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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Old Man

Today, I was in the food court.

With a chin being absent-mindedly stroked by my right forefinger and an upward tilt of my head, I looked at the menu of the Indian takeaway. I must have stared at it for at least fifteen seconds before my mind wandered and I was spacing.

A few seconds into my journey into no thought, a distant SNAP and sight of clicking fingers drew me back into the world. An old man - a stranger to me - had his arm raised and was snapping his fingers in my eyeline, creating a distracting obstacle between me and the Indian takeaway menu.

When he saw I was back attention-wise, his arm withdrew and his spine curled back into its apparently normal hunched forward posture.

He stepped towards me, with a stony expression on his face and big black rimmed glasses. He looked to me like one of the Pixar "old man" characters (Geri from Geri's Game/Toy Story 2 or Carl Frederickson from Up) but with a few lone hairs sprouting from the left side of his chin that he'd clearly repeatedly failed to prune.

He spoke, pausing after every few words to catch his breath, as if the walk of two metres had exhausted him.

"Why... did the computer... cross... the road?"

I didn't know and told him so.

"Because it was programmed by the chicken."

I didn't laugh, but I did politely smile. "Okay." His face hardly changed expression - still stony, deadpan with a few straggling hairs - but I sensed he was amused.

"You have to keep that old joke up to date, you know? Someone had to do it."

He'd apparently caught his breath. I jokingly asked...

"Is it a PC or a Mac?"

"... what?"

"The computer. Is it a PC or a Mac? And what operating system does it use?"

The man looked at me, stone faced and hairy chinned, for a few seconds.

"... you don't want the curry from this place."

He turned and walked away, to strap some balloons to his roof or not shave those hairs on the left side of his chin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Still Here, Bub

It has been clear to me that I have not blogged in well over a month. Is it because nothing has happened? No, quite the opposite. A lot has happened. Is it because too much has happened and I haven't had the time to write? No, quite the opposite. Well, which is it, James? You can only have two opposites.

I just finished doing about six months of continuous work on shows. Half of my weeknights and most of my weekends were consumed by rehearsals. I haven't had the energy. I'm exhauuuuuusted. Put the kettle on, bub, will you? ... NO, don't put the kettle on the baby! It's a term of endearment. ... yes, genius, 'kettle' is a term of endearment. Look, forget it, I'll put it on, you put your legs up and have a squiz.
  • Back in September, I helped out my friends Matt, Jackie and Kieran stage a "reading" of their original musical titled "Hell & High Water", a chronicle of the wreck of the Batavia. It was gruesomely dark but at the same time astoundingly beautiful and powerful. It was one night only, performed for a small group of professionals and family. It reunited a significant proportion of the fantastic Les Mis people as well as other friends of friends. It was performed in all blacks, performed with the music in books in front of us, and Matt accompanying on keyboard. Simple but powerfully effective, especially with the reverb of the venue just off of Montague Rd at South Brisbane. It was a great show they've got going there, I was and am so excited for them. I wish I had it in me to write a whole show.
You want sugar? ... no, I'm not calling you 'sugar'. Sugar's not a term of endearment here, it's actually sugar.
  • Miss Saigon wrapped up in mid-October after a four weekend run. It too was an incredibly fun ride, as I showed in the pictures previously. I ended up injuring my foot in the second week, jumping a little too far from the helicopter and landing very hard. When Dad took me to the GP the Monday after, he said to me in the car "Now James, when the doctor asks you what happened... your mother and I think it's best you don't use the word "helicopter". It might give the wrong impression." I made a recovery by the next weekend's run of shows, but it was an agonizingly boring week in bed. The show finished strongly and was incredible fun with an incredible group of people.

  • Hoping to avoid the post-Miss Saigon depression, I launched straight into a third show - The Complete First Season's Pizza Laser Ninja Wow! We did it for three nights in November (12-14) and it was fun. It was a tighter, leaner show than we had previously done before. It was under an hour of material - short sketches and songs - with minimal sets and costumes. The effect was a really quick and punchy show where we were forced to work hard on the writing and performances, and I think we pulled it off. While we ended up breaking even in the end, we had unfortunately seemed to book it on a weekend where there was a LOT else on (uni exams, Powderfinger's last concert, rugby, parties, other shows, etc.) so we're examining the potential of reviving it very early in 2011 for those who missed it. To be continued.
So now here I am. It's November. I'm deflated, exhausted and without a cup of tea, no thanks to you, sugar plum champ mate.

Another year come to pass. It's been months since I've gotten up to solo stand up or musical stuff. It's been almost a year since I've posted anything to YouTube. I'm spent.

I'm here at the end of 10 years out of high school, and like that time 10 years ago, I'm standing here at the precipice wondering 'what's next?'

... whatever it is, I think I'll start with a cup of tea.