Sunday, 16 November 2014

Run-Throughs, Ravenous, Rehearsals and Rants

Hey all! Wow, it's been a fun few days at Dunsinane, even though I haven't actually been doing too much apart from attending a couple of rehearsals for EOP. It's been an interesting process because this is the first time I'm doing a show where I'm actually so hands-off, and it's been a bit of an adjustment for me to accept that it's okay to sit back, relax and let other people manage the work, even if it's not precisely sounding the way I'd imagined it to. In a strange way I'm feeling sorta underused, like, "Guys, the composer's in the house, get some feedback!", but everyone's been so busy and knackered that nobody's really asking me for any advice. Ah well. It's okay, not something I'm gonna dwell on. Here are some pics:


Absolutely no photo editing whatsoever.
Anyway it's been good for the most part. Thursday and Friday there were full run-throughs of the show. Friday night was a minor adventure in itself, but let me get to that in a bit. Saturday was a day off during which I caught up firstly with some of the people from the old Bateman church band: Miller, Dan, his wife Heidy, and Clare and her daughter Ashley, and we had a nice coffee in Bicton. Then they dropped me off at Carol's in Applecross where I finally got to spend time with her and Scott for the first time this visit, and we headed to South Perth for a scrumptious but slightly overambitious dinner. Here are some more pics!

Miller, me, Dan, Heidy and Clare!
With Scotty and Carol with Perth city in the background
Too much food. No such thing?
Carol the pizza girl.
So on Friday after I attended EOP rehearsal, I decided not to stay for the full run and headed back to Tiff and Andrew's early. However, when I got home, I realised that they had locked the wooden front door, which would've been if it hadn't transpired earlier in the day that they'd provided me with a key to the front flyscreen door, with the assurance that the wooden door wouldn't be locked. Oy vey!! So it was 8pm and I was locked out, and here's the best bit: Andrew, Tiff and everyone else at the house were out at a quiz night which they weren't only attending but were hosting. In other words, none of them could come back to my rescue, and they were due to come home only after 10pm! Oy vey, what's a poor Asian boy to do?!

Fortunately I managed to contact a friend and spend some time at his place, to be dropped back at about 10:30pm. Alas, they were running late and still weren't able to return home, which led to me sitting on their (fortunately comfortable) front porch swing, laptop in my lap and connected to an outside power point (providence!), chips and chocolates in my bag (foresight for the win!), watching downloaded telly shows and surfing the net thanks to the home wifi. The only thing that was lacking was warmth: it was 11 degrees that night and dropping, oy!

The Dunsinane crew finally got home after midnight, by which point I was practically frozen. But still, as Andrew proudly declared of my makeshift living space on the porch, "That was quite an impressive setup!" :P

Today I attended a full-day (seven-hour) band rehearsal for EOP, which would've been pretty awesome if it hadn't been ever so mildly sullied by the fact that the venue we were at had barely any air conditioning and it was thirty degrees out! So we sweltered through most of the songs (thankfully there are only 12 of them), and all in all it went pretty well, although (bitch alert!) I'm going to a most unprofessional thing and whinge about my encounter with one of the band members today. Mostly because I've always used this blog as a way of getting things off my chest, and also because, let's face it, not many people (especially those of association) would read this, LOL!! But first, here's a pic:

It fascinates me that our drummer Andrew is able to make heads or tails of my percussive scores.
So today I met a couple of newbies, and one of them really rubbed me the wrong way. It all began when I heard a wrong note this person played, to which I realised I'd probably made a blooper in the music score, so I asked this guy to try another note. "But it sounds right," he said, to which I replied, "No, it doesn't", but wouldn't you believe it, he was adamant it was correct even though it was absolutely clear to me that it wasn't. When he finally tried the corrected note (which sounded perfect), I asked if he wouldn't mind playing that note instead, and he begrudgingly said okay. Like, whatever dude, seriously, what's with the 'tude? This is the same dude who brushed me off, saying he could figure it out, when I tried to help him find his place in the score. Sigh.

Then, at another point in the rehearsal, I proposed that the band ended one of the songs in a particular way that was different from the demos I'd originally created. This fella then went and contradicted me, directing everyone to play it in another way. Now, see, I'm all for suggestions and I'm perfectly content with people saying, "Hey, how about we try it like this", but you don't bloody well undermine what the assistant musical director has just said by making a sweeping directive to everyone else. I mean, I'm the AMD and the freakin' composer for crying out loud!! You've got two people of authority above you in this production: it really isn't your place.

There were a couple more instances that really ticked me off: at one point, I asked if one of the singers needed a cue for her to resume her singing part, and this same musician said it was fine and that it wasn't necessary. Um. Hello? Again, know your place. Know your bloody role. I was so irritated by that point that I was on the verge of telling him off, but I held my tongue so as not to create tension and demotivate everyone in the room; instead, I walked out and went to the bathroom. Grrrrrr.

Then, later, another musician said he had exams on one of the show dates, and I asked him, "Oh, you realise we've got shows that day?", the intention being that if he couldn't make it, we had to either make a contingency plan or at the very least just inform the production team that he wouldn't be there. This same pain-in-the-butt musician then piped up, saying, "Yeah, I think an exam is more important than the show, Nick", in a way that just made me want to smack him. I just sighed and moved on, but naturally I told our musical director about all this, since he knows this dude better and will thereafter be able to keep an eye on things and make the necessary reproachments. Jeez, dude, just... chill, okay? Learn to be a team player and recognise when someone has a little bit more authority and know-how than you. In this particular instance, given my role as the creator of the music, I don't really think I'm asking for much. End of rant.

Anyway, here's a pic of some of the cast during rehearsal today:

They sure are a passionate bunch, aren't they!!
And I leave things on a more positive note with this sneak-peek video from Thursday's rehearsal, with an attempt at emulating a comic-book visual theme, LOL. Enjoy, and if you're in Perth, make sure you get your tickets: we open on Thursday till Saturday!!! Till my next update!!

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