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Sunday, June 3, 2012

A recap of Oz-tastic proportions!

Greetings, ye weary blog travelers!

Me and Gregory Maguire!!!!!!
I write to you while sprawled on a fluffy king-sized bed at the Craftsman hotel in Chittenango, NY, watching The Notebook on ABC Family, because that movie never gets old -- having just wrapped an unforgettable long-weekend of appearances, performances and book sales at the 34th annual OZ-STRAVAGANZA FESTIVAL!

Friends, it's been a total hoot! I've met astoundingly wonderful people -- from totally cool fellow self-published authors to Margaret Pellegrini, one of the original munchkins from MGM's The Wizard of Oz to the one and only Gregory Maguire (LIFE = COMPLETE) to Broadway legend (original Wiz in The Wiz) / scholar / philosopher / man-candy André De Shields (LIFE = DOUBLY COMPLETE).

What an incredible program of events! This weekend I had the privilege not only to be able to hear my fellow authors and actors speak eloquently about their work (and, in the case of Mr. De Shields, perform from The Wiz in his *original, skin-tight Wiz costume*) (I'm telling you, man candy), but I've also had the chance to chat, mingle and make incredible friends.

Now excuse me while I brag about it for a quick sec.

Presenting,

SHAMELESS BRAGGING: A PHOTO AND VIDEO ESSAY

Friday began with a book-signing, during which I sold books through the aid of a high-budget book display.

A couple hours later we went to the Chittenango high school auditorium where I watched, in awe, as Gregory Maguire spoke about Wicked and his writing process (PANTS = PEED), during which he was hilarious, charming and brilliant. He even sang a brief excerpt from "The Wizard and I" to demonstrate the dramatic heft achievable through musical theater.

Brilliant presentation, bad photography
Then we ate fried foods together (ADULT DIAPER = SOMEBODY CHANGE ME).

I've got the crazy eyes
At the restaurant after dessert, Gregory appealed to André De Shields to sing something impromptu, so he serenaded all of us at dinner and it was the most amazing thing ever. (SERIOUSLY I NEED ANOTHER ADULT DIAPER.) I don't have a photo of that moment, but here's one of me and André from earlier in the day, after we chatted about Capricorns and Tauruses and how he and I are the perfect astrological match:

André just gets me
SATURDAY

The next day I had the honor of becoming my own human-looking float in a spiffy canary yellow Volkswagen convertible in the Oz-stravaganza parade! I documented the experience through some video clips, which exhibit great journalistic integrity:






After the parade, I went back to my author booth! There I sold books and ate a hot dog, while André De Shields took photos with some of the original munchkins from The Wizard of Oz (video clip below!).




Then I sold a book and somebody asked that I draw a picture in it, so this is what I did:


In the evening, I watched André give a heart-stopping performance and speak about his experience in The Wiz -- and how it should be included in, rather than marginalized from, the Oz conversation. Below is a clip from his second song, "Believe" from The Wiz.




SUNDAY

Today, the final day of the festival, I put a few finishing touches on my book display:


An hour or two later, and I was completely sold out! I'm telling you: the banana works.

And that, my friends, completes the essay!

I'll be sure to post more thoughts/reflections soon! But in the meantime, I'm off to the closing cast party/dinner. Ta-ta for now!

Love,
Felicia

8 comments:

  1. I want a flying pony witch sketch in my book!

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  2. Dear Felicia, I love the blog, and the banana!!!! I was so happy to be able to hear you sing, and wish I could of heard so much more from you. You are a joy, and an amazing talent. I hope to be able to see you again next year, banana and all!!! Colleen Baldwin

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  3. Felicia, How great it was to have met you at this year's OZ-Stravaganza. I was so thrilled to hear you sing, and wished I could have heard so much more. You are a true talent. I can't wait to read your book, and I look forward to bigger and better things next year. I can't wait!!! Always, Colleen Baldwin

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  4. I wish I could have experienced this wonderful event! Sounds as if a great time was had by all the Oz enthusiasts. Way to go, Felicia Ricci! Bananas and young green women with AMAZING vocal abilities rule!!!

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  5. Felicia, it was so wonderful to meet you this weekend! My only regret is not getting a picture with you! You did amazing singing For Good with the girl from Chittenango! I feel a personal connection to that song because it always makes me think of my aunt who passed away from breast cancer and how I am who I am because of her being a part of my life. It always makes me think of her in a good way! So it made me smile to hear it sang this weekend, especially by you! You were amazing and so sweet to talk to! Thanks for sharing, but I wish your videos worked! They won't play!

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  6. It was so amazing to meet you!!! My sister (Heaven, if you remember) was in absolute AWE - the only thing I wish I'd done was get a picture of her with you, she'd have been thrilled! Heaven made me come home straight away and watch Wicked as I'd never seen it before. Love!!! She's upstairs reading your book as I type. Can't wait to read it when she's finished.
    Shannon Brade

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  7. felicia,

    thanks for doodling the flying horse for me! who knows, maybe it will inspire sometime to write an oz story....

    you can check out my oz blog at ozmapolitan.wordpress.com. i'll be in touch about the interview!

    ozzily yours,

    blair

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  8. Felicia- Can't say enough about how GREAT it was to have you. Thanks so much for joining our party. You added to the event in ways we will be talking about for a long time...probably until you come back next year (Bring your boyfriend and make it a vacation, will you?!?)

    Thanks for just being you- a lovely and approachable star in the making!

    Marc

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