…of men and mice…

I guess.

wow… that, was, my friend, true wisdom. Although some part of me wants to say; I DISAGREE, the other part is sad to realise I have always known, yet never said nor wanted to believe, that you are absolutely right.

I want to fight what you have said with evert fiber in my body, to prove you wrong and to say that you are caving in. This is the one thing that you would never have me admit, for it is the basis of everything I am. My belief that we are the ones that will make it, that in the end, we were always right, that all the things we have said and done would somehow be justified by our eventual success. I guess this is my life’s great card house, it have always been, and I’m afraid it will always be. I believe that few people can understand the craving for success that I posess, which is almost narcisistic. Our joke that I’m always right and don’t loose is truly a sad joke, for in reality it is’nt a joke, it’s a nescesity. I have to be right. I have to win. I have to make it. This is what drives me. I will never settle for second, yet I know I can never be first. I will never settle for compromise, yet perfect is impossible. Know it as I do, I should accept reality.

But you are not and I do not, for as you so gently put it, there are many more things to life than work. Years ago, we had what I have later realised was a defining moment of my life, a conversation about choices. As always, I boldly, but sadly, exclaimed my choice to the world. Inside, I was in chaos at the moment, fighting every attempt at pulling me back to earth, to puncture my bubble. Some time later, when the chaos erupted and a great many hours was spent contemplating this very conversation, I realised the trick was making sure I never have to make the choice – which is, obviously; just making a new bubble around myself instead of puncturing the old one. The choice will be made, and it will be the right one. What sacrifices I must make in addition will surely send me down the hill.

Your post put a knot in my stomach today, which means it’s more true than anything I’ve ever written. But I’m not ready to admit it yet. Not yet. And I’m also sure that you will be the ones to bring me down eventually, for you are the only people with the knowledge to do it.

I know we will reach the top. But before we do, we must know where the bottom is. First one down will be first one back up I guess. I just hope you’ll take me with you. I know you will. I would.

I guess.

Your words lately have made me sad, for you touch something in the core of what I believe we are. Yet at the same time I am happy, because you finally said what I have always known. Many posts ago, I made a list, now, I think it is time for a new one.

E, your potential is unlimited and your friends are endless, or so it would seem – just remember they are there
H, your talent is infinite, and I hope you understand this one day – as it would be a great shame if you never do
M, of all of us, I believe you are the one truly at peace with who you are – unless you are like me, and the bubble will burst one day?
G, you are the leading man my friend, the wisest and best I know – you I would trust with everything I have

The list grows shorter. The truth grows more painful.
Still, we are together somehow, comforting as it is to know.

Every day brings us closer to the defining moments of everything else. Great things will come, we just have to be there when they do.

the trutH can be Painful

Share the moment of my journey (4)

Yesterday and the day before I was simply too tired to write anything. By the way: Eyal’s show opened yesterday and what I hear on Facebook it was a great success! I will go and see it on Saturday and I am already looking forward to it a lot.

So what did the past two days of plotting and tech run learn me? Honestly, the most important message that came across was, that it will be very difficult to find a team like we were in Liverpool ever again. People that really commit to what they do and work up to the highest standards are hard to find. I had to fight with a lot of technical problems. The obvious ones like a broken Hazer, no proper smoke machine, although definitely specified, broken MACs and significant software problems on the ETC Congo. My dislike for this desk is growing. Usually I don’t care about what desk we are using and if the operator knows what he is doing, then there should be no problem at all. But this desk… Weird way of programming and a generally very edgy effects engine when it comes to moves. The HOG might be older, but it is much nicer and smoother.

Congo and Miss Saigon...

But off the topic of theatre and back into the real life. I notices something that Hans mentioned when we were all in Liverpool. This is a fenced in country. They build huge fences around all sorts of buildings, not only their private houses. The school where we rehearsed this show looks like you are entering a military zone. Why would you fence in a school? What is in there that should not come out? Knowledge? And what could possibly want to get in there and harm that? People willing to learn? Strange…

Today is a grey day here in Bournemouth. It is raining and the temperature dropped quite significantly. I will have to re-plot two numbers of the show and start from scratch with them. They simply don’t work. Generally this seems to be the thing with this show. A lot of numbers look stunning but they alternate with horribly dull looks in other numbers. So the balance is very off and today I will personally get my fingers on this desk (no idea if this is a good idea) and start to streamline it all so that it will in the end work out.

Oh, one interesting thing: The printing shop they got my A0 plan printed could not print the A0 PDF file I sent them straight out of the computer. They had to print it on A3 first, scan this one in and then print it on A0. The sense of this? No idea. The quality of it? There is ink on the paper… But nothing more to say…

Got one day left to shape the show

The carbon footprint and the journey (3)

Today’s post will have to be a little shorter, simply because I am exhausted. The probably most hated part of a lighting designer’s job is the focus. And this is what I went through today until 11 pm. One could say that it is my own fault as it was me specifying all the lights. And I admit, that there are too many. Somehow the second year in a row, the set has ended up in the wrong position on my CAD plan and so the lighting is squashed up downstage so you cannot fit one hand in between the flybars – whereas there is quite a significant gap in between some bars more upstage. Basically the set is more upstage than it should have been which means my top lighting for the set was morphed into frontlighting and funny stuff like that.

The people here are a nice bunch and they are a good crew to work with. Of course nobody likes a focus session and the fact that in this theatre, not everything is in a great shape doesn’t make it much easier. Anyway I keep having this feeling that the language barrier is establishing a little more again. Sometimes I wished I could be a little quicker at repartee than I actually am. Because, yes, it is stupidly huge rig, and yes, it might have done with some less lanterns here and there, BUT, I am still the lighting designer. And to get this message across without being rude is difficult for me at the moment. From tomorrow on, it will be fine, as the worst part of the physical job – the focus – is done.

One thing came into my mind today on my way home, and it is my personal carbon footprint in this production. Not that I feel I have to tune into the general discussion about how “green” theatre can and will be. But it just came to my mind, that it cannot be very environmentally friendly for me to fly over for one weekend, travel through the country for several hours by train and car and do the same thing again a few weeks later. Now I am switching on a maximum of 230,000 watts of lights for 7 days in a row and I am quite sure together with the aircondition in the theatre, we are soooo green… Anyway, just a random thought.

Going to sleep now.

The journey (2)

So today was quite a long day. And funny enough – it was also quite boring over long distances. The main purpose of it was to see the “final” show in one run. In the rehearsal room that is, which kinda gives the meaning “final” a slightly less ultimate touch. None the less, it has been the casts last run in the rehearsal room and therefore it marks a milestone for them all.

For me it was also interesting as the show offers a lot. And it proofed me wrong as I was under the impression that this year I have been very well-behaved with my amount of cues I put in the show. Well, after a break later in the afternoon I realised that Act 1 already adds up to 150 Cues and almost as many follow spot cues, too. So I am actually up for a treat from Monday on. You could call it homemade problems but somehow I always end up in this place. Just knowing the fact that there is almost too many things to plot in two sessions makes me a little less happy about it all – and the feeling that there could actually be more cues and that the show will need more to be good is slightly worrying me.

What else happened..? Well, I was soldering the power switch of the MD’s computer back on. For me this is hopefully the most technical I have to get during the course of this show.

Now off to a completely different topic, which in a way has accompanied me over the past couple of weeks: Football. Yes, this game where 22 guys are actually kicking a white ball across a bit of grass for about 90+ minutes. You know that I usually have as much interest in this sport as in hoovering (although I can see the point in hoovering). But there are two exceptions to this rule (which also means that it actually is a rule) and that is the European cup and the World cup. And also I am not a very patriotic person (living in Switzerland on the other hand lets me become more patriotic as the Swiss are a bunch of over-patriotic people) I do feel with the German national team then. Or basically over the past years. I have respect for the last two coaches of the team, as they were brave enough to give young and new players a chance. It is always been tradition for the “old” guys to play and the last two coaches went the other way by nominating new players. Which you’d think makes sense. Young people will be highly motivated to score and they have the dynamic and power besides the will to really go for it.

This year the team has been brilliant and this is not me (the absolute ignoramus of football) talking, it is what I and a lot of other people have been seeing and talking about. The Germans are the team that scored most goals in this competition and they did actually play absolutely great. So for them, the players, I felt very sorry last Wednesday when a – up to then – horribly sloppy Spanish team found back to its old strength and managed to score the one goal they needed to score in order to reach the final. Tonight “my” team had their mini-final to play for the 3rd place in the competition and they won this probably most useless match in the whole of the World cup. And they did with even 4 of the first-team regulars being replaced due to illness.

It does prove that life isn’t always fair and sometimes you won’t reach what you actually deserve. But now that they have reached the final or the semi-final three times in a row, there will be a time when they will get their chance. It is a young team but I like when young people achieve great things, so I take my hat off to their performance over the last few weeks.

So I wanna thank the team for giving us an amazing time over here.

To finish today’s post I found one of my favourite sketches by Rowan Atkinson. Basically I remembered it because we went to an Indian restaurant just an hour before and the context of football also seems to be right, so here you go. Enjoy your evening or whatever time of the day it is when you read this.


The designer that still needs to design Sister Act…