Mommy-daughter adventure continues | Inquirer Entertainment

Mommy-daughter adventure continues

By: - Columnist
/ 12:03 AM April 17, 2014

NICOLE and her favorite Divo, David Miller. She took to him right away and made him a rubber-band bracelet the day they met.

SALT LAKE CITY—About a few hours ago, as I write, a fellow school mom (our daughters are classmates in grade school) sent me this message on Facebook: “We are following your tour online. What a fantastic, enriching experience for Nicole.”

Indeed, it’s turning out to be an adventure for my little girl, and she is turning into such an independent traveler. (The only task I haven’t entrusted her with is the handling of her own passport.)


Battling jet lag in the first week was probably the most challenging thing we’ve had to face. Thankfully, we were surrounded by amazing kindness and understanding from many people on the Il Divo crew.

Be they the boys themselves, the stage manager, head of wardrobe, tour manager, sound guys, or technical staff—I’ve found myself grateful to the universe (and my agents, for securing this most wonderful gig) that I’m exactly where I am right now.


Nicole is perfectly happy hanging out backstage with me as I get ready for the show, whether I’m warming up (she’s heard me vocalize a bazillion times … sometimes she sings along for fun) or putting on my makeup.

She learns the lay of the land the moment we enter the stage door of whatever the venue for the night is. She will grab some dinner along with me, or start a conversation with her favorite Divo, David Miller.

Kid at heart


Their relationship is quite a sweet one, with plenty of teasing and lots of laughter. David has been especially great with her, as he himself is a big kid at heart. Nicole made a rubber-band bracelet for him the day she met him in Los Angeles; she really took to him right away.

Backstage, while I’m performing, Nicole sits quietly in a chair and plays Minecraft on her iPad, immersing herself in a world of her own creation. On stage left, there are labeled chairs set aside for quick changes: one for me, another for Sébastien Izambard and a last one for David.

Well, the stage left crew labeled one more chair just for Nicole. The night it was shown to her, she sat in it, waiting for me to come off stage. She hasn’t seen the show from the audience yet; she isn’t interested.


Halfway mark


Her imagination comes into additional play when she decides to hide from the rest of us (she never goes anywhere unreachable … usually in a quiet corner in the production office, or in the closet of my dressing room). I sometimes come looking for her during one of these hiding sprees. Levi Tecofsky, our tour manager, and Cara Grezcyn, our production assistant, points to where she is while vocalizing that they have no idea where she’s gone. Nic reveals herself to me a few moments later.

Earlier today, on our first day in Salt Lake City, we visited Michaels (a craft store chain, with retail outlets all over the United States and Canada). We bought additional Rainbow Loom bands, plus pony beads, stickers and hard butterscotch candy, which she fell in love with on the car ride in Calgary. She and I (well, mostly I) have been designing and crafting more loom jewelry, including an anklet with her name embellished with white opalescent beads.

The North American tour is nearing its halfway mark (what, already?), and we have lots of cities in the US, Canada and Mexico to conquer.

We’ve started thinking of museums to visit on days off in certain cities, plus more relatives and friends whom she’s either never met or not seen in a very long time. Thus far, in every single city, there has been a friend or family member that we’ve been able to hang out with, except for Calgary and, now, Salt Lake City. Very soon there will be yet another wave in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and Thackerville (one cousin who resides in Dallas is heading over to watch the show).

Down the line, there’s Atlantic City (I’m hoping some Philly and NYC friends make it down), Cincinnati, Miami, Boston and Washington DC. I’m very grateful that there’s a friendly face waiting at most of our tour stops. I affectionately call this the “Friends and Family Across America” tour, and it’s certainly living up to its name.

Days off ahoy!


There are a few very valuable days off coming up here and there … the time has come to research children’s museums, as well as museums of science and natural history (I miss that big one in New York’s Upper West Side). We may as well use this wonderful summer break to expand her horizons and fuel her curiosity about the world.

And … make more Rainbow Loom things. I wonder if a T-Rex pattern exists.


Easter week


May you and yours have a very prayerful and reflective Holy Week, whatever your religion or spiritual belief may be. Let us use this time to meditate and give thanks for whatever we all have to be grateful for, however large or small.

Finally, this Easter Sunday … Happy birthday to my husband, Rob Chien! Your wife and daughter love you and miss you very, very much!

And to the one and only George Takei,  happy birthday! George is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met. May you have a wonderful day, George, to celebrate a long and prosperous life.

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