day three or four; joining the circus

May 3, 2008

Sunday night; day three four whatever. Today woke early again with a slight hangover from drinking with Daniel. Be the death of me that boy. Went down early to the internet café here in the cirque apartments and plugged in laptop for some Skypey action with home. No camera but good to see Janet’s face and hear her voice. We planned to talk again after her gym but no luck. Left some messages and then had a sleep to resolve jet lag and woke up to watch the sunset from Daniel’s room and automatically phoned home. It rings and then seconds later I realize that it is one thirty in the morning there.


But some time on Sunday went for a measurement session at the studio. Had to change into a very fetching g-string jock-strappy support type thing and powder blue lycra leotard thingy so that every fold of love handle and flab and failing muscle tone really stands out. Then Richard measures my body. In great detail; distance between nipples, over the shoulder from one nipple to the waist at the back, from the left ear over the head to the clavicle. Across the back armpit to waist mid thigh top of thigh bottom of thigh across the foot instep to arch. Ankle to floor etc. Took an hour, tried three pairs of shoes. An hour and a bit of glancing furtively into the huge mirror to see if stomach hanging out, flab just flabbing, excema displaying its crusty weepy angry red patch behind the knee and creeping around the side?  But the poo seems to approach the ventilator tomorrow with the day filled with appointments with everyone from immigration and contracts to integration and admin kak before training. Hopefully that starts Tuesday. Don’t even know what that entails. Can’t wait; nervously anticipating. Who knows what to expect. I expect I am out of condition and stiff and unfit that’s what I expect, but the regime begins soon and what a change you will see ladles and tablespoons. Ja. Believe me.


Well now its four o clock in the morning; the next morning Monday, and suddenly I have no wireless connection in my room. I suppose it’s just there to confuse and disorientate me. I am presuming this is another test they are putting me through. ‘Watch him and see how he reacts.’ Well they should know I’m made of tougher stuff. I’ll just take my laptop down to the internet café and plug in, so there. I am having slight withdrawal from not having spoken to Janet for a few too many hours. It’s about ten o’clock there now and I could call her at work but my connection is down.


There is no reason or logic in complaining about my situation since I brought it on myself. I chose this. This Spartan living, cleaning up myself, simple means. You came to boot camp remember? Time to toughen up. Get fit emotionally as well as physically, intellectually, creatively. You are not supposed to be wallowing in comfort. This is going to be hard. Yes but I miss Janet. My light in the darkness. Without her things are dim. The sudden disappearance of erratic wireless connection in my room points me toward my reliance. Okay going down now with my laptop hope the café is open.



So; woke up this Monday morning at 4 and couldn’t sleep. Not a bad night though and got to sleep early so actually okay plus it gave me time to get down to the café with no one about and try and get hold of Janet. Struggle with failing connections but at least later today we had some time but only by calling her. Skype not being very cooperative. Good to make contact though. Calming. Then lay down and had another doze. My alarm clock works and so does Daniel wakes me up at seven when I was just getting into a nice last minute doze yes of course I’m awake… dressed, shower, teeth and casual clothes. Just a t-shirt and jersey; hell, its blazing bright outside. Then time right; fill my arms with breakfast foodstuff for Daniel and head off down the passage. Cereal, milk, bread and cheese. Then quick goodbyes; ‘hey it’s the first day at Bootworts!’ (a mixture of Hogwarts and bootcamp.) And then later Daniel says ‘yeah actually its making me think more and more of Charlie and the chocolate factory.’ All these rooms with all these amazing people doing extraordinary things. Visionary, impossible things based on pure human ingenuity, stamina and hours and hours of training. The building is big and exciting; a mixture of corrugated iron and concrete and grey and colours and angles and steel and glass and cushions and pictures everywhere. We give each other the thumbs up and I stride off down the passage and across the road. Yikes! A bit colder but ag, I will spend most of the time indoors anyway. Wrong entrance. Get to right one. Through the automatic sliding doors. ‘Hello, bonjour I’m here to see Silvia Huaman?’

‘A quelle heure?’

I think he’s saying ‘atelier?’ whatever that means, perhaps its ‘office?’

No. He repeats. I get it and say ‘Yes, seven thirty, exactly now’. He can’t find the number or the office. I show him the letter and finds the name

‘Ah Silvia, not ‘Sylvia’ like I had written in the visitor’s registration.

’Pardon, pardon’. Good to practice that one. Usually get to use it a lot.


Silvia arrives; she’s from Peru and worked with immigration for a long time and now for Cirque and part of a huge office; a whole floor full of offices just to manage immigration. But then it makes sense. I thought Cirque was huge. Its way bigger. So quick fill in forms, collect token for taxi, have picture taken, more forms and go order an taxi, ‘Your interview is at eight thirty’ and the letter says it in big letters across the top; DON’T BE LATE. So I am running down the passage. Doorman calls a cab it takes five minutes of the fifteen I have to get to the consulate. We go, it takes 25 minutes and the whole ride I am watching the clock and trying to control my breathing because I re-discover I have a paranoid fear, a real terror of being late for work or official engagements commitments. And every light is obviously red, but we get there. There’s a queue, but it’s now ten to nine; I am thirty minutes late. Aaauugh!! The doors are closed and the queue of ten, twelve people is standing in a line on the pavement and the wind is thrilling down the street. I go to the doors looking lost; just like every other lost soul that turns up and doesn’t know whether to join the queue or go straight in. ‘Are you here for an interview?’ A woman goes in, so I figure follow her but the security guard blocks the way pushes us back

‘Exit the building’.  

‘But I…’

‘Exit the building ma’am. Sir?’

‘I have an interview at…’

‘Sir join the queue’.


Instantly I obediently hustle to the end, turn face into the brisky breeze and hope its right. I am not half an hour late for my interview with the American consulate for a work permit! The guard comes wandering down the queue weeding out the one’s who shouldn’t be there and fielding questions who complain about their difficulties. He clinically and politely organizes the queue. I ask him, ‘I’m afraid I’m gonna be late.’

‘No, its good til eleven’ .

Breath out and lean. No problem; queue for hours if I have to. At least I’m not late. Its cold now and the thin jersey and t-shirt is becoming regrettable. He lets in two or three then finally one at a time into the warmth of the first step inside the building leading up to the security doors.

Long story short (because all tension gone); Lined up, sat waited, handed forms, smiled, answered simple questions, waited, watched the number board and then got called again receipt . Out the building first taxi; ‘Take me to the Cirque studio s’il vous plait’. Get there; doesn’t take the coupon. Pay, get a receipt, get money, go to next meeting. Sent home for lunch after getting Cirque security card entrance etc.


Go home, look for Daniel, back to the cafeteria. Good, (no, actually outstanding) food, the place packed. Heading home, look for Daniel. No, actually the front desk security sees me fumbling with my new card at the gate opening thingy and he gives me clear instructions in accented English. I try to follow. No, I try hard to appear as though I am following so that he doesn’t think I’m stupid as well as unilinual. Then after coming out after lunch I can’t remember what to do so I think I’ll pretend to fill out this form and watch what other people do. But then there’s Daniel heading off too. And he doesn’t know what to do either; we joke with our cards who can open the door first and go home giggling. I tell him my visa story. he tells me his tour of the building and medical.


I fill in my form and he heads back for head moulding. I go with Lili? And fill in some more forms, collect visa expenses and some sense of timetable; contract, later physio, medical examination; first into the gym and Rookie the physio lady does her thing. Inspections of every joint, physical function and reflex, balance after checking medical history. Passed a clean bill of health for performance of contract with a note to work on right shoulder strength and attention to tendonitis.


Then back to Lili and hallo into the studio and Daniel is sitting with Dominique the Director of LOVE and Renald the (clown and theatre?) coach. The first thing I notice about Dominique is that he’s had some dental work since the Varekai movie. He had just planned to speak with Daniel but then took the time to try to present to both of us his vision of the characters. He talks a lot with some clear images and concrete notions to work with and hold on to. He says our approaches will be different;

‘Daniel don’t watch the video. Andrew it doesn’t matter if you do because Roderigue made this role and its near perfect so I don’t want you to look beyond what he does for the moment.’

My heart sinks.


But then I don’t even know what Sgt Pepper does or who he is or what he role is. Dominique talks some more about it; the leader of this imaginary military band. That he conducts and knowing war he knows the need for peace and clear sight and the dignified confidence of the soldier; he becomes the soldier of peace; leading this quest for love and peace. He is a kind of Moses? (I was thinking.) With a religious feel. What else? Watch the anthology and this video of Roderigue’s performance in close up. Have to admit I am disappointed.  Obviously the video is no way to assess. Not disappointed by his performance, just by the role, the demands. The physical acting demands seem very similar much of the time; the dynamic he presents feels one dimensional on the screen. Tomorrow I meet him for a session together. I am thinking much more specific movements and rhythms and use of stop and pause and contrary actions and tensions. More detailed choreography. More dynamic. Watch the dvd again and think about each scene. 


Then Dan and I meeting with tax expert with wonderfully confusing charts and lists and instructions and a few more forms and depressing news about deductions and social security deductions and the agony of return submissions. ‘Keep the slips’ etc. then Daniel and I home with a handful of Beatles anthology dvds. Watched two, had some beer and a sandwich each. Better cook the pasta tomorrow night before it’s too late. Then to this and to bed.

One Response to “day three or four; joining the circus”

  1. Marianne Says:

    Hey Andrew!!

    Just find out about this blog…wish you all the best in Montreal and Vegas. Greatings to Daniel.

    Marianne from the Netherlands

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