Walt Disney: Single-handedly responsible for a multi-zillion dollar empire and ridiculous standards for us male population to live up to. A good chunk of this white prince propaganda is Disney on Ice, which ironically does not involve Walt on skates, but fictional characters represented by absurd costumes doing complicated skate patterns. Skate fans hate it because it’s retarded, kids hate it because the most interesting thing Jasmine ever did was fall on her ass.
All in all, this money machine will perform around twenty shows in three different venues around Belgium, all of which will be attended by myself and seven colleagues of mine, operating the followspots meant to keep Lumière well lit (See what I did there?). We are connected through intercom, which fills the room with radio waves of crooked jokes, anecdotes and discussion on which of Triton’s daughters looks the hottest. I swear by Ariel but that’s because she’s the only redhead. Technically there’s nine of us, if you count the American technician giving us queues. It’s remarkable what ensues when nine people are forcibly connected by voice for hours on end.
-“Three euro’s for a coke here? What a ripoff!”
-“Dude, you’re the one charging ten euro’s for fricken’ popcorn.”
It’s funny because it’s true. In the lobby by the front entrance stands are placed, selling all sorts of the most random junk you can imagine, for post-war prices. If Disney were dead, which I don’t think he is because he sold his soul to the devil at some stage, he would roll over in his grave. When the lights go out, you see just how many of these rotten kids got one of those spinning light… things, with Mickey Mouse’s dumb grin on top. In my opinion it’s a sure way to get your kid to gauge its eye out but I don’t want to enforce my parental ethics on a multinational company.
Speaking of which though, I think those same ethics draw the line somewhere below the outfits that some of these characters wear. And if you know there’s a 56-year old Russian under Ursula’s costume, you might begin to think that there’s an underlying message that we are all somehow missing. What I do know, is that Daddy isn’t coming along to see the dragon get slain. Not while Tinkerbell is special guest. Jesus fucking christ, I have to keep my light on Sebastian the Salt-Water crab while that life-sized pixie is shaking that barely-covered bum.
The day of the first show, I arrived several hours early because of my own mistake. A boring few hours it were, but only because I went to see the skaters rehearse for the last half hour or so. Now, I know just how much I’m reinforcing the same old cliché, but there’s just something entrancing about these trim little girls hop on the ice and pretend to be seduced by a two-story monster while bending in ways that would make my bones snap. These guys have to be gay (which coincidentally, they are) if they can hold her like that without going primal.
There seems to be a shift in ethics when ice or dancing is involved, and this doesn’t just concern bedtime stories. While outside the Lotto arena you could be arrested for an indecent proposal, it seems perfectly normal to bend over on the set in ways that I call sexually provocative. Also, a little thought I would like to throw into the group:
Is Ariel, or anyone for that matter, aware that she was just lifted off her skates by nothing but her hoohah? He is literally holding her over his head with outstretched arm, while she is spreading all fours. Is she permanently numb down there or something? I look around, but I don’t see any children’s eyes being covered. Alright then, I suppose it must be a common thing.
Followspotting up to three shows a day can be bittersweet torture for people like me, by which I mean the warm-blooded type. Snow White’s little song fades to the background when she manages to spin in such a way that makes her skirt rise up to her forehead. I’m sorry, I know how this sounds, but it’s true! If this were to happen in public, it would make the fucking news! How did this reach such a level of normality that it made its way into child entertainment? Is there some subliminal issue to this? Trying to appeal to the adults, as well? It’s a mystery to me. But in the end, it makes followspot jobs somewhat more entertaining.