's cold and everything is dead.
We hired a car this morning and drove about 20miles to the nearest mall, it
was good to see shops. This would have been the biggest shopping centre I
think I have ever seen. The funny thing is, it too seemed deserted. There
must be a lot of people hiding in the woods. Anyway, I must start getting
ready for the show. I'll write soon when I have something more interesting
to write about, we are here for a week so it probably won't be until after


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kids Need Encouragement!

Today was a day I really enjoyed!

At first I didn't think it was going to be so good....... I approached my car to find my front left tyre was flat, punishment for parking in what I call 'the gravel pit'. A vacant block that has somehow turned into an extra parking lot for residents in my area. We live in quite a built up area so on street parking is often difficult to find. The gravel pit does have it's risks, one of which is random nails left from the construction site next door. This was the cause of my problem. 

After trying my best to simulate Michael Schumachers pit crew in action, I raced to meet a friend for a quiet coffee. We chatted and decided that after the mornings events it was probably about time I had the car in for a wheel alignment and a couple of new tracks. I like it how the initial deflated feeling I had in the morning was replaced by a sense of accomplishment with one of those 'little jobs' out of the way. 

Next on the cards was a trip to my Football club.

Aspley Hornets

Today was Junior sign-on day.

Being Senior Footballers at the club it's important we help out the younger generation of athletes. These young kids progressing through the grades are definitely going to be the future of the club, and the future of football in the area. You never know.......... the next AFL star could have been born at sign-on today.

Although we aren't considered professional players, and we don't get paid millions of dollars, we are still viewed as role models within the local community. Our job today was to assist with the influx of juniors arriving at the club, helping to make the kids and the parents feel welcome. 

As much as I don't like to admit this, I really do enjoy hanging with children. I have a fear that by saying this, friends and family will think I am ready for children. That certainly isn't the case, but what I do enjoy is that kids tend to make you forget about a lot of other things in life. They don't seem to carry the worries or stresses that adults (me) seem to think about on a daily basis. All they are really concerned about is having fun. 

Kicking the football = Having fun!!

It was such a great day to kick the football, the sun was shining and there was people everywhere running around the field. The perspiration was certainly flowing. I met one young chap who was only 9 years old, he showed some really good potential as a future footballer. From an outsider looking in, he seemed to have such a passion for the game, running around, kicking goals, tackling his mates, and having a great time. It wasn't until I had a chat to his dad that I found out the young boy was actually suffering from a lack of confidence. His dad wasn't sure if he was going to sign up for another season.

I looked at this young kid and thought, NO WAY. There was obviously something stopping him from wanting to continue playing. I could see how much he loved what he was doing. Maybe another kid told him he wasn't good enough?........ Maybe he had some bad experiences playing a game or training?...... Or maybe he just needed a little bit more attention?...... I wanted to make sure that by the time he left the club today he had a renewed confidence in himself and his ability to keep playing football. 

We kicked the footy in the sun for quite some time, I asked him about his favorite team, his favorite players, what position he liked to play, all of which I thought might re-ignite the passion inside him to keep playing. I gave him lots of encouragement and spoke about the great things you can achieve by being involved with a sporting team.

I hope he left the club feeling good about himself, cause he sure had some potential.

I myself walked away from today thinking a) kids do just want to have fun, but b) kids also have personal battles that need to be fought whilst growing up. No matter how old they are, what they enjoy doing, or what they are striving to achieve, they all need encouragement.

I hope playing my role and lending some advice as a senior footballer worked!

See you around the club little mate!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Well...... Where to start??

G'day and welcome seems like a nice opening.

As you may have gathered, this is my first ever blog. Since establishing this site a couple of days ago I have had a number of thoughts (way too many actually) running through my head as to where I should go with it. What should I write about first?? My experiences at training this week, my day at work, reminisce about travel adventures I have had in the past, or talk about the enormity of the weather event (Cyclone Yasi) that is about to cross the North Queensland coastline??? Decisions.......Decisions

I've decided that although those topics are important, I am going to start by letting it all flow out randomly. I'm a pretty structured kind of guy and generally I over think things a lot, so I think this will be good for me.

My name is Jeff (call me Teals, Teally, JT) don't mind at all. I am 26 years old and I live in beautiful Brisbane, Australia. It really is a magnificent city and I feel lucky to call it home everyday.

I have a lifelong passion for Health and Fitness, training and playing football. Sport was by far the biggest part of my life as a kid, and continued to be so moving through my teenage years and into adulthood. I love running, swimming, tennis, golf, any sport with a ball, and of course my biggest love is AFL. I've played AFL (Australian Rules Football) since I was 5 and was very fortunate to succeed at a fairly high level, with my biggest achievement being representing my state through to U/18's. My early 20's were an interesting period, that also became an opportunistic period.

I continued to exercise a lot but veered away from football and learnt to sing in front of people (A lifelong fear). A polar opposite to the hard physical game of football. Within a year of lessons and gaining experience I quickly progressed into my first ever professional role in an Australian group called 'The Ten Tenors', crazy huh. I still don't believe it happened.

Anyhow...... So I was very lucky to achieve some amazing things with that group and I will certainly have memories that will last a life time from that whole experience. But back to the now, as I said a few moments ago I'm back playing football in the North Eastern AFL conference. Playing for a club called Aspley Hornets. A great club with a great deal of young kids running around the paddock making me feel like an 18yr old again.

I work for a company called 'Arcadian Nutraceuticals' and I represent a brand called 'Recoverye21' - A little bit of advice for the future........ Check out our products.... They will help you feel like a different person!!!!

Have a great night folks!!