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BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Tuacahn's MARY POPPINS - It's the Final Countdown

October 24
7:48 AM 2013

Well gang we have reached the final week here at Tuacahn. It's kind of surreal to think that in five short days this whole experience will be coming to an end. Now you would think that I have done about everything I could possibly do in this lovely town, after all we have been here for, oh, 7 months. Well that is not the case, you see the Grand Canyon is about 3 hours away so a few of us decided why not take a quick road trip there and back. So my friends Nicole, Michael, Clay, and I hopped in the company van and made our way out to the North Rim for some of the most spectacular sights we have encountered on our stay here. I knew it would be about a three-hour trip so again I had to set my alarm for the lovely hour of 6:45 am so that I could take care of my dog, Sara, before I made the trek to Arizona. As I rode my moped over to the apartments in 45-degree weather all I could think of was sleep and a heater but I finally made it there where my friends suggested we make a quick trip to Starbucks before we set off on adventure. Sounds good to me!!!

As we drove from Utah to Arizona most of the trip was spent reminiscing about our time here and how lucky we have been to have this time together as a group and all of the friends we have made. As we got closer and closer to our destination we noticed something we had not seen in quite some time...snow. Oh how none of us have missed it and none of us are looking forward to dealing with it once we get back. However there was something peaceful and beautiful about this snow so our feelings were put at ease; the way it covered the pine trees, the fact that is was pure white snow, and the fact that is wasn't covered in dirt and mud like the snow we know so well in the city. After taking it we continued our way to the North Rim.

Pulling up was quite a spectacular sight. You keep asking yourself, "So when are we going to see it?" "Will we know it when we see it", "Is it really as big as they say?" and then BAM it's there and your jaw hits the floor and it is something that sadly pictures truly can't capture, but you do your best to take as many as possible. For anyone who hasn't been to the Grand Canyon, it is massive. It almost looks like a painting and you think you see the end of it but then it just keeps going and going and going. As we exited the van and made our way to the entrance the anticipation kept growing between us all, we were like school kids on a field trip. Before we made our way to the entrance we stopped into the information center to get our bearings of where we were and where we were headed. Now since we only had a limited time to spend, as we had a show later that night, we opted to just take walks along the perimeter as opposed to the actual hikes up and down the canyon.

Walking along The Edge of the canyon is exhilarating and somewhat scary all rolled into one. For one the scene is breathtaking and two, you can't see the bottom. It's not treacherous to do but there are moments when you think wow, there isn't much here to keep me from going over The Edge. Again the guy with the fear of heights was sweating a bit. We walked, we climbed, we took pictures. The air was clean, the air was clear, and the air was as perfect as it could be. It's funny to think next week I will be pining for this as I make my way down 8th avenue. Once we took in all we could there was a quick stop into the gift show, yup even the National Parks get you there, and then we were back on the road to get back home just in time to take Sara out for a walk and a quick nap for myself. Even though the whole experience was a whirlwind I am so glad I did it and I am so glad I got to share it with good friends.

In other news we had ourselves a little Halloween party being that it is the season. It was quite the sight: Sexy super-heroes, Mouseketeers, and maybe a zombie or two. After the show we rushed to prep our costumes, put on make-up, and finish any last minute changes. You would think that as actors the last thing we want to do is dress up, especially since we just spent almost 3 hours changing clothes, but everyone was into it from the cast to the crew. It was a nice way to end the day and just another way for us to unwind while we finish up our last week here in Utah.

A zombie and his sister-wive

Pebbles and Bam-Bam

The Sexy Justice League always get their men.

Sexy Super-Heroes

But first some natural spring water before we go

Saying goodbye to the North Rim

Nicole and I taking in the sights

Taking it all in

Nicole is all smiles

Michael and Clay making their way up the Canyon

The view is spectacular

Michael McGurk, Clay Stefanki, Nicole Powell, and myself

Don't put your hand in there Michael

Who's the leader of the club...

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Guest Blogger: Jesse Swimm Jesse, has spent the last 20 years working extensively throughout New York, Nationally, and Internationally. He was Action in Broadway choreographer Joey McKneely's hit international production of "West Side Story". Jesse was also a member of the European tours of "A Chorus Line" and "Grease" for which he was the dance captain and set over 5 companies throughout Europe. Other productions include “High Button Shoes” at the Tony Award winning theatre The Goodspeed Opera House, “Swing”, “Beauty and the Beast”, "Footloose", "Singin' in the Rain", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Anything Goes", "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown", multiple productions of "A Chorus Line", numerous industrials and a few years at the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. Jesse also completed the role of Bobby in a newly revised version of Kander and Ebb’s “The Rink” at The Cape Playhouse starring Leslie Uggams and was in China for the Macau International Music Festival in “Guys and Dolls”. Jesse was the Dance Captain/Swing on the Cameron Mackintosh/Trevor Nunn/Matthew Bourne National Tour of “My Fair Lady” direct from London’s National Theatre in the West End. Most recently Jesse was a part of the 1st National Tour (original cast) and closing Broadway company of Mary Poppins where he understudied and performed the role Bert as well as the US regional premiere of Mary Poppins at the Tuacahn Amphitheater in the role of Bert. Currently Jesse is playing the role of Nachum the Beggar at the Tony Award winning Goodspeed Opera House.

Jesse has also worked with such legendary Broadway director/choreographer/producers as Cameron Mackintosh, Trevor Nunn, Matthew Bourne, David Marquez, Tony Award Winner Andy Blankenbeuhler, Tony Award nominee Lara Teeter, Michael Butler, and Nightmare Creations duo Melissa Williams and Carla Kama who are choreographers for international music sensation Prince. Jesse, a California State University of Fullerton alumnus, is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. He is also the proud dad of a rescue dog, and encourages everyone to open their homes to a four-legged friend.