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Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

July 10, 2014

Working with Pistons Entertainment

This summer has definitely been one for transition. After dancing in the NBA since 2007, this is the first time I know I am having to get used to being out of the spotlight and onto the sidelines for games and events.

But you know what? I’m pretty okay with it.

My last paid appearance as a dancer was getting to perform on stage and in concert with Big & Rich!

pistons dancers with big and rich

That’s an amazing way to close out my dancing years if you ask me!

Auditions for this year’s dance team already took place at the end of June, so when the day came and I didn’t attend, I knew my decision to retire was here to stay. Although the feeling is bittersweet, I can honestly say I am ready to move on and am really looking forward to what the next few years look like for me, and us, outside of the NBA.

While I’m not part of the performance crew anymore, I have been spending a lot of my time helping out with the entertainment teams this summer. Specifically a crazy horse mascot named HOOPER.

memorial day parade with HOOPER

(We’re buds.)

I tend to mention HOOPER and working events with the Pistons every now and then and I have a feeling some of you read those blurbs with a cocked head. (She’s doing what?) I guess it’s time to help you out and explain exactly what that job entails.

During the NBA season, you can find our entertainment teams on and off the court in community and sponsored events throughout the state, country and even world!

Remember our trip to Paris? I was fortunate enough to be hired as Scott’s assistant as he helped coordinate and oversee the mascot entertainment for the Paris All-Star Game!

all star game paris 2013 on court

While the basketball games stop in April (or June, if you’re lucky enough to go all the way to the NBA Finals) the off-season proves to stay active with events and performances throughout the summer. This one in particular hasn’t slowed down a bit!

Currently, my main job outside of blogging is being HOOPER’s assistant. Whenever he has a scheduled appearance or performance, there I am. That will probably change once the season starts, or if I get a job in the fitness industry (<- I miss teaching group fitness so much!), but for now, that’s what pays my part of the bills.

I came into this unique position through Scott. He is a Director of Pistons Entertainment, the manager and coach/performer with the Flight Crew (oh hey, SkyKing!) and works very closely with all of the entertainment teams.

Even this furry one!

hanging with HOOPER

As HOOPER’s assistant, I get to work a lot of the same events Scott is already on which is great for carpooling. ;)

Basically, my job is to follow him everywhere, hand him props from his ridiculous bag of tricks, keep the rowdy kids that try to bully him away, and be his voice. (Mascots don’t speak!)

I’ve only run into a few instances where having a small girl as his assistant hasn’t worked out very well. Lucky for me, those times people tried to gang up on him, I had reinforcement around to yell and enforce the “no touching” rule. People are crazy, I tell you!

Anyways, hanging with HOOP is never boring, and always keeps me entertained and on my toes.

Yesterday, I was hired to help with Metro Detroit Youth Day at Belle Isle. The Pistons and Sprite came together to donate a full sized basketball court to the park and last year I worked the same event as a dancer, when the court officially opened.

On the schedule was a couple of dunk shows, appearances from players and former Pistons legends, and a performance from the Pistons Hip Hop dance team, D-Town.

My specific job is to stay with HOOPER, who happened to be dunking with the boys in one of their shows. Check it out!

Bub dunking with Flight Crew

Flight Crew dunk show

Flight Crew dunk

Even HOOP’s got some ups!

HOOPER dunking with Flight Crew

I’m trying not to be biased when I say that the Pistons have one of the best sports entertainment dunk teams in the league. They truly blow my mind with the things they come up with and accomplish, and were even featured on America’s Got Talent in 2012!

Just in case you’re wondering, the guy speaking in the clip is the former coach of the crew and is also a close friend of Scott’s. Essentially, we moved up here for Scott to fill his shoes!

They’re incredible to watch and it’s always fun to see the new tricks and shows they put together.

After their first dunk show, I spent the next thirty minutes or so roaming the crowd and helping people take pictures with HOOPER. Next, it was time for autographs and meet and greets.

Pistons Flight Crew signing autographs

While the Flight Crew put on another dunk show, HOOPER and I made our rounds through the field and pulled all sorts of shenanigans.

HOOPER acting silly

Or, at least he did.

When we got back to the court, we found D-town free-styling, which is never out of the ordinary.

It always amazes me how they can just come up with whatever to showcase on the fly. D-town and even random spectators like this guy!

D-town dancing with youth

While the Dancers (<- hey look, I’m still up there!) or other entertainment teams like Cheer Team, Drumline, and the Mob Squad (junior dancers) weren’t at this event, I think the three teams held down the Pistons Entertainment name very well!

D-town Hip Hop Dance Team

Not all events are like this, but most of them are. Occasionally we are brought in for school shows, camps, and community events, but most of our work is sponsored Pistons events like this one.

Whatever the case, I usually come home with some interesting memories and usually a smile!

On average, I work between two to three events a week during the summer, but that is always changing. Some weeks go by without any, but a couple of weeks ago I worked six! It all depends on what is going on, and what they need help with.

So I guess when I mention “I was working an event” you now have somewhat of an idea of what I’m talking about.


Have a great rest of your Thursday!

I’ll see you back in the morning with Friday Favorites!

June 11, 2014

I Don’t Always Eat Steak…

But when I do, it’s in a delicious Korean Steak wrap like this one!

korean steak wrap special


I hardly ever eat steak anymore, and when I do it’s almost always at a nice steak house. Remember Bern’s? That’s probably the only steak I’ve ordered for myself while dining out in at least a year. If not two.

I’m just not a huge fan of red meat, but I guess that works out because lighter proteins like chicken and seafood is a lot better for you.

But before we get off subject here, can I go back to lunch for a second? I got all of the tastiness you see below at the bargain price of $5 in our arena’s cafe.

korean steak wrap special

Just in case you’re curious as to why I became instantly obsessed with this spinach wrap, here’s what’s inside:

• Korean steak (but I’m sure any kind of thinly sliced steak would do)

• kale

• cabbage

• carrots

• tomato

• corn

• Asian dressing – not sure what that is, but I’m hoping there’s a less fatty substitute out there.

I fully plan on attempting to recreate a version of it someday, so I figured maybe some of you would like to know too!

It also came with a side salad, which I originally thought I didn’t need.

side salad with lunch

Joke’s on them though, because I ended up saving half of the wrap for later on. #doubledipping

I swear this isn’t a plug to come eat at The Palace arena, but I just have to share a fantastic and well-priced healthy meal when I see one.

As I mentioned this morning, my Wednesday started off on a fun note!

HOOPER at school show

Much like a lot of my days this summer, I spent a good chunk of my day chasing this wacko around.

I’m sure you’ve seen me mention HOOPER before, and I have a feeling you’ll see his fury face pop up throughout the entirety of the summer. Sorry if you’re getting bored of the horse photos, but I feel like I can’t not include them.

I mean… it’s not every day you get to see an over-excited horse mascot dancing, dunking, and causing havoc around the city.

HOOPER at school show

Following him around gives me access to a lifetime supply of silly string as well as a ton of free Pistons swag, so I can’t really complain. And trust me when I say keeping him out of trouble and under control IS work!

So there you have it… just another day in the life, ya’ll.

Since I was already at the arena today, I met Scott at work for lunch and am currently hijacking his computer while he’s in a meeting to chat with you all. (I do – in fact – moonlight as a ninja, just in case you were wondering.)

I feel like these summer days just keep going by faster and faster! Probably like most of you, I added a large amount of projects to my summer to-do list that includes a lot of cleaning and organizing in between the every day events and (what I wish was every day) travels.

We are leaving next week for a ten-day trip to Florida, and I have so much I would ideally like to finish before then. And then there’s that whole studying concept I’m way behind on. Sheesh. I just need to go…

Off to the post office and then to get onto all the nonsense I call to-do’s. See you back here in the morning!

Question of the Afternoon

• Are you a steak person? Or fan of meat in general?

If you are new or only take a glance at my blog, you might think I was a vegetarian. I rarely eat meat (I just don’t seem to crave it!) and when I do it’s almost always in a lighter version like turkey, chicken, seafood, or even veggie substitute.

I still try to keep up my protein intake by including a lot of beans, nuts and eggs into my diet and love, love, love turkey, black bean, veggie, and quinoa burgers. Also, protein bars and smoothies are lifesavers!

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

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