Destination Xanadu – Come Take My Hand and Touch the Magic


Xanadu (1980) Starring Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck.

Dust off your boogie skates and “forget about the rules” because this week I’m traveling to “a place where nobody dared to go.” That’s right, folks! I’m visiting a delightfully fanciful location where muses come to life and dreams really do come true. I’m journeying through—Xanadu.


A trip to Xanadu always begins at The Wall of Muses, where one of the 9 sisters will attach and offer heaps of inspiration.

Note: Photography at The Wall is prohibited. Before sunrise, entrance to that area is forbidden. If you break this rule you will have to answer to Zeus (although, he no longer goes by that name). Essentially, dream-orchestrators frighten easily, which means it’s best to keep a safe distance as the sisters emerge out of the brick (gracefully, mind you), grab their mocha lattes—and dance, and yawn, and stretch, and try to come to life.

In a past visit, I was able to obtain rare footage capturing the waking of the muses. If you’ve never been to Xanadu, this footage will give you some idea of what to expect.

Saunter from The Wall, to explore the rest of Xanadu. Nab a bag of popcorn, unwind in the grit, and get serenaded by the soothing song of ocean waves and by Mr. Clarinet himself, Danny McGuire.


Sightseer drifting will allow your muse time to find you, because encounters with her MUST BE arbitrary.

She may bump into you. Or play-strangle you. Hell, she may even kiss you.


Of course, she could also potentially run you over, thus concluding your trip. (No worries—it’s all clearly (convolutedly) stated in the waiver.)


Try not to be startled or respond in an alarmed and irate manner. Anger will only serve to panic your muse—and this deed will have you promptly escorted from Xanadu property, and you will not be eligible for a new muse until next year.


Once the initial happenstance meeting with your muse has occurred, she’ll accompany and inspire you through most of the duration of your visit. Do expect her to vanish from time to time. Search if you must, but ‘tis the way of the muse. They’re not flighty, just really deep-rooted in the bustle and rush of the muse industry. Therefore, I urge you to continue exploring the general area and realm of Xanadu while she’s away. Lots to see, hear, and do in ‘du!


As you roam about like a vagrant, you should expect a satisfying aural escort of sorts. Electric Light Orchestra exists as a mythological disco-pop sound in the atmosphere of Xanadu. Listen to “the echoes of long ago” and enjoy their assortment of gloriously energetic roller rink anthems.

For a next-level caricature, be sure to visit a Don-Bluth-animation-style protégé at the Bluth Booth—and get Bluthanized! I should tell you the process does tickle a bit in the gullet and your center sections are going to feel a lot like puree. For those prone to motion sickness, you may want to Dramine up. Then, just as you begin to get the hang of it and adjust, you’ll be propelled like a surly tidal surge back into reality. BUT—it is totally worth it.

Though Xanadu may be a solo experience, you will never feel alone there. Xanadu is a liberated place reveling in the brilliance of diversity. All are welcome, welcome all. So skip in and flash-parade your ME badge. There’s no judgment here—and you’ve got some dancin’ to do.


Garner a bouquet of beautiful wisdom from the dashing (and notorious litterer) Sonny Malone – “No bread.” No problem. These cheeky phrases are on Sonny.

Phrases like:

“I’d rather be crazy than hungry.”

“Last one in, first one home.”

“I think you made the right decision.”

“Tuesday’s Wednesday.”

“Remember, I gave you some popcorn.”

For those wishing to get your hands on a keepsake of Sonny Malone expressions, you’re in luck! You’ll find a collection (and by collection I mean 5 or so) of Malone phrases printed on the backside of your Xanadu brochure. Malone mottos are also available in the form of a 5 day pull and trash (or share) inspirational desk calendar at the gift shop—FOR FREE!


No seriously, take one, because they’re going to slip it in your purse on the way out anyway.

Before you leave be sure to visit the classy Franchise Glitz Dealer gift shop to purchase the latest in splendiferous leg warmers, asymmetrical dresses, jumpsuits, ascots, fringed jackets and bedazzled spatterdashes. Très chic, n’est-ce pas?

All right, “the wheels are in motion” and my master Xan-pack is dance ready. Let’s do this!


Take the fall, don’t ever leave—and perhaps I’ll see you there.

Xanadu lives deep in my spirit, and I invite you to allow it a first or second or third chance to inhabit yours. Xanadu is your dream, and it’s wherever you go. Never discount your dreams or write your work off as rubbish (unless it is)—but we all have to start somewhere.

And inspiration may rest eternally on the horizon in a strand of shining neon lights—don’t wait for it. Seek it, chase it, work at it, and make it real!

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