Krew questions and comments may be paraphrased or several people’s comments are telescoped into each other; Ilia’s comments are verbatim. “Inaudible” indicates that the ambient noise drowned out the comments on the tape. We’re sorry about that but it was a full room of people and many conversations were going one simultaneously.
[Taped conversation picks up as Krew describes the fog in NYC the night before and how we were concerned that the Stars on Ice flight from Rochester wouldn’t get in at a reasonable hour]
Ilia: We fly in any weather; sometimes in terrible weather, pouring or snow…snowstorms in the Midwest.
Krew: And people don’t get nervous? Your pilots are good?
Ilia: [joking] They’re “highly trained professionals.” They tell us we deserve the best (laughs).
Krew: Have you ever gotten stuck?
Ilia: Not this year. A couple of years ago we landed in New York instead of Boston and drove to Hartford. It wasn’t too bad…Are you guys all staying at the same hotel?
Krew: Not all of us but a lot of people stay at the New Yorker because it’s across the street from Madison Square Garden and there are places to eat late at night and we all go over there after the show and talk ‘til no one can stay awake
Ilia: [to waiter] Yes, I’d like some coffee…and maybe we should order..
Krew: Right, you’re on a tight schedule…
Ilia: No, actually I’m hungry…
Krew: So how’s it going, have you had about enough (meaning of the tour)?
Ilia: Yes, five more shows…the break was awesome; it made life so much easier.
Krew: I wonder what tonight’s going to be like, it should be interesting [after Sept.11]. Are you guys up for it?
Ilia: Yeah, everyone’s the same, New York’s always a lot of energy. [to waiter] yes, I’d like Eggs Benedict…it’s tradition [laughs - he has ordered the same think for all four years]. Did they dim the lights yesterday where the Trade Center was? [referring to Light Towers which were a temporary Sept 11 memorial]
Krew: We think it goes off tonight?
Ilia: Was it there yesterday? I didn’t see it yesterday.
Krew: It turns off at midnight but I think tonight they will be on all night until the sun comes up. [That night was going to be the final night of the Light Towers and they were on all night]. You’ll be able to see it after the show.
Ilia: So they turn it off every day at 12 and it’s on again the next day?
Krew: Yes, it’s a beautiful thing and I think there are a lot of people pressuring the Mayor to keep it on.
Ilia: It’s probably costs a lot.
Krew: It does but Con Ed is pitching in the $10,000. for the light bill
Ilia: $10,000., that’s a lot.
Krew:Yeah, but it’s Con Ed…you should see what they charge! (all laugh) But I think it’s the right kind of tribute, it’s abstract, everyone can read into it what they’d like.
Ilia: Yeah, it’s so great, just great.
Krew: It’s sort of a high tech eternal flame.
[inaudible for a moment – we pick up discussing what Krew has been doing in New York]
Krew: Yes, some people saw Mama Mia, some people saw Cabaret.
Ilia: What was that other one you said?
Krew: Mama Mia?
Ilia: Yes, was it ok?
Krew: Yes, it’s all ABBA songs, I liked it. Joyce, you want to do your thing? [Time for the toast]
Joyce: Everyone…can you hear me back there? I want to welcome you all to the to the 2002 Krew New York City Brunch and I especially want to thank Ilia for taking the time to be with us today.
Ilia: You’re welcome, at least I get the free Eggs Benedict. (all laugh)
Joyce: Yep, we could order for you. [raising her glass] To Ilia All: To Ilia
Ilia: Thank you. [lots of glass clicking]
Krew: (kidding) You’ll do a lot for an Eggs Benedict!
Ilia: It’s kind of fun though
Krew: It’s supposed to be.
Krew: [to another Krew member] you didn’t order the usual salmon. You’re breaking tradition.
Ilia: You can have salmon instead in Eggs Benedict.
Krew: You ordered that last year.
Ilia: Yeah, I’ll order it next time. Planning ahead.
[Ilia changes tables]
Krew: You’re still skating great
Ilia: Yeah, I’m hanging in there. The last couple of shows were a little down so…well, everyone is kinda of tired. It’s the idea that you only have a few shows left and you’re kind of finished and you have to make yourself move…
Krew: a question about traveling and the increased security and security checks.
Ilia: We have special gates and not the lines. They check us but not to the same degree. It’s a private jet but they still check. No, it’s a reasonable question.
Krew: Several people comment about the degree of security they have encountered and how it impacts travel. Have you had the same experience?
Ilia: Of course yes of course. Specially when you go through all the security and like two hours in line and then you go to the gate and they say we gotta evacuate the airport because the screening machine was off or something, and then everybody goes back and it’s the middle of the night and you sit there for two hours at the airport…
Krew: Did that really happen to you? When?
Ilia: Yeah, I was coming from Salt Lake City actually, from Olympic closing. Right after we finished I got in the car, and got to the airport…and the air space was closed [for both the Olympic opening and closing they shut down the air space over Salt Lake City for security], they opened it up and I was on the first plane but then they evacuated the airport, back and forth, it was the whole night at the airport.
Krew: I don’t like that airport.
Ilia: Those things make me nervous because they can forget to plug in the metal detector and then …[inaudible]
Krew: I really liked your Closing Ceremonies program.
Ilia: It was fun, it was fun. It was very hard though. Because it was outside, brand new layout, and altitude and cold. It was just very hard.
Krew: Did they mic your skates?
Ilia: Yeah, yeah.
Krew: They didn’t mention that on tv. It wasn’t quite clear on tv.
Ilia: Yes, there was the skates sound.
Krew: [combined comments about the US coverage – not favorable]
Ilia: Yeah but it was the only coverage we had.
Krew: She (referring to a Japanese member who was present) sent me the tape from Japan and it was much better. It was different. They show everything and they didn’t interrupt with commercials. At the end of your program they cut it off
Ilia: They did?
Krew: Yeah, they went to commercials. And in the Japanese coverage you got the whole thing. They [meaning US network] cut it off and then came back to the part where you’re leaving with …
Krew: Who did the choreography?
Ilia: Sarah Kawahara, Kenny Ortega, Savion and me.
Krew: Are you skating at the Queen’s Gala
Ilia: I’m planning it – not for sure yet but they invited me.
Krew: Guess what? We going!
Ilia: You’re all going?
Krew: You should not be surprised by that one.
Ilia: Yeah, you’re already committed?
Krew: She was talking about the pairs controversy.
Ilia: No, you cannot do that to anybody. You’re either the first place or the second place. You cannot be…it’s just, bogus.
Krew: To me it was a publicity thing.
Ilia: Yeah, but you can’t do that to the Olympics, it’s such a serious thing and you’re just making a laugh of it. Even the athletes will not look at the Olympics the same. You’re been practising so serious and then they make it just…fake.
Krew: A lot of people now think skating competitions are fixed.
Ilia: Yeah, even if they decided the Canadians won, well ok,
take the medal away and give it to them. Then there will be one medal but they couldn’t do that. So they were kinda stuck and aaah, let’s give two of them. It doesn’t work.
Krew: [general agreement]
Ilia: Yeah, let’s just do another competition for the first place then. What was the sense of spending 10 days preparing and competing, we didn’t decide who was the best. You know?
Krew: Tiebreaker… Is that the first time that it’s happened when two people skate clean but the judges made a decision [rhetorically].
Ilia: There are also particular rules they’re judging upon. They also have criteria, it’s not something you gotta discuss. What’s done is done. It’s the way it works. There are certain rules. Like in every sport, you gotta stick to something. If you don‘t have any rules, it’s a mess.
Krew: You know what I really don’t like, now eveybody’s an expert. Even Picabo Street has an opinion about who won.
Ilia: Yeah, everybody.
Krew: It’s the only sport in the Olympics that can cause this much furor and generate this much interest.
Ilia: But they even got some controversy in speed skating, short track [inaudible] Remember the Korean guy, they gave him another medal too or something…
Krew: Did you see any other sports? How long were you there?
Ilia: There just a couple of days. I saw the hockey game between Russia and America, it was fun.
Krew: [barely audible – other questions about this work and the conditions in SLC]
Ilia: I mean it was a little colder than usual. Indoors it’s a particular temperature. Outdoors it’s definitely much colder and the wind makes you work harder. The altitude is a little higher. All the conditions and the routine is really fresh…we couldn’t take that much time on it and it was really spontaneous. I took some stuff from here and there, you know.
Krew: You had worked with him, Savion, on “Noise”, right?
Ilia: No, we tried to approach him but the schedule didn’t work. So I never worked with him.
Krew: It was ok when you were out there? [referring to conditions during the performance]
Ilia: It was fine yeah. You know how to prepare yourself not to be cold. So you warm up backstage and then you know when to come up. But it was so crazy, all the organizing people don’t know anything about sports and they told some producer or assistant director ‘they gotta be on the ice like 15 minutes before’. So they tried to grab me and get me there. And I’m saying I cannot be there 15 minutes before because I’ve got to do this, do that, do this…and relax, I’ll be there the moment you need me there on the ice. I’ve been doing this all my life long. I do a hundred shows a year you know, you think I’ll be late? So they’re just freaking out and trying to get me. (laughing) It was almost, you know, like a fight. I was trying to close the door saying I’ll be there, just leave me alone, let me do my stuff. (all laughing)
Krew: This is what we don’t get to see, the backstage stuff.
Ilia: It’s amazing though that they could organize such a big amount of people. It’s just crazy.
Krew: We were wondering if you got to meet people backstage, like Bon Jovi…
Ilia: No. Just a glimpse here and there. I saw Kiss because they were right there. [joking?] They look the same even with no makeup, they’re scary…really.
[the table gets the heads up that they’ve got another five minutes for photos, signing things, etc.]
Krew: Ilia, I love your jacket [referring to his Ducati top which goes with his Ducati motorcycle].
Ilia: I like it too.