IT’S MY PARTY
DAY FIVE: blast off…
Lewis and my stand-in singer Becky came to rehearse late afternoon. Becky had done amazingly well to learn my song in a few days and be ready for the opening night. We had decided to place the PA on the balcony that overlooks the gallery. I like that, as they will not be fully in view, but being above it fits some elements of the show…the reference to Norns in particular, those all seeing spirits who I refer to in my narrative about Jack Brunel. My angels shall be on high, delivering the song to us mortals below.
We had booked into a nearby hotel for the evening so that a sigh of relief and celebration could take place afterwards. Various people were travelling a bit of distance to get to the opening and it was great to see them in the evening. Back at the hotel I review my notes so I don’t get snow blindness when giving my talk. Shouldn’t have worried about that though, in the end I rattle on without a break about my artistic vision and of course add in some of the many thankyou’s I need to deliver.
Turns out I may have been a little verbose ha ha.. 50mins so I’m told. I had asked for a signal if I was going on too long but none had seemed forthcoming from the sea of smiling faces. Ah well – it was the culmination of a lot of thought and lost weekends so perhaps I may be forgiven.
A few people had made their apologies, you expect that. In a way an opening is not the best place to view this work as there is too much to take in if you are going to do it justice. Video can be a bit demanding like that and this work is ostensibly narrative in structure, so I was happy that those who didn’t make it to the preview promised to get over at other times.
Now the silence is deafening. The show is out there chattering to itself and waiting for anyone who is prepared to take it on. This morning I received an email
“I was quite moved watching the videos, getting into the photos, reading the snippets and finally making sense of the whole structure of your idea”.
Nice. I do worry sometimes that people won’t ‘get’ the whole of this piece without a bit of effort, so it’s reassuring, when someone does take the time, that it does reveal itself. It just takes the occasional comment like that to re-energise my enthusiasm for the next stage of the project – namely re-shaping it for further presentation and compiling the book.
Last week I went back to Hartlepool to show some of the retirement village residents my videos. I have had a few requests for copies, which is interesting in its own right. This isn’t exactly social history in the telling, but I will give those who took part a copy of the complete piece if they want one.
I was chatting to a gentleman I hadn’t met before as the videos played and I offered explanations. Turns out he was a singer at the Rink Ballroom and a veritable mine of info that would have been useful to me previously. He is interested and polite, but in a way that I can tell he wants to be the one who has all the stories, and the fact that I now know quite a breadth of stuff about the Rink is perhaps unsettling (annoying?) for him as he is used to being the font of information.
It is only after an hour of sitting ‘watching’ that he tells me he is blind. His reading of the piece must be very different from my intention. It is at this juncture that I am glad I have my ACE.
“I would be interested to get your opinion of my song” I say
“I wrote it in the style of the period and I wonder if you think it fits”
His demeanour changes markedly as he listens.
“That is really good” he says, “well done”