Archive for October, 2006

Here Comes the TNT

We’re now just under a week out from Guy Fawkes Night.

Guy Fawkes seems a little like a non-event to me these days. And I’m tremendously fond of lighting things on fire in the name of fun, particularly if they will explode with a satisfying bang. I recall the excitment and anticipation that lead up to the occasion when I was young with great affection.

I find it interesting that we continue to celebrate the foiling of the Gun Powder Plot so many centuries on. It’s fairly meaningless afterall. Even our colonial brother Australia does not mark it. I’m not even sure if the UK observes it. But it’s a good excuse to set off a bunch of fireworks. Thing is – it’s not exactly the best time of year for New Zealanders to be letting off fireworks. Winter is fairly well past by early November. The ground and plantlife are all fairly dry and it isn’t dark until late. These conditions are even more pronounced in Australia at the moment, so just as well they don’t mark it. Actually, I think their fireworks day is Australia Daay, which is January, and much much drier.

Funny to note: you are allowed to let off fireworks at any time day or night in NZ, provided there are no firebans in place in your local area – rare things most places – but you can only legally buy or sell fireworks in the week leading up to Guy Fawkes. People do stock up on them, as you see them at New Years and a few other times. This year is particularly chronic. Parliament is saying that this is our last chance to use them responsibly, or next year they’ll ban them completely. In all likelihood, this time next year private citizens will not be able to get fire works. We’ll all be down at the public displays. End of an era.

 Will I miss it? Almost certainly.  Though since they banned skyrockets I’ve not been that interested in my own private displays anyway. Plus there will be slightly more intact letterboxes and fewer missing pets come the next morning.  Thank god for that. I hate my letterbox, the little punks can have it. Maybe I should blow it up myself for the fun of it.

Sadly, we really have shown that we can’t use fireworks responsibly here.

Here’s to an orgy of burning.

Post Show Wrap – Les Miserables

And so another show has come to a close.

This is late by about two weeks, but I needed some space from the experience.

Playhouse Theatre’s Season of Les Mis ran for three weeks, plus two weeks of rehearsals in the theatre, and a less intensive run of what must have been 10-12 weeks of build up prior to that. Information that has flowed back to us after closing says that the show was a solid success. Attendance was high, with the resulting box office payoff, and audiences are said to have made some very positive comments. Not bad for a show which audiences hold to such a high standard.

Musically, this was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, by some distance. It also turned out to be at a difficult time of year for me. A couple of weeks out from pack-in, having acheived very little to date, I finally managed to closet myself away and get it mostly sorted. I never quite managed a flawless show, but I was really really close in the final few. To anyone who attended in the first week: sorry about that. With any luck you didn’t notice anything. I didn’t quite get there until the second week of the show.

Naturally the show had it’s ups and downs. Here’s the highlights:

Top 5 moments:

  1. Closing night: Free at last!
  2. My solo at the end of The Robbery on closing night wailed
  3. The first night that we really nailed the Attack on Rue Plumet
  4. Breaking a string on the last note of the bows, final night. Best stringbreak ever.
  5. Generally just working with such a phenomenal Orchestra and Cast.

Worst 5 moments:

  1. The night they blew up the lighting desk. That was awesome.
  2. The glare I got from our conductor coming in a bar early on one occasion in a really bad spot.
  3. The night I couldn’t even see my score at points because the crew went nuts on the smoke machine and filled the pit. Thanks guys.
  4. The missed cue at which we stopped, reversed 8 bars and started again. It’s hard to do that subtly.
  5. After about three shows, when I realised I was going to have to do this for another 13 more.

Most Amusing 5 moments:

  1.  “When that puke did that duke” from a principal. Nuff said.
  2. Dropping my guitar on Vanessa (Oboe) in mid-number and the resulting aerial leap.
  3. The endlessly amusing variations of one song or another during mic checks. It developed a serial quality from night to night.
  4. A flag waving cast member connecting with a light.
  5. The nameless person who knocked over a whole platter of silverware backstage during a particularly quiet bit.

Most exhausting moment:

  1. All the bits in between that I wasn’t sleeping.

So, in summary, this was one hell of an experience. It absorbed my whole life for around two months, outside of working hours. I now need to gradually wean myself back down off the resulting caffeine addiction.

What’s next? Well, I have been asked to do Grease in march, again at playhouse. While I am tempted, it’s quite a hike out there. Doesn’t seem to be much else on around that time, so looks like I’ll be doing it. You’d think I’d had enough retro with Fame, but I guess I could go back yet another decade.

Backdating and Expanding

I’ve decided to structure this site a bit more so that it’s possible to find and access things a bit more easily.

To fill it out a bit, I’m going to post a bunch of stuff that has happened prior to the site’s existence.

This is likely to take some time, but will pay off at some point.

Initiation

There has been a general spreading-out of the people I know in recent years. Some are gone months, others years. Some I am related to, others are friends, close and acquainted. Some are working, some are just travelling, some both. Others are working and living on just the other side of town, and yet career and personal goals have placed obstacles to keeping close relations.

 This was to be expected, but has made it difficult to keep up with people, and for people to keep up with me. Several have already installed their own digital personas on the web for this purpose. So I have decided to begin my own. Plus I have a great deal of experience at being wordy, so it’s a natural progression.

It is my fervent hope that I do not become so self involved that this blog becomes a sort of geyser of angst or something. If this happens, please feel free to flame me.

Rather, I hope that this space becomes a kind of melting pot of the various aspects of my life, plus a few opinions and well chosen observations. I have been told that I have a fairly ‘interesting’ view of the world, and so hopefully this will come through for the amusment of others.

In all likelyhood, no-one will read it anyway.