last vague ass on planet circus

May 22, 2008

Some good time early morning to get myself together and then wait for eight o’clockish to call Janet since it’s Thursday and she will be teaching dancing in the township until after five and we are nine hours behind. Started the day with a taxi ride to the local supermarket and some basics shopping. Spent seventy dullards or so and then walked back. A good walk, some thirty odd minutes but with packets cutting the old hands and aching the shoulders. ‘Come on just get to the fire hydrant in the shade over there and we can rest. Ow ow. Ah.’ But after a while fell into a rhythm. ‘A lift sir? No thank you I’m used to walking, I’m from Africa you know. People walk for a day to get food and water there don’t you know. This? This is nothing’.. grunt stagger pant..

Then pick up from carlos in the LOVE bus – a Ford minivan covered in the LOVE poster. Unmissable in a parking garage; bright red and yellow and orange psychedelia. We go across town to the district offices to line up for a social security number. Usual story take a number fill in the form, sit and wait, go to a cubicle and have a short interview with some civil civil authority person and then out in an hour. Back to the hotel. Vegas is flat wide and spread out. All the soil brown grey with a pinky tinge. Desert gravel and rock. The houses also following the tonal feel. The suburban areas filled with, but not covered in, trees. Weird; palms mixed with fir trees. How the hell do fir trees survive in a desert? Flying in I noticed a number of golf courses; weird patches of stretched out green amongst the browns and greys of the desert sand. The sun is bright and piercing but the weather at the moment not very hot; Carlos says we can expect it to get a lot hotter soon. Into the hundreds farenheit.. what’s the conversion Quanita? Minus 23 and divide in half? Then back to the hotel and sudden fatigue. Agreed on a two o’clock pick up and lay down for a quick nap; woken by phone; Carlos in the foyer. ‘Yes?!’ Actually I am so deep asleep what I really mean is ‘Who is this?’ and I don’t mean ‘Who is this on the phone?’, I mean ‘Who is this in my body staggering over to the phone?’ and ‘Where am I?’ doesn’t even get a look in before I have answered ‘Carlos?!’ and am rushing for the foyer; four minutes late… aaaaauuugghh!!.

‘Sorry about that Carlos.’ ‘No problem.’ We drive to the Cirque offices; again a good drive across the flat stretches off the Strip and into the mid suburban sprawl. The offices; very discreet. I am met in the foyer by the receptionist who says, ‘Hi didn’t you have a 2.00pm appointment?’
‘What?’ check the schedule. ‘aaauugghh!!’ ‘Yes. I have no excuse except until Carlos leaves the room and I blame him for only picking me up at two…’
Anyway I am assured there is no problem and then sit with Laura who efficiently and politely from behind rather severe reading glasses, blond hair and lengthy frame and a charming demeanour takes me through the five thousand three hundred and twenty eight forms I have to read and sign on health insurance, life insurance, employment policy etc etc. I now know my name and today’s date like the back of my hand. If I tried to write it today the said hand would probably automatically write 05.08.08…
At the end of this we part and I am fetched by Christina of the short stature BLACK hair and bewitching tattoos. She works in the LOVE offices at the Mirage and takes me there for my theatre tour and meeting with the stage management of the show. Katie takes me through the backstage area and the grid and the green room and the offices and the auditorium and the cafeteria and what a place… the scale is jaw dropping. The technology is awesome and the people extremely welcoming. Of course this is where I get more of the ‘Oh your Daniel’s father…’ routine non stop for three hours. But I am starting to revel in it actually. ‘If you’re anything as nice as your son, we will love you.’
‘Yes I must say it wasn’t easy but it was a good upbringing overall quite successful. You’ll notice his good manners and polite ways?’
We interrupt his session with Jo in the low training room, to which access is gained through the high training room. Not ‘high training’ you understand because filled with gym equipment and aerial gear but because high roofed to house the aerial apparatus. Then a break before ‘tapis rouge’, the weekly company meeting to discuss events of the previous week. I am introduced and cheered a blush-inducing welcome. Matters concern the incident with the big ladder last week and how the artist handled it so well and the management dealt with it. An announcement to riotous applause of performance bonuses from 2007 because Guy wants to share in the good results. Since the show plays to about 4000 people a night at an average of $120 dollars a ticket and so makes a bout half a million dollars a night it would seem to make sense that there might be some over for the artists. Not wanting to malign the management; the most amazing thing about this place besides the treatment of its artists is the way the money made is spent on the next production.

Then a pause while the show starts, Daniel is shadowing one of the stage managers. I go to the green room and watch the show on the run of play for half an hour before the physio, Jeff does another physical and health evaluation on me. I am manipulated and stretched and checked and questioned in even more detail than in Montreal and then do a computerized test on brain activity. The computer has to stop now and again and check that there actually is a brain connected to the finger inanely clicking the mouse through the complicated aptitude tests of memory and speed; remember the sequence of words, recognize which shape goes with which number and then go back to the words at the beginning of the test etc. It was quite fun but to a jet lagged brain, slightly smoke-out-the-ears inducing. I am given the schedule of Pilates, massage and strength and conditioning classes to which I have free access and then sent home. I am pretty finished by now. Daniel and I stagger through the smoky puke smelling foyer which is a tropical jungle of bodies and slot machines, then take a cab home. It is the first time I have seen ‘the strip’ at night. It’s bizarre. A blade runner landscape of led screens but without the over crowding and rain and run down feel. But every where people in bars and walking to shows determined to party. Too tired to comprehend too much I fall into bed and sleep without even remembering to close my eyes…

Woke up ‘Gee my eyes are dry… why is that?’ ‘Well we’re in the middle of a desert in case you forget.. and when the window isn’t open the air conditioner is working so what do you expect?’ ‘Gee, sorry I asked.’

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3 Responses to “last vague ass on planet circus”

  1. Bee Says:

    Am loving all the details. When’s your first show? Bee x

  2. otherworld Says:

    Otherworld says : I absolutely agree with this !

  3. Pointlessly Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Pointlessly!


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