It's been quite a long time (so long that it's almost embarrassing) since I've been able to sit down and write something here. Long story short, life threw me a couple big curve balls, and then with the holidays and catching the worst cold I've had in forever, it was just a lost cause as far as finding time to write! But here I am, happy to be back with one of my favorite things to share with you.
I'm pretty sure that the pictures for this post probably won't be too exciting for anyone but me, but I'm still excited to share them with you because they are about Disney, albeit a part of Disney that most people don't know anything about: Flashback! It's the annual production put on by groups of Cast Members from throughout the Disneyland Resort to raise money for the benefit of local charities. Basically all of the different departments at The Resort are grouped into teams, and each team puts together a "mini-musical" of sorts. It was one of my favorite things to be a part of because you meet people from all over the entire resort. It's an experience filled with amazing friendships and awesome memories.
Here's a great little video that Disney Parks posted on YouTube last year around Flashback time:
The show is performed in the Hyperion Theater in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot at Disney California Adventure Park, which being a true Disney nerd and having a love of performing, is such an awesome stage to get to perform on, plus (and most importantly) and all the proceeds from ticket sales go to local charities and the Cast Members VoluntEARS hours go to the Disney VOluntEARS program. The very first Flashback started in 1998 and was held in the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland Park, which is a much smaller stage, to say the least!
Each year there is a theme chosen to help coordinate all the teams shows. Leadership teams are formed from Cast Members who write the scripts and pick music, come up with choreography and direct the casts in rehearsals. The last year that I participated, the theme was "Flashback On Broadway", and our team's show was Twilight Zone: The Musical.
Rehearsals were held nightly in the rehearsal halls; Monday-Thursday from about 8:30-11:30pm. Keep in mind, this was all volunteer time, and for me and the others, was usually after a long day including school and a working a shift in The Parks.
Before performance night, we'd have a "play day," where we would get to take the kids that are a part of the charities benefiting from Flashback that year, into The Parks for a day of fun. That was always a fantastic time because for most of the kids, it was their first time at Disneyland! Getting to experience the magic through their eyes was priceless!
On performance we have a panel of judges who determines which team has the most impressive production in terms of theming, choreography, vocal performance, and overall entertainment value. My last year we did really well, and it was by far one of my favorite shows I've ever been a part of.
My character's name was Lola; I was basically a city-witch type character who placed a curse upon a man so that throughout his day everyone would spontaneously break out into song and dance.
This was one of my all-time favorite experiences while working for Disney. Having the opportunity to be a part of raising a whole lot of money for places like the Boys & Girls Club of Anaheim, The United Way, and Special Olympics Orange County was such an honor, and doing it in such a fun place with some of the most awesome people I've ever met was absolutely amazing! Even today, I still try to make it to the show if I can, because I know how much hard work, dedication and love goes into each show.
In fact, it's that time of year again! The Flashback Kick-off was Monday night and Disneyland Resort Cast Members have begun rehearsals for this year's Flashback, and ticket pre-sales are already underway. One of the friends I made back in my Flashback days, Binh, has been the highest ticket seller for this event for the past two years, and she'd love to go for a three-peat as the top ticket seller this year, too! But, she needs our help in selling Flashback pre-sale tickets! Here is all the information you might need to know:
Show dates & times: Wednesday, March 7th & Thursday, March 8th at 8:00pm
Location: The Hyperion Theater inside of Disney California Adventure Park
Ticket Prices: $20 - Orchestra, $16 - Mezzanine, and $11 - Balcony
When ticket money is due: Wednesday, January 18th
The Charities benefiting from your ticket purchases: Orangewood Children's Foundation and Halcyon Anaheim Interfaith Homeless Shelter (they are pretty awesome charities, check them out!). This year's theme is "Flashback at Play"! If you're interested but need help telling your friends/family/date what Flashback is about so you can convince them to come with you, they have a website you can check out and share.
Also, keep in mind that if you're unable to attend you can still donate to a ticket and contribute to two great local charities!
If you're interested in attending or supporting flashback, connect with me on twitter (@amyululani) and I can get you connected with my friend Binh to make that happen.
So there you have it! One of my favorite experiences from my Cast Member days and my favorite thing for this post. I want to wish the 2012 Cast and Production Team all the best as you prepare for this year's show, and as they say on stage, break a leg!