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This is a question On the stage

Too shy to ever appear on stage myself, I still hung around theatres like a bad smell when I was younger - lighting and set design were what I was good at.

Backstage we'd attempt to sabotage every production - us lighting geeks would wind up the sound man by putting the remote "pause" button for his reel-to-reel tape machine on his chair, so when he sat down it'd start running, ruining his cues. Actors would do scenes out of order to make our lives hell. It was great and I don't know why I don't still do it.

Tell us your stories of life on the stage.

(, Fri 2 Dec 2005, 11:02)
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I was on a performing arts course for a year once...
...don't get me started. Okay then, do :)

The problem, aside from the shite our tutors chose for us to perform*, was that we were knee-bastard-deep in luvvies, both the established boorish 'I've been in the business for...' type and the up-and-coming, misguidedly superior proto-luvvies, most of the latter being my classmates. I was on the course solely for one of the modules on studio sound engineering so tried not to mix with them much. Degrees of success in avoiding the more effete cunts varied. The contemporary dance classes, for example, were firmly in the 'fuck that' category for numerous reasons so I used to break in to the upper catwalks of the college theatre where the classes took place and watch them farting about in an Isadora Duncan style whilst doing some written assignment or other.

One of these written assignments was to compose a short story about the human condition, the best of which would be turned into an equally short play. I wrote one about a young man with self-inflicted relationship problems (semi-autobiographical lol) and it won. Thing is, by the time it had been rewritten as a play by the group, it was about a guy in a wheelchair coming to terms with his disability. Spot the difference? Try every fucking word of it, bar the title. Granted, my story didn't really make for compelling drama, but it was still better than the lame-ass, superficial, fawning bollocks they turned it into. If I'd been enough of a pompous luvvie wanker myself, I'd have disassociated myself from it entirely.

Excepting a mercifully brief stint with the Territorial Army (don't do it, kids), it was the biggest waste of time and money that I've ever been daft enough to be a part of.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Just remembered that years later, I saw one of the course's budding actresses, a particularly snotty luvvie-larva at the time who was a year above me and wouldn't have pissed on me if I was on fire - she was working behind the counter in McDonalds, with a face like a smacked arse. Mwuhahaha - straighten your kite, shut the fuck up and bag my burgers, bitch.

Oh yes, I hate luvvies alright - first up against the wall if my revolution ever comes, for sure. I'm a nice bloke, really, but they just bring out the evil in me.

* Take a version of Noah's Ark with all the dialogue in rhyme, for starters - we had to go around the town's primary schools doing that one, delivering an entertaining and educational workshop** afterwards. Take also a 4-week project making a not-really-televised drama about a deaf guy in a dance troupe (WTF), supervised by some soap director who used to work on Brookside. And then of course there were the plays written by the main acting tutor - fuck me :|
On the flipside, I played a nasty fascist type in a Harold Pinter play during my time there, where I got to shout 'YOU'RE ALL SHIT HOUSES!' at the top of my lungs with added manic spittle for effect - I enjoyed that bit, especially since the same couldn't be said for the girl playing the downtrodden wossname I was shouting/spitting at :)

** During the 'Pretentious' QOTW a few weeks ago, someone quoted Alexi Sayle - 'Anyone who uses the word workshop and isn't involved in light engineering is a TWAT' - never a truer word - I certainly felt like a prize twat every time I used it, including just now.

(, Mon 5 Dec 2005, 14:12, closed)

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