Goodnight boyo

Every night, after Homer had read David Copperfield and the lights had been turned off, Dr Larch would open the door to the dormitory so that his long shadow was cast along the floor between the rows of beds, “Good night you kings of Maine” he would yell “Good night you princes of New England” with that he would then slam the door and retreat to his office, the effect this had was for the words to echo in the room and in the boys memories so that it could enrich them in their dreams and comfort them in their nightmares.

All the things that I don’t have to say…

… because Hans said them all. But let’s start from top.

I was away for three days, quite north from where I live. Paderborn it was and I was a guest of MA Lighting there. Well, why is this important? Not at all, but funny enough I was pondering a lot as well. Because when I was there I thought about some things that Rick Fisher wrote a lot lately in “Focus”, the ALD magazine. Whenever he can, he points out one thing: Lighting design is a very lonely profession. And he doesn’t mean that not a lot of people do what we do, he means that we are in fact alone most of the time. We wander from one theatre, festival – whatever – to another. We might recognise faces here and there and we meet new people all the time. But at the end of the day, we are alone where we are. The people we share our lifes with are never with us and we cannot be with them while we are working. Lighting design does not demand a lot of interaction with people. We are often not seen and we are like shadows in the dark. This is what we do, but I think it requires a personality that does not necessarily need the social contacts other people might need. I am perfectly happy with the fact that I don’t need to be part of every social event, every party and so on. This is not me. I like being with real friends and then I don’t mind spending a good time with them somewhere. So what I want to say is that I don’t think it makes you an unsocial person just because you don’t follow the herd.

What Hans wrote to Mark is something I would sign right away. There is nothing more to say. And I think it is part of the situation we are all in at the moment. We realised it will be very difficult to find another place where we feel as much at home and like our true selfs ever again. Again, when I was in Paderborn, we were actually talking about lighting and technology three days in a row, the Olympic summer games opening, big events of all kinds and so on. But this was only because the people that were there are salesmen. They want to sell the product and as a result, they would never be critical agains your thoughts or ideas. They will always treat you as a perfect costumer, a guest. This was when I thought, what the hell am I doing here? I am not half way as interested in the technology here and nobody here has any idea of what really counts: To create something that is appealing to you – and if it is only you alone – by creating nice lighting. I am not bothered about technology behind that – and if someone wants to control the lighting of the Olympic games with a Pathfinder – so be it. I don’t care. I realised it will be very difficult to find an environment again where there are people with an equal passion for something as exotic as lighting design. People that share your thoughts and ideals and know why your eyes are sparkling when you are talking about a “great blue” or something. At the moment this part of me feels a bit dead as well and I know my upcoming job will not revive this spirit. But I hope I can preserve it in me.

What else can I say? I am coming to the UK on Tuesday to light this musical in Christchurch. What can I say? Now that I have read the script I should perhaps not have done it in the first place. But again, who knows what comes out of it? But at the moment I could spend my time much better here or in Switzerland than in a dark theatre with speaking animals…

OK, enough for today. I hope everyone is fine. Hans should be back home tomorrow at some point and Eyal will be buried under a pile of books or scripts or serve coffee or something… I will call you when I am in the UK. I think it is very likely we can meet at some point… or not, considering your timetable…

Bye for now…!

What I want to say.

So, this is a bit strange perhaps. But I feel I can post it here. It is a copy of my thank you letter to Mark sendt after graduation. Some sort of last leaving message perhaps. I stand by every single word and I shall for as long as I live. Because even though we say all these things about the less than perfect place LIPA is, it has still had a profound impact on our lifes. And we do owe our thanks. Here are mine:

Dear Mark,  

I wish to thank you. I wish to thank you for the last three years, which have been, undoubtedly, the most important and the best years of my life. I wish to thank you for your encouragement and your commitment. To the school and to its students. It has been an experience like no other, here, in these hallways of old, where the marble has been tread on by thousands, where the stage has seen the greatest names of our time, where creativity and life isn’t a goal, it’s the method, here, I found my best friends, my life’s companion and the greatest challenges of my life so far. Here, I learned who I am and who I want to be, here, I realised what I can do and what I need to learn to be able to achieve my dreams. Here, in a school that is build on people and ideas, the strongest foundations of anything; I learned that I am not alone. 

For years I always thought that I was alone. You see, even though I worked with lighting and sound people in my home town of Trondheim, something was always missing. A bit of inspiration, a bit of ambition and perhaps a bit of talent, if I am allowed to say these things about other people. But it is true, they are good people, but I never found anyone quite like myself in this field. I went to Oslo and to the Nordic Institute, hoping that someone with a similar mind might be there, but again I was disappointed. I found friends and colleagues, clever people and good people. But not quite what I was hoping for, for as good as they where, they lacked ambition and as ambitious as they were, they lacked talent. Then, in August 2004, a friend gave me a tip about a school in Liverpool. It sounded interesting, so I thought I should check it out, I did, and three years later, I am now a graduate of the department for Theatre and Performance Technology. And here, in Liverpool, I found my soulmate. I found the person I had been looking for, someone with the same sense of ambition and a much greater talent than myself. I learned that I am not alone.  

For me, LIPA has meant the difference of staying in this field or leaving it for something more mundane. I don’t think anyone can understand how important these past years have been, and I can only say thank you so many times. But I truly mean it, thank you for providing the opportunity to become who I want to be! 

Thank you for your wise words at graduation, and at any other time we have spoken. Know that I hope you stay with your job as long as you have the energy for it, for you have so much that so many people can learn from! If I may finish with an advice of my own, it would be this: Remember who your students are, and that the school exists for them and not the other way around. Remember who your staff are and that they are there for your students and not the other way. Remember that you have a responsibility never to let the idea, the dream, the soul, of this great institution wither away. 

I wish you all good things and great moments in the coming years! It was an honour to be a part of it. Thank you!  All the best,
Hans. 

Remember why we do things. Not for ourselves, but for the whole world in which we were born.

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Thinking. Too much perhaps?

So, here I am in beautiful Edinburgh, surrounded by artists and technicians, doing the thing i love the most. Yet, I seem to spend an awful lot of time pondering lately… Not that it’s nescesarily a bad thing, but I think that when I ponder things like this, it seems to be an indication of something, not being wrong, but something being out of place.

I am afraid I’m not like you, Eyal, I can’t just go everywhere and instantly meet people and become friends with them, it seems I almost retract into myself when there is too many new people around. I noticed it the other day, but I go in every day, run the show, do my job, say politely hello and how are you to everyone, answer all the questions the audience have about the piece. But when everyone else stays for a drink and to hang out, I just leave. I can’t manage to find the energy to mingle with people and just be there, don’t know why, but it doesn’t attract me.

I don’t want to be asocial or boring, it’s just that these things doesn’t appeal to me. Or at least, not now. It could be because I’m essentially alone here, sure, I know people and I get along with them. But they’re not friends in that sense. I guess I need you guys around to be able to truly enjoy myself. My friends. Or am I always like this? Am I really this closed and asocial usually? I hope not.

I guess this is just a stream of thoughts that doesn’t really make much sense. The biggest problem could just be that I’m homesick, and the fact that I miss you guys. I really do. This will be a strange year, adjusting to really new enviroments and situations. But as the clever G says, it’s how it works. Things change, let’s just make it for good and not for worse.

I think I’m gonna stop thinking and writing now. Before someone get’s hurt or something.

Homesick Perhaps?

ps. Just as Georg posed his last post here, I did post a somewhat similiar post on my norwegian blog. I am sometimes amused at how our brains hit the same subject at the same time some days… like minded people I guess. Good nite.

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Not only an impressive opening…

Every time when there is the beginning of the Olympic games somewhere in the world, I am surprised of the amount of countries that participate in this sport event. People from all different nations come together and celebrate a glamorous opening ceremony, followed by countless sportive competitions and finished off by another great event. So, why isn’t it possible for us as people to be ONE world all the rest of the time? I will never understand why there has to be war anywhere and why it is impossible to live together in harmony and piece.

And what a world it is right now again… War is on its way again, and if you look around the world, it is amazing and very scary how many countries are at war. Places where the people have to suffer from stupid thinking and the strive for power of their “gouvernment”. I don’t know anyone who wants to live in a war-zone and the normal people of this world have one thing in common – I at least hope – Peace. The recourses of this world are distributed uneven and unfair and it is our responsibility to change this situation dramatically, as we are the privilleged people at the moment. We have to make sure that the unbalanced  situation in this world changes so that everyone can live in peace. Only if we manage that, we might eventually be able to fight the war. With peaceful methods.

Imagine there is war and nobody goes there… it is always the people that follow the orders of their leaders that make war possible. The people of a country are the real power not the ones that decide for them. Although they might in some places be elected. In the end, the power the rulers have is only as big as the people allow.

Anyway, I don’t really know how I came here, but I think the BLS stands for a lot of things, but above all, tolerance is one of the highest goods we share here and I hope at some point, the world overcomes this categorised thinking of right and wrong. Maybe at some point in the future, we are the society – the one society of planet earth that has been predicted by Startrek and so on.

OK, well, it is a nice Sunday here and I hope everyone is fine. I wonder if this blog can actually be read by people in China for example or if this is also something that the chinese people are better off not knowing…

Celebrating the great spirit of the Olympic summer games 2oo8

For Joe.

The Beijing Olympics have officially kicked off with a lighting and media spectacular extravaganza that was the opening ceremnony. And to Joe, who said something about not needing HD a while back.. this one’s for you:

“In short, it is the largest media server show ever attempted and I’m told the ring at the top of the stadium is also the world record for the largest HD video projection at 492m x 14m high.” – Scott Blair / HES

Read the full article about the HES stuff at http://www.lightnetwork.com//?msg=25586.1 

H.

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