Ice Hotel, Martha Stewart & Last Comic Standing. March 2006

HI Guys,

Last I left you I was headed for the Ice hotel in Quebec, Canada. Since then a lot as happened…no really?..Not in Capo’s life…yup…just as I think it might be a slow month, things are full steam ahead…just the way I like it.

First I’ll tell you about the upcoming live shows in case you might want to wander into any of them.

UPCOMING LIVE SHOWS:
COMEDY CENTRAL Sponsors – AN A- LIST COMEDY LINEUP TO BENEFIT Women helping Women with host Fran Capo
Date: Tuesday, April 4th, 2006
Time: 7:30 PM
Where: The Stress Factory ( a comedy club)
90 Church street
New Brunswick, NJ
$40 includes dinner buffet
(732)545-4242
www.stressfactory.com

Check out article about it written in the Home News & Tribune (New Brunswick paper)

http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060331/PULSE04/603310395/1074

APRIL 9th – PHOENIX
Fran Does her “Dare to Do it” Keynote in Phoenix, Arizona at the WB’s (and KTVK 3TV) Women’s Expo Phoenix Civic Plaza 1 PM

This is the talk where I’ll be also announcing the launch of the Website for WB that is featuring my weekly blog called, “Fran’s World and welcome to it.” The Keynote on Saturday is Susie Ormand, I’m the keynote on Sunday…pretty cool.

April 19th – SCHOOL TOUR
Fran’s “Nothing is Impossible” School tour Ossining High School – Ossining, Westchester Yup, why not motivate kids as well, especially when the superintendant of schools does a personal invite to ask you to speak to them. I gotta do good on this one…it’s Spencer’s graduating class and fellow students. Talk about pressure! I will be doing what I always do at schools. Talk about my adventures and telling kids that that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

April 28th – CREATIVE MARKETING EVENT
Creative Marketing: How to use Creativity, Imagination and Energy to Contribute to the Success of Your Marketing Efforts with Keynote speaker Fran Capo

For: Contact Advocate ConnectME Conference Networking Seminar
Time: 9 AM – 5 PM
Location: Stamford, Ct.
http://www.contactadvocate.com/connectmeforum/index.html

I was asked to do this talk because a bunch of buiness men and women would like to know how I get my sponsors, and how I come up with the crazy schemes that get me to the top of mountains and to the depths of the sea.

UPCOMING RADIO: WOR
THIS MONDAY APRIL 3rd
Station: WOR 710, (NY) the morning drive-time show with Ed Walsh & Donna Hanover
Time: 7:40 AM

PAST RADIO:
XM RADIO
Also had a blast doing Phlash’s XM Radio show on Channel 6 (60’s on 6) As his name indicates (Phlash) the guy talks almost as fast as I do. I was on for an hour telling stories (which really was two hours worth) and then Plash would play a song that related to the story I told. He is going to let me know when it reairs…it aired on March 26th. Lots of fun.

Business Link radio
Fran talked about her upcoming Keynote speech for Contact Advocate. (see above)

PRINT:

I was interviewed by a website: DaringFemale.com! The reporter wrote: I got a rush of adrenaline just writing it up!

Here is the link:
http://www.daringfemale.com/featured_fem22.php

My son Spencer had a write up in CB Teen magazine about his stand up comedy career. CB teen is national magazine that goes out to all high schools. (CB stands for College Bound).

Celebrity Judging – LAFF OFF
I was a judge on the 3rd annual Laff Off Competition out in Huntington…Bobby Nelson was the host, my friend Janette Barber was also one of the judges, and the event was run by my good friend Donna Drake. A surprise came to me as I looked over and saw a set of popeye biceps on this blonde adonis looking guy. Then I realized it was the Fitness Made Simple guy, John Basedow, the one who has all those informercials…we exchanged jokes, I touched his abs and now are working on a project together…more on that later…ya just never know who you are going to meet.

TV:
LAST COMIC STANDING:
As some of you may know Last Comic Standing was holding auditions at Carolines in March. I didn’t really want to go because it was a cattle call audition…you know basically wannabes flocking out to the place and standing on a massive line…but a couple of my friends nudged me…so I figured what the heck. The auditions started at 10AM. The deal was you’d be given 3 minutes to prove your funny factor, and if you had a bizzare enough personality, you know the type of explosive personality so when they stick you in a house with a bunch of other comics, therapists are tuning in to pick out new clients.

I asked two comic friends of mine to go, but they both replied with, “I rather cut open an artery.” So I went alone. I got there at 10 am and was literally the LAST COMIC STANDING on the line. The line was around the block, saw a couple of veteran comics, made friends with some new comics in case I had to go to the the bathroom they could save my place on line- not that anyone was vying for the last spot…but still. It was very cold that day so we all huddled around, close enough to enjoy the body heat, not so close as to have to call the person in the morning.

While we were waiting the press was out in mass, taking photos of us standing on line. I figured what the heck if I’m standing here I might as well get some press out of it…so I talked to a reporter who took down my jokes.

Not even twenty minutes after the reporters left, the producers (or directors of the show…not sure which they were) showed up flanked by two cops, an officer Dunne and an Italian cop whos name I didn’t catch. Dunn was trying to be nice, telling us that unfortunately they will not be able to audition all of us and that they established a cut off point… the other cop cut him off, “Listen Go home. It’s over for you clowns.” Obviously not a graduate of the Dale Carnegie school. I go over to Officer Dunne. Listen can you hand this headshot to the producer, this way at least he knows I was here. He does it. I’m ready to get out of there, and He stops me and says, “Tell ya what, tell me a good joke and maybe we can work something out.”

I say, “Look officer Dune”.

He says, “D-U-N-E! What do I look like sand to you? It’s DUNNE.”

“Yes, exactly…DONE…just like this audition. I’m outta here.” I wink. He smiles, I leave.

The Martha Stewart Show:
Some of you I know got a chance to see me fast talking on the Martha Stewart Show on NBC on Friday March 31st. I promised to tell you why I was fast talking as an audience member. The scoop was, The Martha Show contacted me and asked if I was willing to play an April fools day prank on Martha. They basically wanted me in the audience, to make friends with those around me, so it was believable and then to ask Martha a fast talking question that they gave me…with a whole bunch of convoluted stuff around it. The celebrity guests, Orlando Jones and Rob Estes (stars of The Evidence) were in on it and were to pretend to understand everything I said. The goal was to make Martha wonder what the heck I was saying.

Well I guess I did a good job, because the two women in the audience that I befriended, thought I was just a nervous fan rambling on. When I sat down they said, “Girl I was ready to get up and speak for you. You poor thing, you were so funny, but people at home are going to think you were a plant.” I was tempted to tell them, but couldn’t do the reveal till the end of the show. The kicker came when at the end of my ramble, Rob Estes asked me if I was single…then I was really fast talking out of embarrassment..and yelled out…No I have 3 husbands…where that came from who the heck knows…all I know is with that answer I can be cast on the new tv show Big Love.

At the end of the show off air, Joey Kola -the warm up guy, told Martha who I was…she said, “Wow, You really do talk fast.” As for the audience members, they started smacking me…”Girl you had us fooled.” After I got smacked a few times, I posed with them for pictures. What a cool way to make a living 🙂

The show reairs: Martha Stewart Living Television, broadcast on the Style Network weekdays at 12 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., and 11 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

FINALLY THE ICE HOTEL: (condensed version – full version with pictures will be on the Blog site)

The Ice hotel or as the French say it, “Hotel de Glace” is 20 minutes west of Quebec. It’s a huge structure- 30,000 square feet made entirely of ice and snow…12,000 tons of snow and 400 tons of ice to be precise. It takes 20 workers and about a month to build the 34 rooms that the hotel consists of. It’s built every January, and ever March when it starts to melt it’s bulldozed into the water.

We got a VIP tour of the hotel by the manager, Sylvan. When you first walk in there is a giant set of wooden doors on the ice hotel…which cracked me up. I mean if someone really wanted to break in all they needed was a lighter.

Everything inside the hotel was made of ice, from the giant chandelier, to the bar to the drinking cups to the beds – thus the name. On this journey were Steve, his daughter Jamie, Spencer and myself. Some people come just for a day visit, but you know me…we had to stay overnight. Hey it couldn’t be that bad, its a constant 28 degrees inside the hotel, and they provide you with a sleeping bags and some blankets. I figured if the Eskimos can do it, so could we.

Originally we were going to have two “theme” bedrooms, Spencer and I in one, Jamie and Steve in another. But when Spencer and I got to our room – there in the center of the room was a circular ice bed with a giant red silk curtain hanging down from the ceiling conceling the bed, Spencer said, “Mom I love ya, but we aint sharing that bed.”

I said, “Spencer we are in sleeping bags…you can take one side, and I’ll take another. “

“Mom it’s a round bed, there are no sides.”

“Good point…lets see if we can change rooms.”

We opted for a more family style room whose theme was flowers, moon and sun.

Besides the bedroom the hotel had a N’Ice bar which could easily fit 250 people in it, a wedding chapel in case you wanted to get married in a snow parka, an exhibit room for those artic paintings and two courtyards surrounded by snow covered walls which house both a hot tub and sauna.

Luckily for us, the showers, lockers and bathrooms were in a heated trailer. I was relieved to hear this because I was thinking that well quite frankly ones butt would stick to an ice toilet, and there is no way you want to call for help in that situation.

The Ice hotel is open to the public from 9 Am till 6 PM, after that its only for the overnight guests. That’ s when the sleeping bags go in your rooms. So around 8PM we head over to our room and see candlelight on an ice table, and the bottom of the ice beds light up because they put fiber optics in there, no heat is emitted so it doesn’t melt the bed.

As an added surprise, there on the ice nightstand, was a sculputre. Sylvan, since he knew I was coming, had arranged to have a personalized ice sculpture of a huge pair of lips with my name underneath it waiting in our room. The scupture was fantastic. Too pretty to just leave there, so I was trying to figure out a way I could take it home…maybe even keep it in the freezer. Not practical, but a cool thought none the less. I gave up on the idea though because by the time we got it back home it would be a bucket of water and not much to look at.

For our nighttime stay to be comfortable, Sylvan had recommened going in the hottub (which was outdoors in 9 degree weather) then running to the sauna, then getting dressed in the trailer and then hoping into bed…so your body temperature is elevated and that extra heat is great to warm up your sleeping bag.

I was game and so were the kids. Steve insisted one of us needed to stay dressed in case of emergency. So he gladly acted as our pool boy, bringing us bottled water, and our bathrobes. After watching our bodies let off steam in the hot tub we were finally ready to retire into our rooms.

Without wasting too much time, we proceeded to get into our sleeping bags. Okay, this in itself was a comedy routine. You first have to unroll the bags. Then take out the inside liner which is concealed in this tiny pillow. Once you do that you stand on the bed and get into the liner, like you would get into a potatoe sack. Then you jump up and down until it is shoulder high. Then you have to snuggle yourself into the sleeping bag. Once you are securely in the sleeping bag, you velcro an outside cover on top of the sleeping bag. When you are sure you are in, you tie off the bag at your neck. You secure the pillow in the top hood of the sleeping bag and walla…snug as a bug in an icicle. I was praying my bladder held out and I didn’t have to go to the bathroom.

At 1 AM the first of my nature calls occurred. Bathrooms and adventure always seem to be one of my major problems.In africa it was where to hid in the desert, in the titanic it was holding it for 12 hours so I wouldn’t have to pee inside a tube with a shower curtain around me. Here it was getting out of a warm sleeping bag, putting on my shoes, tredging out into the snow, walking across the cold courtyard and going to the bathroom and then doing the whole jumping bean procedure to get back into bed. I tried to hold it as best I could…no luck.

When I went out, it was snowing…it looked beautiful, but I didn’t stop to take any pictures.

At 2:30 nature called again. At this point I was thinking I should have wore a depends. Spencer got up at this time too.

Just as I was falling back to sleep, I heard it…first it started low and then it grew loud enough to shake the snow off the ceiling. It was the sound of snoring and it was coming from Steve.I felt like I was in a snow cave with a polar bear. I thought maybe if I counted the snores, it would lull me back to sleep. Then I started to think the sound was very funny and debating waking up Spencer to tell him.

Normally I just shake him and he stops, but there was no way I was getting back out of that sleeping bag. So instead I turned over and watched the candles melt down to the ice holders and extinguish themselves. Now it was pitch black.

I tried to listen for outside noises, but if there were any, they were drowned out by the snoring. Sometime between then and 3:30 I drifted to sleep.

My third nature call came at 7:30. I tried to hold it as long as possible, knowing that our wake up call was coming soon. At 8:00 I decided that I was getting up for good.

I took my clothes and dressed in the heated trailer. People were already up, and in the hot tub.

At 8:30 our waked up call came. I got the troops up.

At 1 PM we decided to try one of the many adventures the hotel had to offer. We choose dogsledding. They made us sign a release form, but I was thinking come on how dangerous could it be, these were cute little doggies.

I had dogsledded in Alaska, but the professional musher drove. Here in Quebec, I was at the helm of my dogsled. Our guide Audrey, gave us a quick rundown on how the sleds are run. How to steer them, put on the breaks especially on down hills, get the dogs to go and stop,…everything you need to know about how to mush a sled in one easy lesson. She warned us also to never get off of the sled without either having the brakes on, or the sleds being tied to a tree. Otherwise the dogs would take off and head for home and you’d be doing a cross country skiing adventure without the skis.

After about 10 mintues we were outfitted with our team of dogs. Audrey and her 6 dogs led the way. Followed by the sled with Jamie and Steve and Spencer and I took up the rear.

To get the dogs going you can either say, “Go, Go, go”, “Hike” or “Ari Ari” which in french means…get a move on little doggies. (okay that’s a rough translation.)

The dogs we are told LOVE to pull the sleds…as soon as we started up…all the dogs in the place started howling. It was like a group send off, with cheers and howls of “take me, take me.”

The trip started out nice and slowly. It took a few minutes for me to get the feel of the sled. I was driving at this point and Spencer was sitting nice and cozy in the basket. After a while I wa sone with the dogs…I’d yell, “Hike” and they’d go immediately.

The scenery was gorgous with snow laden trees, crystal clear sky and a one lane path to eternity. My dogs were anxious to run and kept winding up near stves butt. So several times I held them back till Steve got way ahead so I could let them run wild.

The first half hour went great. At the midway point she asked if we wanted to change drivers. “Sure why not…let the kids drive…can’t be any worse than me teaching Spencer to drive for his road test.”

Spencer, took the reins…At one point I told him to hit the brakes beasue we were too close to Steve. Nothing like a side seat sleigh driver.

Spencer held the dogs back and they were getting slightly antsy. Just at the moment he yelled “Hike” the dogs saw another dog sled team below us on another path. The dogs started to turn off the path and make their own path into the woods. I yelled, “Hey you dogs…NO. Stop that right now. Get back on the trail.”

To my amazement…they did. Then when Spencer yelled “hike” again, they took off in the woods. The next thing I know we are careening down a hill. We almost hit into another dog sled team. The guy yells at us…”You’re going the wrong way.”

Meanwhile, Steve and the gang didn’t know we had veered off.

Since all these trails were only wide enough for one way traffic, there was really no room to turn around. I figured well it has to lead back to the gate eventually. But just in case they were within hearing distance I shouted for Steve…”We are down here guys”

Nada.

So I figured okay, okay Spencer you stay on the breaks and I’m going to try to turn these dogs around. So I get up our of the sleigh, head to the front dog and start pulling on the ropes. They dogs had no clue what I wanted. So I started talking to them…come on girls. At this point the dogs started jumping over each other and getting tangled in the rope. This wasn’t working out as planned.

So I tried it again. I started to get them turning when I realized he snow on the side of the trail was deep…thigh high deep. Didn’t want to have to carry the dogs…as I was pondering my next brilliant move…Audry comes running up from behind…”There you are!”

We apoligized and soon, she and I had the dogs heading in the other direction, but not without the sleigh running over spencers leg. He was okay, but not a very happy camper. He no longer wanted to drive.

Within minutes we were back taking up the rear of our three sleigh caravan.

We were going along fine and heading to some downhills. I remember Audrey saying to ride the break at times, because graveity will take the sleigh faster than the dogs ccan run. As I’m riding the breaks, I’m also trying to lean all my body weight into the turns.

We were coming down one trail and I see that this tree seems to be inching it’s way towards us. I’m leaning as much as I can…at this point I realize…”I’m going to hit that tree.” I was going to jump off, but realized I’d leave my son without a driver. So I hung on and we hit the tree. The sleigh tipped sideways, the dogs were airbound at one point, and my left breast hit into the sleigh.

I wound up on my side in the snow…just the weeble position I didn’t want to be in. Steve turned around, yelled for Audry to stop and came running over to us.

I was laying in the snow…I could have made snow angels if my left breast wasn’t throbbing so much. Steve asked, “Are you okay?”

What was I going to say. Here we were in the middle of the woods in Quebec somewhere. It wasn’t like I was going to be air lifted back to base camp. So I said, “I’m fine…lets just get back on the sled and ride.”

Spencer had banged his head in the collision, but said he was fine. At this point I started to think my sky diving adventure was a lot safer.

For the second time we shake off our little diversion. Now audrey tells us some big hills are coming up. “Just take it slow.”

Something at this point she didn’t have to tell me. We make it down a series of hills with some pretty sharp turns. I’m very proud of myself…I avoided all shrubbery.

Just then I see Audry running toward my sleigh, yelling… “Get off, watch out…”

I’m thinking what did we do now? Is she going to leave us here in the middle of the woods. Maybe I should have taken that igloo making class instead.

Finally when she sees I have no clue, she yells, Turn around. There behind be coming full speed ahead is a runaway sleigh with a little old lady sitting tightly bundled in it.

I move to the side, and the dogs come right up to where I was standing. Audrey gets on the sled and slows them doggies down.

Turns out, another group of dogsledders was out. The guide had to help another sled and tied her sled with the old lady in it to a tree.

The dogs saw our sleds, pushed forward, got loose and gave the old lady the ride of her life, taking turns a hairpin speeds. After a few mintues the guide catches up to her sled…She says to the old lady…”are you alright?”

The old lady says in a very heavy accent. “I was wondering why you zoom down the mountain. I’m thinking…why so fast. I didn’t know you weren’t there.”

Audrey just shook her head….”Never have I had so much in one trip.”

Yeah, me neither. Well as they say, three’s the charm.We made it back to original starting point with no further incidence.

Back at the ice hotel, we recapped what had happened, said our goodbyes and thank you’s, checked out.

We looked one more time back at the ice hotel…that was an a unique night like no other.

MY NEXT ADVENTURE:
As you read above, I’m flying out this week to Arizona to do my Dare to do it talk and launch the WB website. And why should that be enough for me? No I needed an adventure on top of that, so I did a quick google search and found my next adventure… I won’t tell you what it is yet… but my doctor did say, Capo we are trying to get your arm better…I promised if I fell doing this adventure I would at least fall on the other arm to balance me out. The WB is going to have a camera crew follow the adventure!

Speak soon and remember to Create a great day.