Monday, August 13, 2012

London 2012 and Me

Y'all, I have been seriously MIA for the last 5 months or so.  My life has been crazy to say the least.  I'm sure you all know that I was one of the thousands of people chosen to take part in the Opening Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  That is where I have disappeared to, only to return mostly unscathed and with memories to last a lifetime.  I mean, its not every day you can say you lived in that city when the Olympics took place and not only am I lucky enough to say that, but I can say I was a part of it.

I spent from April to July rehearsing anywhere from 5 hours after work to 12 hours a day, it was mental.  We started this journey in a film studio over in Bromley-by-Bow where we danced, danced, danced our asses off.  From there we moved to the EVER-SO-GLAM car park in Dagenham.  Have you ever been to Daggers? Don't go, there is no reason ever to go out there.  I spent about 1.5 months in a car park in hot weather but mostly rain and wind.  In June we moved...I got off the Tube in Stratford, walked through Westfield Shopping Centre and came across this...

Holy shit!!! I'm going to be performing there?!?!  Indeed I was.  I spent a little over a month again mostly in the rain rehearsing at Olympic Stadium. It was unreal.  I worked with Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later...fame) as our director. You might be thinking Mr. Big-Wig Hollywood Winning Director, how often was he there?  I think he was there all but 2 of my 100+ rehearsals.  He is the most amazingly generous and kind man ever...and what an experience to be able to speak to him and hear his visions and all that jazz.  Holy, a little girl from Norwell, Massachusetts was going to be a part of the biggest show on Earth (no, not the circus...but at times it felt like it.)

The 27th of July arrived and this is how I was feeling...

This was is, what we've all worked so hard for.  80,000 people would fill that big bowl behind me and some 2-4 billion people would be tuning in to watch.  Wait, what?!?!  

Meanwhile, 1.5 miles from the stadium we were all in our costumes waiting to be called for the show to start.  At 20:12pm (that's 8:20pm non military time) the pre-show would begin and we would start to make our way down to the main event.  

I wish I could describe everything, but this post would be WAY too long.  But what I can tell you is that waiting down in our voms before we went on was the most outrageous and exiting moment.  I'm an actress, I have been performing most of my life whether its been in dance recitals or in shows. Those moments when you are waiting in the wing before you head on stage for the first time there is so much going through you.  I had butterflies, I must have told my "bed buddies" I needed to pee at least 10 times, I was so nervous but mostly I was so full of excitement and energy.  I was going to be in the Olympics!  

God Save the Queen was being sung around the time of the above photo.  Right after that it was time to push that bed and showtime! One of the girls told me to leave one of my inner ears out as I enter the stadium to take in the crowd.  The sound of 80,000 people waiting to see whats going to happen next is unlike anything you will ever know unless you've been there.  I keep saying it, and I kept saying it that entire week, but Holy Shit Y'all!!!! 

We danced, we pushed beds, we zombied and we curtsied to the Queen! I was AMAZING!!!! I was sweaty and tired and on the biggest high of my life.  I was in the Motherf*cking Olympics!

On my walk back after passing all the athletes (I saw Usain Bolt!) I took this last photo.

It was a bittersweet moment.  This place had pretty much been my home for the last month and like that it was all over.  This was our final goodbye.  I posted it on my Facebook and immediately my mom commented on it saying congratulations and this would be a memory to keep forever.  My response...Mommy, I was in the Olympics!!!

There you have it, that's where I have been these last months.


  1. Jean, that is so amazing. And BTW you look wonderful as a nurse!!

  2. That is so freaking awesome!! What an amazing experience for you to treasure. Glad to see you back too!

  3. wow,jean you are so talented :)

  4. Thank you ladies for all your kind words! It means so much to :)