April 2008

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Things You Want To Do, Things You Do

 

 

10 things you just know you will do when your theatre season at the comedy festival is over:

1. Gallop into a headwind on a beach somewhere.

2. Fill your days with physical activity and cultural richness, going home only to sleep the sleep of the just. Legs tired, brain tingling, face beaten by the wind.

3. Eat healthy, tasty, colourful, fresh, ludicrously cheap food from the market presented gorgeously on a wooden table, possibly by a fire. There is warm bread. Someone is laughing in another room.

4. Spend long nights delving into matters you never thought to put into words with friends you should see more of.

5. Pay your bills.

6. Read books, rather than building tall cities of them around your bed until they form a teetering metropolis oppressing you even as you sleep.

7. Call your grandparents, who are ancient and who deserve more from persons for whom they built cubbyhouses.

8. Dedicate yourself anew to tasks such as cleaning your car, your house, organising your health insurance, finding out whether you even have a superannuation account, and redirecting the ten kilograms of incorrectly addressed mail that forms a pile in your living room.

9. Purchase new shoes.

10. See more theatre.

 

 

Things you actually do when your theatre season at the festival is over:

1. Realise immediately that you have no money with which to take time off to go to the beach/enjoy fantasy life of bread and laughing/ pay bills. Amend this by working for everyone at once, including on weekends. Call failure to go to gym/ be in any way physical "listening to your body". Only cheating self etc.

2. Fill all your spare time involuntarily with a twitchy, dream-addled, drool-inducing, neck-hurty sleep. Awake unsatisfied, grumpy, and frustrated.

3. Instead of eating well and having time to purchase nice food, eat expensively and often, due to lack of preparation as a result of use of spare time (see point 2). When at home, eat stale crackers and cans of tuna. Spoil self with black tea. Weep. Repeat.

4. Grumpy semi-murderous mood, overworking and odd hours due to use of spare time (see point 2) mean no contact with friends except for random encounters in the street. When greeted by friends in the street, it is usual to turn bright red, stutter something about the state of one's tracksuit pants, completely fail to make sense, and scurry away like a frightened guinea pig.

5. Pay your bills.

6. Attempt to read books. Enact point 2.

7. Call your grandparents. Forget that grandparents are on strict timetables mostly consisting of eating at the few times of the day during which you are either working or enacting point 2. Apologise. Enact point 2.

8. Completely fail to do any of the menial tasks you have been looking forward do, although the shambolic collection of unfinished tasks is - much like the book towers in your bedroom - a metaphor and you know it and everyone else knows it and you are a living cliche. You might as well take up smoking and become Russian.

9. Hate shoe shopping at the best of times. This time, look at shoes in shop windows. Consider trying them on. Feel pain of current shoes jabbing you with their nasty pointy little shoe fingers. Thought of trying on shoes oppresses you physically. Fail to purchase shoes. See metaphor above.

10. Note thriving theatrical pulsing heart of Melbourne. Repeat point 2.

 

 

... Nothing if not consistent.

Also, because I want you to know there is hope: I am going away with work tomorrow and will back on Wednesday in order to see a Hayloft theatre show - something I am really looking forward to.

 

After that, I might even have a break. Huzzah!

 

* repeats point 2 *

 

Hysterically

When I was 16, our school went on a ten day hike through the bush. We carried all our food, clothes and tents on our backs. We cooked all our food ourselves. We crossed flooding rivers. It was a hard slog. On the way back, in the bus, we had conversations about what we'd do first. Hot showers, hot meals, kilometres of chocolate, clean fingernails, clean sheets, warm socks.

 

Half way back to Melbourne, someone found something that had been left on the bus. It was a jar of a powdered orange flavouring used to make pretend orange juice. It's a product that still exists. It's called Tang. Shocked at the new discovery, the kid who discovered the Tang stood in shock for a moment and then held the Tang aloft. "TAAAANG!" he bellowed. Pandemonium broke out. The jar was emptied in moments. People dug at it with spoons, fingers, sticks, turned it upside down and devoured the sticky bits at the bottom. They vacuumed little piles of it off the palms of their hands. They argued over who was more deserving, more hungry, more needy of the hideous orange powder.

 

Later, at school, it was very hard to look those other people in the eye. Bonded though we were, the desperate shame of our sordid tangy secret ensured we kept our heads bowed when we passed in the hallway.

 

I was reminded of it last night. The hysterical exhaustion, the hunger, the ability to completely regress.

 

The following conversation took place between myself and Rita last night at the final night of the comedy festival at Trades Hall, after a month-long comedy festival season and a fairly massive Saturday night:

 

Rita: Want a drink?

Lorin: Oof.

Rita: We could though. We could have a drink and push on through. I'm going to give it try. Want one?

Lorin: Water would be good.

Rita: (leaves to get water).


Nine hours elapse.

 

Rita: (handing over water) Here you go.

 

Another nine hours elapse.

 

Lorin: You know what I'm going to do first?

Rita: What?

Lorin: I'm going to have a bath.


Another nine hours elapse.

 

Rita: Hmmm. Bath.

 

Another nine hours elapse.

Lorin: Are those two people fighting or are they about to pash?

Rita: Fighting. No. Wait. Pash. No... Who are they anyway?

 

Another nine hours elapse.

Rita: I'm having a spinach and cheese roll thing. Want one?

Lorin: No thanks. I've already had an iced chocolate, a hot chocolate, a massive bowl of pasta, a Coke Zero, three spring rolls and a month worth of restaurant dinners.

Rita: Cool. I'll be back.

 

Rita leaves. Another nine hours elapse. Person sidles up to Lorin.

 

Person Standing Next To Lorin: You involved in this?

Lorin: Sorry? With what?

PSNTL: The festival.

Lorin: Oh. Yep.

PSNTL: You involved in a show?

Lorin: Yup.

PSNTL: A comedy show?

Lorin: Yup.

PSNTL: What was it?

Lorin: That one. (Points at poster).

PSNTL: Right. Gough Whitlam.

Lorin: Yep.

PSNTL: Looks hilarious.

Lorin: Total riot. Start to finish. Honestly.

 

Person Standing Next To Lorin edges away.

Nine hours elapse.

Rita Returns.

 

Rita: Let's get out of here.

Lorin: I thought you'd never ask. I think there's some Tang in the car.

Festival. Over.

Oof.

Final Night

Tonight is the final night of our show, Greatness Thrust Upon Them.

 

A month-long season. Our first.

 

Over the past month I have:

- Eaten out almost every night.

- Eaten dinner at one of the following times: 5.45pm or 11.45pm.

- Had maybe three vegetables, accidentally.

- Made four new friends (our cast and Johnboy, our lighting genius).

- Refrained from getting the flu

- Seen three other comedy shows, rather than nine million, which is what I had planned.

 

Tonight's going to be awesome. Come along. Still tickets left and I get the feeling it's going to be a good one!

 

Everybody's birthday!

Every year, poor old Stew has a birthday in the middle of the comedy festival.

This year, he is joined by Chris, our brilliant performer who plays Robin and does hilarious monkey impressions.

The pair of them are wonderful and I'm very glad they were both born.

Here's to their parents. Huzzah!

Final week of our show

Just a bit of advice to everyone thinking they'll rock up to our show in the final week: book your tickets.

Standing and looking hard done by in the foyer will not, unfortunately, ensure you get a seat at the last minute.

Booking really is the only way to ensure you get a seat.

Final Week

This is the final week of our comedy festival show, Greatnes Thrust Upon Them.

I don't know what I'll do with myself next Tuesday. At the moment, this is the pattern:

 

9.30am - go to work, have a coffee just in case you get tired later. Bounce about feeling perfectly fine.

4pm - crash completely, exhausted, useless. Lose the ability to speak, count, type, think, exist etc.

4.30 - contemplate a second coffee. Probably too late. Have cold water instead. Stare into the middle distance. Receive sympathetic looks from co-workers. Sometimes a pat on the shoulder. Repress desire to weep.

5pm - leave work.

5.30 - get to trades hall, greet actors, crew, bar staff. Get news updates (who's running late, who's tired, who has a cold, what props are missing, how many people have booked tickets). Contemplate dinner of baked potato again (or decide for dinner later on).

6pm - wake up all of a sudden, triggered by nothing but pattern recognition.

6.30 - Stew walks in and says "Half hour call". There's something about the way he says it. I don't get any less awake.

7pm - so very awake. Show starts.

8pm - show finishes. I see friends in the audience, or nobody I know, and saunter downstairs to the bar.

11pm - eat dinner on the nights I didn't eat a baked potato. Regret earlier baked potato decision.

1.30am - about ready for bed. Think things over. Glad I didn't have a second coffee.

 

See?

 

Next week, what will I do?

 

Mother Nature

So on Tuesday Melbourne experienced the worst storms since, you know, global warming etc.

This rendered several shows in the comedy festival performer-free, due to comedians being stuck in traffic, blown off the street into surrounding bushes etc.

Our cast made it in time, but it was touch and go and the audience was windswept, to say the least.

Then, next door, the plumbers union had a party. No, I'm not even kidding. A loud party. Involving both Farnzie and Barnzie. And a few rousing choruses (chori?) of Pogues numbers at eight trillion decibells in the middle of our play.

Mother nature, she's a wonderful thing. Plumbers, they're great.

Sometimes, though, timing is everything and it is my contention that timing is not mother nature OR the plumbers union's strong point.

Just saying.

Another day, another review!

Another review today: www.pretendpaper.com