I think there might come a day where I am rich and famous and make shitloads of money doing nothing, and then the stagehand company will call: “We need a couple more guys for some shitty job stupidly hauling dead weight under the command of fat truckers” and I’ll be like, “Count me in.”
I don’t know why I still do this, but once in a little while I am kindly reminded. While it might be the shittiest job in the world to build a stage and bleachers in a makeshift venue and cramming as much lights, drapes and intricately finished itty-bitty little details as possible in the available space; If it comes with two weeks of followspot jobs, I’m in.
And so, I am now on a train to Brussels, as the only followspot operator, for rehearsals and overall assistance with the lights. From this point on, the job should be an easy one: Do my best doing what I like- Until load-out, that is. This kind of work is mostly about skill, concentration, and lots of waiting.
Oh and titties.
No doubt you’re aware of the existence of the Moulin Rouge, but you might be less informed (like I am) about their competition. Apparently they’re not the only whorehouse in Paris (surprise!) and some of these shows are even taken on the road.
Crazy Horse is one of these… brothels? Their recently developed show “Forever Crazy” has landed in Brussels and will be staying there for a total of 11 shows, one of which I have already done. And it’s… quite a sight.
The intention of the show becomes immediately clear when the curtain opens and a literal army of chicks in some excuse for a uniform and silly British hats do a little dance with their tits out. Voila, the tone is set et le spectacle commence.
I can see why people love these shows. In short, a female body is placed onstage and worshipped for an hour and a half. Skinny girls with cute asses and stiff nips bring a variety of dance acts, from classical strip acts to complicated sequences suspended from ropes (mm ropes). It’s all supposedly very high standard and cultural, but I call bullshit. About half of the acts are focused on visual effects and impressions, but the other half is sex. Sex sex sex. Kissy, touchy, feely, cutesy sex in red pumps. No matter how good the concept and execution, this show will never match one with the same kind of effort placed on things non-sexual.
Time has passed and I am physically looking at the girls now, who are practicing their dance moves in G-strings, tank tops and high heels. Perhaps this sight is what I appreciate most of all, when they’re not trying to give officials and managers a hard-on and are just themselves. They’re pretty, let me tell you, but not at all as hot as one might expect. Their bodies are virtually identical and the faces… are (figuratively) kind of hit and miss. At this moment, they seem like a group of typical Paris girls doing a little dance and having fun.
This also relates to the actual show: If it weren’t for the fact that their clothing state varies from ‘topless’ to ‘oh look she’s a natural blonde’, this would be little more than a couple dance acts stacked on top of each other. The choreography is very good and the effects definitely work, but well… I’ve seen better in a Shakira video. Once you get over the unusual amounts of perky tit, the show doesn’t come higher than a well executed sum of its parts.
As a technology nerd, all that skin mostly just makes me marvel at how well it responds to light. There is no top light (to avoid shadows under the tits, no kidding) and different color spots are directed from both sides of the stage. There is no moving light whatsoever, everything is done with a bunch of fixed lights and a projector- and the result is staggering. Kudos to the technicians, I don’t think this show would hold together at all if it weren’t for them.
Which brings me, once again, to my followspot. It’s a smallish but versatile thing, which is necessary because it’s a key factor in the light scheme. They make me do the rehearsals (which is why I am here alone now) so I know my part well. After all, my light is the only one that can move and track whatever is going on onstage. Most of the time, I’m pin-spotting faces while they dance. It’s an easy enough principle, but in practice, this is by far the most difficult spot job I’ve done.
I do surprisingly well staying focused, considering my ADD and average hormone levels. Maybe it’s because of my drive to do a good job, or because the sight of tits does little for me if they don’t come with a literal handful of rump. After all, why have a cake if you can’t eat it?
Three days ago, I found myself wondering what I’ll do next week, and what I’ll be eating next month. At this moment, I’m pondering how I will do all my laundry in one day between jobs in Paris and Luxemburg.
In all the voluntary jobs I have ever done, I never had an ulterior motive. Ever. I worked because I enjoy it, because I supported the cause, or simply because they asked me to. But, I did a hell of a lot of it, and I’m glad to see it finally pay off in well-paid jobs for companies I actually want to work for.
Two weeks of helping with the chaotic preparations for the Be Bamboo-event in the city, proved my worth with the right people and they, in turn, dropped my name with large, local companies. As a result, I’ll be going to Paris in two weeks and Luxemburg the week after. The former is for some fashion show (I think) but what I find much more exciting, is the latter which will consist of tent building for, yes sir, the company I’ve been involved with the last couple months. And what is more, they’re the ones who got me into the Paris job, too.
Although my “career” is changing course, I have managed to keep up the momentum; I am very happy about that. I might not be touching an audio or light desk again any time soon (other than for a voluntary job at a local club) but I enjoy what I do, I’m still learning and am gaining perspectives for the future.
Way to go, Vermy. I feel like buying myself a beer but I’d only refuse it.