Monday, December 2, 2013

A Look Ahead - Week 49

Hello Everybody!  Welcome back!  One Big Wedo is on the verge of 8100 page views!  I am blown away that so many folks have discovered and are following the blog.  Thank you!  A special welcome to Malta this week for joining the blog!  Keep spreading the word out there and let's see how big this blog can grow! Are we friends on Facebook yet?  Join me on Facebook at "One Big Wedo - Guero" for all things Grand Wedo!  You won't miss a beat.

This week's blog presents a bit of a challenge as I really don't know what to write about.  Oh dear, a dilemma!  As I review my pages of notes and ideas, I can see that I've managed to incorporate all my topics of desire into my blog effectively.  Wow, how'd that happen?  Don't worry, the next three weeks are already plotted, leaving this week open.  I wanted to do a Flaming Folklorico Part 2, but my party hasn't happened yet.  I'll have to do that in 2014 sometime.  If you're not familiar with what a "Flaming Folklorico" is, refer to week 24's post.  If you want to host a Flaming Folklorico party, send me an email and maybe we can make it happen!  Of course, One Big Wedo will come and serve up the drinks himself.  We can all suffer together.

2014 is right around the corner which means the 2014 season of Herencia Mexicana is at hand.  This week I began an aggressive attack on the 2014 schedule.  Unlike in years past, this year we are practicing and performing right up to the end of the year.  Typically Herencia has taken the holidays off.  So preparations for the new year are happening amongst all the chaos.  And 2014 is shaping up to be a biggie!  Lights, Cameras, Action!  2014 here we come!

In October, we secured a new studio in Covina to practice at!  It has a great hourly rate which provides a huge cost savings.  Now our members in the Los Angeles area have a new home to practice at which is conveniently located near the 10 and 210 freeways.  

Also In October, we learned that a practice location in San Bernardino at the National Orange Show Art Gallery was finally going to happen.  It took us nearly a year to secure the spot.  Thanks to Ishmael Nunez's donation from my Blog Logo Contest winnings, we were able to start up a folklorico program in San Bernardino at our new location!  You can read more about my logo contest on weeks 28 and 36!  We were able to slash our monthly dues in half because of all the cost savings!  That's great news for everyone, we all like saving money!  Now students only pay $20 per month to be part of Herencia.  And we still provide the performing costumes!  That's an incredible deal.  If anyone is searching for a group to belong to, join Herencia Mexicana.  We have a lot of fun together and we're affordable.

In November, we started a Thursday night beginner's group that meets from 7 pm to 9 pm.  On Sundays, we have our performing group rehearsals back to back - first in Covina from 2pm to 4pm and then in San Bernardino from 5pm to 7pm. Busy, busy!  In anticipation of the new year, I've been sending out email notices to our regular show venues and sponsors letting them know we are booking shows and setting up our 2014 calendar.  I've also been scouting new venues to perform at in 2014.  I feel the group is exciting about some of the new performance possibilities!

There are many, many appealing venues out there.  A couple new ones we are looking at are Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain.  Of course, Herencia would also like to participate in The Community Arts Showcase at Disneyland during the summer too.  Our dancers also enjoyed the shows at Olvera Street, The LA County Fair and Riverside's Day of the Dead Festival and Festival of Lights, so we will probably return to those events again.  It also looks like we will be returning to Denver, Colorado in June for another series of shows! Yes, 2014 is shaping up nicely!

In addition to venues, I've been scouting sponsors and writing letters requesting support for advertising and new costumes.  We would like to add the regions of Colima, Michoacan, Yucatan, Aguascalientes and Guerrero to our show repertoire in 2014 which means a lot of new costumes to make.  We need to replace some of our existing costumes too!  It's going to be a year of big investment into costumes.  Let the fundraising begin!  Of course Herencia accepts donations too, big or small - anything helps.  Shoot me an email if you would like to contribute. One area of need is garment bags.

I've also been starting a Facebook Ad campaign to increase group membership.  The group has fluctuated in membership and we would like to have a group with 40 to 60 regular, consistent members.  So I've been busy spreading the word out there.  It seems to be working because we're up! I think the new reduced rate has sparked a lot of interest.  Starting in January, Herencia is going to host some classes for interested dancers to come and try us out.  But there's no need to wait, we practice every week. The best time to start is now.  As I read this week on Facebook, "A year from now you will wish you had started today." So again I say "The best time to start is now", don't delay!

Next on my list of tasks is to print up an official practice schedule for 2014 for both the beginners class and the performance group practices.  We are also ordering standardized group practice shirts and group performance shirts which are worn to all performances.  Richard also has the new Directors Award program which is given to one dancer per year.  The award is given to the dancer of his choice and they receive a Herencia Letterman jacket.

Of course all this is just planning.  It's good to have a plan; however, as I read earlier this week, "A plan is just your wish list"!  That is so true.  And if there is one thing I've learned about folklorico and groups, it's that things rarely ever happen as planned.  Something always changes.  The grey hairs on my chin are proof of that!

So what about the Big Wedo?  What's happening to the blog in 2014?  The blog was a one year weekly commitment.   I've tossed around several ideas, even an official season two of the blog, but I've concluded that there will not be any official season two.  This has been a huge undertaking folks! Much more work than anticipated, but completely worth it. I've enjoyed my time with you.  And I'm not going to let the blog just die!  I've invested too much into it for that to happen.  I'm going to continue writing posts in 2014 but on no set deadline.  The requirement of one a week is too much, especially now with all my added group responsibilities.  So as big things happen or inspiration strikes, I will be writing about it and posting it on the blog.  It's not an official season two, its just updates at random.

My special guest posts never happened.  I approached several people about it and they seemed interested in doing it, but they never followed through.  So I continue to do this work alone.  That's ok, I don't mind.

What about the Wedo dancing?  Yes, I will be dancing in 2014 too.  I have made a commitment to dance another year.  My main focus will remain on Herencia Mexicana, even more so now with all the changes.  Which means I'll probably be cutting back some with other groups.  I say that, but reality will tell the true story if that happens or not.  I enjoy performing, so when opportunities knock, I'm usually quick to say "YES"!  But as Herencia Mexicana grows, I will need to channel my attention on it more so than in the past.  

All the practicing has taken its toll on the body too.  I'm at an all time low weight of 192.  Which is fine, but I feel like I could break cause I am so fragile!  There no meat on these bones.  And where there is, it has shifted to all the wrong places!  I'm approaching 40 people!  For the first time in my life, I actually feel and look my age.  It's kind of a bummer.  The dancing has kept this Wedo moving that's for sure. Even so, I'm feelin it!  Plus, I've noticed the younger generation refers to me as "sir" now.  It's better than "Mame" I suppose, but it makes you feel old. 

It's exciting to see the group growing!  There is a lot of potential for its future.  I'm so honored to be part of it.  Yes indeed, things are looking up for Herencia!

In other news, this week we had our promotional booth for Herencia, sponsored by Jarritos soda!  It was a good event and we gained a lot of exposure and interest.  We may even have a show for May booked from it!  That's always a good thing!  Plus we earned some money for costumes!  Right after the event ended, it was off to LA to buy more material and accessories for upcoming shows.  One big expense was the lace fabric for the replacement of the Veracruz shawls.  I had no idea that "bridal" fabric cost so much.  I found a nice one for $25 a yard! We needed 25 yards so that one was out of the question.  We found another nice one for a bit cheaper.  That's just the cost for the fabric, now comes the cost in sewing.  All this work is for our upcoming shows in Riverside and at Disney.

On Saturday we had a last minute show for Los Angeles area Foster Kids.  It went well and the kids loved it.  You can come on out and see us on Saturday December 14th for the Riverside Festival of Lights at 7 pm sharp on the main stage!  Or you can come on out on December 21st or 22nd to Disney California Adventure for one of our six shows on the Paradise Gardens stage.  These are our last shows for 2013.  Don't worry, Knotts Berry Farm is coming up in the spring!  You won't have to wait too long to see us again!

That's it for this week!  Next weeks blog is called "Viva Mariachi!" Make sure to come back and check it out.  Later folks, Wedo out!

Contact Information for "The Big Wedo":

Google E-mail:
Facebook: One Big Wedo (Guero)
Twitter: Michael Smith @onebigwedo

Contact Information for Ballet Folklorico de Herencia Mexicana:

Richard Solorzano, Director: (909) 201-1957
Facebook: Herencia Mexicana

Note: Looking for your own adventure or journey? Herencia is a great place to find one!  Folklorico lessons and performances are both available. Herencia Mexicana performs for private & public events of all kinds. Book your event today! Herencia Mexicana welcomes new students. No previous folklorico or dance experience required.  All are welcome.



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