Casual conversation among acquaintances is exactly like a game of capoeira, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Just like talking, capoeira is a form of dialogue, with questions, statements, and reactions. While usually harmless, every kick or punch must be met with a dodge or block- preferably in a graceful manner and with a counterattack.
Ring a bell?
The main difference between capoeira and small talk, is that I have some kind of talent for the former. Conversation on the other hand, gets me off balance each and every time. Only of the quick and casual kind, mind you, I don’t do too badly when the subject is one either of us gives a flying fuck about.
The analogy is dead simple: Imagine running into somebody on the street. But you know, they’re on the other side and you’re both kind of in a rush and it’s not a she.
I can handle that. Action, reaction. They kick, I dodge. Easy peasy, Japaneasy. But just as I want to face forward again to see where I’m going, they proceed with, “How are you??”
Seriously, you overly social salad tosser? I just passed you by and you ask how I’ve been since we last met, which was by the way two years ago, when I had a different house, girlfriend, degree, haircut and social fucking status? That’s low, man. That’s fluidly-continue-said-kick-into-a-tackling-move low. Any decent capoeirista could step out of this one but oh that’s right, this ain’t capoeira and I ain’t worth a damn at this.
Let’s see, how am I doing? In the mean while, form a few thoughtful vowels to keep his question hanging. Yesterday was fucking awesome, but the day before that was kind of a downer. Which one would be representative of –Oh wait never mind, he’s gone and all I said was “Phew gee hmm um derp derp”. Way to go, mongoloid.
So next time, hold an answer ready. Plan ahead. anticipate their move and counteract it smoothly like this is something you do on every corner of the block. And speak of the devil, there he is! “Hey!” –“Yo dude, howya doin’?” –“Can’t complain, thanks!” Aaaand he left. And 4 steps later I realize I didn’t even ask him how he was. I dodged like a fucking pro, and then did nothing- just passively kept on dancing.
So now my standard answer has become, “Fine, how’re you,” just like my first dodge-and-counter move has become esquiva-queixada to test my opponent’s speed and skill level. Fuck honesty anyway; if they actually cared, they’d stop for a moment and look me in the eye rather than shout “how are you” over the shoulder.
What the hell kind of question is that, anyway? How could one possibly begin to describe his entire state of mind in the 2.3 second time frame? You’d probably learn much more about his life as it is today by asking “How’s the left foot?” but the only answer you’d most likely receive would be “Phew gee hmm um derp derp.” But that’s okay, we can’t all be capoeirista’s.
I began this elaborate rant on the past weeks yesterday, but then I got bored and gave up. Suffice to say that my class and I had to organize a festival as the ultimate test of our skills and to teach us that showbiz doesn’t end at our job, and that we nailed it. I was complimented on the projection that I installed, showing my pictures of Doel in the background during performance, and later on live footage of the performance itself. Also, I had little problem handling the job of stage manager, but I could have done much better as a light tech- I relied on automations way too much.
After we were globally thanked and congratulated with our work, I was personally approached and told that I did a mighty fine job. Been a while since I felt this proud of myself.
So now I started my internship with the Vieze Gasten, which I will, without a doubt, keep you updated on. So far it’s been awesome but I’m having second thoughts on my next job: I’ll be doing the sound on a Roma gypsy wedding- not shitting you. They told me it’s the perfect opportunity to bring my camera and shoot pictures, but I’m not so sure. I generally give people the benefit of the doubt but after having several Czech and Ukrainian couchsurfers over, all with a very clear opinion on Roma gypsies, I can’t really tell what to expect. Then again, my boss might be right and this will be a one-time opportunity I can’t miss out on.
Ta daa. Life-changing events, in a nutshell. If I could cram this into a 4-second conversation I might be able to spill it next time I spot an ex-colleague in town.