Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Live Show By the Kos

Black=Ally, Red=Josh

Hey this is Ally, not the amazing Josh who writes so much better than I do. I won't be on as much as Josh, but only once in a while, so don't get sick of me yet. A little introduction about myself? Age 14, loving art and writing and AIO, missing Mitch (who needs him?), disliking Emily Jones (She grows on me), and just wanting to go in the Imagination Station for an adventure. I am a much more interesting person than I seem, I'm told (sometimes...) but without further ado, I will stop talking about myself and moving on. 

So you all know that in June, Odyssey had their 25th Birthday Bash in Dallas!!! Thankfully, we got the opportunity to go for the first time (thanks to our parents) and met so many amazing people! It was so great, hearing more about the actors even though we knew what their answers would be, and just seeing them interact with each other, having a blast! Plus I drew a picture (that I wanted to get signed for memories) down below! 

The day before the actual Live Show, Chris Anthony, Katie Leigh, Zach Callison, and Will Ryan were going to be at the Mardell Christian Bookstore, being interviewed by KCBI (Dallas Christian Radio Station). Our family got there way early to record our "Get in the Show" auditions, plus getting there before any big crowds to look around, which was a very smart idea! It was our pleasure to meet and talk with some writers, producers, and so on! And also getting to hang a little with Kevin and Garrett (aka Ethan Daniels and Aaron Wiley from "The Ceiling Fan Podcast"), which was VERY cool! And we both won two VIP tickets each from a drawing, getting the opportunity for Josh to ask Paul McCusker (and me to ask Katie Leigh) a question. Later, we got to take a picture with the actors (totally like "AAAHHHHHH THIS IS SWEET!!!" right there)! 

I loved the Mardel's event because it was so much more intimate that it felt like a family reunion. A hundred people or so who share a similar love for Adventures in Odyssey, the greatest radio show in the entire world, gathered together. So far, the trip in Dallas had not been amazing. The weather was in the 90s and I had a headache; not the best position to be at the Adventures in Odyssey Live Show. Fortunately, God happened to be working that day (in fact, his office hours happen to be 24/7/365)) and honestly, as soon as I saw Brock and Paul McCusker setting up for the event, my headache went away. Snap. Just like that. Meeting the voices you get to hear every week online and on your CD player/radio was one of the most fantastic experiences I've ever had. Brock acted like we had been friends forever, plus he signed my Quest for Truth books and recommended them to me, besides talking with me about Odyssey! (You heard it here first; powerhouse author Brock Eastman has endorsed the Quest for Truth books. I'm reading them right now and will review them when I'm done!) Intern Erin did a great job photographing and keeping the Get in the Show line (I audtioned for fun; I'll post it later) going. I did ask Paul McCusker if there was any info he could give out on Album 56, but as usual, he gave one of his cagey answers like he does with Dave Arnold every Producers' Podcast. xD Oh well. 

We're not Odyssey nerds, we're Odysey gangstas.
The interview with Chris, Katie, Zach, and Will was not an interview; it was a large conversation. I almost felt bad for the interviewer as the actors (and the audience) kept going off topic...but that's what happens when you get to meet for the first or third time. The actors are so warm and personable that it's hard not to like them. Since we won VIP tickets, we were able to take a picture with the actors, and it was really neat hearing Katie Leigh say, "Hey, that's a great picture? What's your name?" even though Ally drew the picture. Will Ryan asked me what my name was, and I told him, to which he answered by replying, "Joss. Wow, don't hear too many of those." That's what happens when you introduce yourself and a hundred people are talking at the same time. One of the most touching moments was when a father won twice, and said he was so excited because he gave the first two tickets away to a family of four, and he won twice, so their whole family could go! Chris spoke about how that was a perfect example of why she loved the Odyssey community (by the way, she was the funniest part of Friday, cracking jokes and cracks a mile a minute). Meeting up with the Ceiling Fan guys (Kevin McCreary and what's his name...oh yeah, Garrett Vandenburg :) was also amazing because we got to meet them for the first time! Their podcast is the funniest Odyssey podcast on the airwaves today and it was so nice to meet them in person, joke around with them, and take a couple pictures (NOTE: If any gang members do see those pictures, we didn't know they were gang signs. Really.) I also had the chance to meet a mom from Pleasanton, in the same region we live in , and she was amazed that THERE WERE ACTUALLY OTHER ASIAN FANS WHO LISTEN TO ODYSSEY. So if you're Asian, and you listen to Odyssey, you're not alone, and besides, race doesn't matter, which we learned in Not One of Us (Album 9: Just in Time). But finally, the coolest part of Mardel's was walking up to the stage after I won. My mom told me that as I walked up, someone said, "Hey, isn't that the Odyssey Nerd?" Yes, yes it was!!!!! :D

The Live Show was at Irving Bible Church, and I gotta say that church was HUGE. Now I go to church in Berkeley, which could probably fit in one of the rooms or so! But it was very impressive and really pretty. To be honest for me, it didn't feel like I was in a church. It felt like I was in like an auditorium or theater, because of the audience size, and just the "big" feel. Since we won VIP tickets, we got to sit in the, well, VIP section. And guess who Josh sat next to! Someone who used to be a regular on Odyssey, with a super long last name, and  guest starred in Album 50. It was none other than Genesis Mullens Long or known as Lucy Cunningham-Schultz Davis! Josh had the opportunity to chat with her before the show, which is VERY cool! Soon, the actors came out, smiling and waving, Chris shooting out questions for the crowd, as bubbly as ever! Then it started!

QUICK PLUG FOR IRVING BIBLE CHURCH: We went on Sunday, and the message was absolutely captivating. God spoke through to me through that sermon as clearly as he does to Katie Leigh through those scripts. If you're ever in the area, check that church out; they also are very warm and friendly.

We were able to sit in the third row thanks to our VIP tickets, and I sat next to a woman and her young daughter. Wait a minute, I said to myself, she looks familiar. No, no...that can't be...IS THAT GENNI LONG? So, of course, I did the logical thing and waited to hear her voice. "Dana, look over there, it's Phil Lollar on the screen." NO WAY. NO NO NO WAY. So, of course, I took the blunt course and asked, "Excuse me, are you Genni Long?" It was, and it was wonderful getting the chance to meet, sign, take pictures, talk, and watch the show with her and her adorable daughter Dana. It was amazing looking around you and seeing the Arnold family, the Callison family, and the members of famous Odyssey crew families! The Live Show was I Slap Floor (Album 34: In Your Wildest Dreams): The Sequel basically, and it was had a Ceiling Fan aspect in that it made fun of itself, which was hilarious. 

Personally, I did like the show, the actors and humor was great. It was indeed amazing to see all the action live, plus Dave Arnold and his son doing foley. But it just seemed... well the storyline seemed so kid like. Like it's been since Album 51. Synopsis: Penny needs inspiration, Connie and her go into the Imagination Station. But then Wootons bad guy from the Kids Radio airing goes with them and ruins all the places where theres beauty, and Eugene and Matthew need to fix how they can stop this bad guy, plus Jason is just wandering around for no particular reason. After all the chaos, and Whit's End almost dying, someone saves the day and they all leave. I still enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, yet I wished for something that us older Odyssey fans could also enjoy without feeling like this is for little kids. 

After the show was over, we then proceeded to a turnstile in the spirit of Disneyland, and also in the spirit of Disneyland, we waited 2 1/2 hours to meet the Odyssey actors. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. As soon as they saw Ally's picture, they were excited to see their character's face handdrawn; the best part was when Katie Leigh saw it and yelled "Hey, it's Ally! Where's Ally?" MINDBLOWN. It was nice talking to the actors like they were old friends. Zach told us to visit L.A. sometime (we live in the Bay Area and our grandparents live in Anaheim, so it's great!) and I told him that his family had amazing hair (his parents sat in the front row). I forgot to mention that if he decided to patent it, he should trademark it as "the Callison Cut (Copyright 2012 Joshua Ko Just kidding)." Katie Leigh told Chris that "Ally's my Facebook friend!" (I now am too, but that's besides the point.) I told Andre Stojka how excited we were to hear his voice at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom last February (he's a hoot; laugh if you got the pun) and told Kimmy Robertson that I loved Penny Wise (I also love her; she was hilarious all day). Chris talking to us like we were her long lost nephew/niece (she's even funnier in real life; Odyssey team, you don't have to write a script for her) was great, but we forgot to mention our shared love for Castle! (ABC) With that, the show experience came to an end. It was one of the most spectacular weekends I've ever had, spending time with Odyssey fans, crew, and actors. I hope to be back for the next one, and hopefully we left some kind of impression with the Odyssey guys! 

We did learn that beauty is everywhere, and so is inspiration. You just need to search in God, who has so much beauty and inspiration and love that only He can show. That touched me, since I've been having so many writer blocks, and no inspiration to draw. And so many times I keep forgetting about His majesty and power and the way He works through people and His other works. That's the thing about Odyssey. They serve for God and aim to spread His word through their ministry. Their stories can be relatable, giving us understanding to try and find a solution. Sometimes it's just for entertainment, to make us laugh, to stop and listen, cry, make us wonder. What would we do without Odyssey? 

Dah dah dee dee dah dah dah. (Chris, By Dawn's Early Light)

Interested in seeing more pictures, video, or our GITS auditions? Let us know by commenting!


  1. Good post, guys! I love how both of you tag teamed that article. I can't wait for more. Also, I love how you talked about the actors treating you like family.

    1. They were incredibly warm and personable. Thanks for reading!