In case you’re new here or haven’t yet spotted my twice-weekly videos, here is my marketing blurb about what the Planet Patrick YouTube channel is all about:
If you’re new here, I’m a solo travel YouTuber with a taste for luxury. This series is called Riverdance Revisited and loosely traces the itinerary I followed as professional singer with hot Irish musical phenomenon, Riverdance in 1998. It’s not all nostalgia! I take new flights, ferries and trains, try out new experiences and run into friends old (just old) and new. Join me as I explore Canada and the USA! Click here to visit the Planet Patrick YouTube Channel.
There is the life and experience beyond the marketing blurb, but it’s probably true that any of us are drawn to watch, participate and commune with people we find interesting, or align with in some way. For this series, which has just about started, the hook is travel (aviation, trains, travel days, experiences) as well as Riverdance, in which I was a performer/singer. The two things can’t be separated… Riverdance was, necessarily, a tour. We travelled by coach, by charter flight (pre-9/11 of course) and stayed in generally nice, well-appointed hotels (except for Dallas and Savannah, but that truth will come out!).
But there could be 100 more hooks, or ‘ways in’ to reflecting on that experience. What’s it like to be on the road with 96 people? Was there a drinking or drugs culture? How did road life affect younger people, who were maybe 15 or 16? What relationships formed, fractured, and unsettled?
I was, in some ways, a naive 23-year old (and not in others). My father had died in 1997 when I was working in the Riverdance office as a runner. I left to work in radio and, one fateful day a few months later, got the offer to audition and the green light to take part. I go into this story a bit more deeply in the vlog called “Falling into Riverdance”.
Within a few weeks, I was a member of the Riverdance singers, on stage in the West End and singing my heart out, even if I (like the other guys) was often at the back and couldn’t be heard. There were great moments of levity, joy, the thrill of a standing ovation and the *feel* of an audience elevating all of us performers out of our bodies and into a unified ‘one’.
There were sad moments for the cast and crew too… fractious behaviours, people staying in their rooms all day, too much drink, who shagged who behind someone else’s back, angry eyes, corrections and failures and loneliness.
And then friends came to visit and cities opened up their treasures through exploration, sourdough bread, well-trodden paths, Pride parades and late-night diners in a time before the internet could reduce everything to TOP TEN lists.
There’s a lot I want to write and film about and some things I should not. This post is just to tell you about the series which is now underway and remind you that new videos go live every Wednesday and Sunday at 12 noon Irish time. But the series is already taking on a life of its own. It really is not all about nostalgia. If so, this series would appeal only to other former Riverdancers and a narrow group of fans. But it is about being on the road again; it’s about new experiences; how some memories cast a long shadow or no shadow at all; about light-hearted trip reports, fun journeys and lots of hiking; about friends old (very old) and new. I’d like you to take part in it: to find something that interests you, a point of alignment, a hook that makes you feel involved. We can all be in the audience and elevate each other.