Sunday, 9 May 2010

Rehearsals with stand-ins at Telenor Arena today!

Dear Diary,

I just want to say I was really impressed with the stand-ins I saw in the Telenor Arena today. The first rehearsal to start today was Moldova with a fantastic rock song that really blew me away with its green lights and energy. All I saw in the rehearsal schedule was "stand-ins" which means the usual blah, half-hearted, I-just-got-dragged-here-out-of-bed-on-a-Sunday-morning extras paid poorly by a film extras agency, who gets cheap talent off the street.

But when I laid eyes on them "stand-ins", I was like "wow" are you sure they are not real stars? I was really impressed by these BĂ„rdar Dance Institute students' performance value, despite them knowing that this is probably not going to be on national TV and that they are not real stars. But guess what? It was only half-way through the day (5 hours had passed) before someone informed me that the songs were not recorded with vocals and that they were singing live! OMG. Are these talented young people for real? All along I thought they were using the real singers' vocals and no, it was *THEM* singing three or four times in a row, sometimes in a foreign language like Finnish! Wow. 

These musical students really rock my boots.

My boots have not been rocking these two days actually, because they have been limping. Limping with my limp right ankle. Two-footed moi actually chose the best timing to get hurt - an evacuation drill yesterday morning got me so nervous I fell over myself. 


Seriously it's just a drill. Even my sleepy brain at 10am understands that the alarm bells were fake.

Norwegians call it "stepping over themselves". Yep, that's me. The person walking in front of me said I suddenly vanished. Yes, that's because I was squatting on the ground in pain. My right foot somehow tripped over itself over uneven ground. I thought it's the usual "Oh, it's painful for a while but it would be fine later." 

But my ankle swelled and had a blue-black (bruise in Singlish) in the evening and that's not nice. For now, my foot is nestled in a bandage that a nice G4S security guard (who thankfully seemed to be really trained in first-aid like they claimed) wrapped for me. 

Henrik, the guy who is now running operations in the Arena for the tent and furniture, had broke his knee a few days ago, and he gave me the advice that painkillers really worked for him, especially now he's been swaggering around the huge venue without a limp like me. He's pretending to be a super-human. I don't understand someone who can walk around all day just hours after breaking his knee. He's got it concealed well in his jeans too.

Hmmm.... I guess if you need to show that you are a big boss, painkillers help you mask the pain, but what you do with your body and muscles in the end without having a proper rest is not something I want to face.

Gotta call the NRK doctor tomorrow, and see if she could check-in on me.

Right now I've just finished watching another run of all song entries in Eurovision Song Contest 2010 and I hope that I don't get sick of the songs by the end of this month. I love the lights though. Nobody can take away the out-of-body experience I had this morning just standing there in the centre of a large empty floor (ground seats are not in yet) watching a live rehearsal blasting its lights and music full-volume at me. It's beautiful.

I was even inspired to write a poem about the dance of the crane and dolly cameras weaving in and out of the stage, then the ceiling camera zooms in with its quiet whirr, the Steadicam fotograf (cameramen) running in circles around the singer, the lights pulsing with the rhythm of the song, the backup singers and players throwing their heads around in passion, somersaults, all the crew fully concentrated in getting every detail right. So much talent and skill gathered in one place, it made me shiver with the beauty of a higher power. 

They are dancing the dance of life in its highest form of illusion.

Beautiful, stunning, exquisite.

I love being part of this production in Norway. It amazes me how I even end up in Norway from Singapore. How did I get my boot (or injured foot) into this, so-called world's biggest TV production, surpassing Super-bowl in USA with 125 million viewers?

At times like this, standing in the middle of the shining spectacle in front of me, watching the cameramen bending over in concentration over their shot-lists in the amber light, the singers so passionate about their songs, I contemplate on the meaning of Life. 

 How did all of us - singers, dancers, actors, stage managers, producers - end up together in one place like this? How did this gathering of life begin? What and who is the power controlling all these, making us beautiful dancing puppets of his masterful Hand? Dancing in the shadows, we all try our best to achieve one common goal. It's beautiful. I love it. 

At this moment I thank God for making me alive and giving me the chance to be, to exist in this moment called now. This very moment will never come back again, which is why I love watching rehearsals live. Because few others share this moment with you, it's private, not public. It's just for me. A moment in creation just for me. I love it. The lights, the sound, the bass, the energy, is just for me - all for me. 

My logical mind says no, but my heart says YES! It's just for me...all for me to enjoy.... I will not be jaded like many others in the industry. I want to live in the excitement forever, and not get lost by knowing as well, that all this creation is not real. Is it a contradiction? I don't know how to describe it. How could God create all these without a reason? It's a celebration of Life, isn't it? It's a celebration of the very energy of creativity and skill, evolution of consciousness....

I think I perhaps get too much into the moment... but isn't the sensation of it wonderful? I think everything is pre-planned, right down to the minute in my life.
Thank God for making me alive...
thank you..


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