Tuesday 18 March 2008

Show Preview

I was given the rare opportunity to try out two acts in the upcoming The Show Must Go On Season Two performance. The Synchronised Knitters Precision Drill Team have new costumes and a more daring course, braving collisions, aerial danger and ridicule. The Invisible Dancers took it all off, except Enjah who flashed a little underwear when she dropped her invisiprim. Osprey, Enjah and I went shopping at Sine Wave Island afterward, but the rather constant drudge of crashing and rebooting put an end to that fun. They have some lovely animations, but for some reason my viewer no longer likes to take photographs, so we have a bare post. ***Blushes furiously***

We were all in the same place at the same time, proving to HBA that I am not Osprey while she is asleep, for she could not be at the same time asleep and balancing on her unicycle, except he was nowhere to be found, poor baby-bothered man that he is.
(Perhaps she could, for I manage to fall asleep most inopportunely, while doing all manner of things. Very embarrassing.)


Found at Modern Mechanix.
Music not included.

Oh for goodness sakes, Hostspur O'Toole has already commented on that post!

What we want

Happiness, surely, about which one reads in books by many an unhappy author.
True Love, perhaps, which like a ghost, everybody talks about and few have seen.

For True Love (and it deserves those capitals) demands a desire for true labour and deep thought to coincide in two people. We are flawed creatures: even the successful suffer from pride, the intelligent from vanity, the wealthy from avarice and need. Success, intelligence and wealth are but facets ground from the stone, but no amount of polishing will eliminate our flaws, however much we hope to dazzle others by our brilliance.

The secret, I submit with humility, is to love those flaws in another as the emblem and badge of our common humanity; to recognize in others what one sometimes dreads to find in oneself, and to accept it, nay, welcome it with a laugh or a wry smile, with recognition. When we fail to find flaws in ourselves, or confess to little flaws because we wish to persuade ourselves that we have no great ones, then we are in peril of finding fault in all humanity, and not merely in our tarnished lover.

Be not deceived by the disappointment that is certain to come after an affaire du coeur has cooled. The diamond you buy under the goldsmith's lights will change appearance in different settings, yet it does not change in essence. There is much delight in the intimate companionship of a fellow human, and much to reward those who work to discover another's goodness, for we are as abundantly endowed with goodness as we are with flaws.

Happiness, I think, takes an equal measure of work, for it is dented by perceived need and by the insult of hunger and exhaustion on the mind. Chinese medical practice believes mental health is no more than a manifestation of corporal health, and treats anxiety and depression with physical remedies ~ mens sana in corpore sano. And it has been discovered ill health will spread worry and doubt around it as surely as the plague spreads disease. Happiness then is easily cured: rest early, sleep well, eat with discretion, laugh often and unexpectedly, and want as little as possible.

One feels entitled to offer advice at my age, even when it is unasked for!
In fact I could think of nothing better to write about.

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Nor certitude, nor peace

For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Matthew Arnold

We wake to Second Life as though stumbling on a new world where all things are potent and possible. We reach deep into the entombed secrets of our soul, dare to pull on those threads that originate in forbidden desires, and dance in disguise with the abandon of bacchantes. Then in time our joys become lonely celebrations, our loves do not bind us, our shadowless light illuminates nothing, and we shuffle uneasily among crowds we do not understand, who pursue their unknowable purposes in parts of our world that we have yet to visit or comprehend.

I am incapable of saying if I love or hate this place, or love and yet hate. It disturbs me at my core, shifts my solid soul within my immaterial body. Formlessness made visible, the weight of flying in the airless sky. Mutable, deathless, ungrowing.

One has suggested I am not who I seem to be, but the expression of another mind, its cloaked desires flowing unbidden, unwanted to spoil the calm surface of a reflecting lake. I answered I am not even the wind that ruffles the water, but who am I really? A mental picture passed from one person to another? An evanescence, an apparation? A memory of someone long buried and forgotten?

Who is this other whose mind I am meant to reflect? I have a history. I remember people I have loved, places I have lived. They are more real than anything in my present, but they passed away before this world was born. I know who they were, but who am I that has lost them forever? What is left when a mind becomes filled with old books, old ideas, old habits? When everything new is lit by an ancient sun that has shone forever?

Spare me your memes and your social networks! Your debates and world visions. Your religion and your science. I dined at those tables. I would rather a bowl of spring water, an apple from my orchard and a companion in my garden to share them with.

Saturday 1 March 2008

Chapeau Thermidore

Oh! I do like this Lobster Hat Ordinal Malaprop was seen wearing at the New Babbage Town Meeting!
Image shamelessly borrowed from the insatiable Zoe Connolly, via World of SL


A new year of The Show Must Go On is in rehearsals now. This afternoon we did run throughs of the acts that are getting close to being finished, working out problems and developing dialogue. As Osprey says, simple acts work best, and we were treated to roller-skating burlesque, cranky food with a cakewalk, touchtyping monkeys, rusty humour, a gourmet cooking class with enough food jokes to put one off chicken forever, and, well, you will just have to wait for the premiere!
For that reason my photos are under wraps, but it will be show worth waiting for. Lovely to see Enjah, Caitlin and Osprey in their natural environment of blissful and slightly frantic performance, jiggling sets and casting costumes all over the backstage floor.
We even managed a Robot Jig as a finale!
We badly want a stage manager, so if you have been lurking about this blog, please join us in Phobos on Saturdays to help cue curtains and move scenery! Applications to Osprey Therian, producer and tireless promoter.
Where were you Persephone?

East Village Opera Company

One of my private pleasures in recent months of travel has been listening to the recordings of a group that arranges opera aria as if they were rock songs. Last night I saw East Village Opera Company live in Pasadena where my son attends school. Their versions of the music we all know and love, Nessun Dorma, La Donna E Mobile, Au fond du temple saint, is electric, loud, driving, and just a little tinged with lunacy to make it quite enjoyable. Ottowans Peter Kiesewalter and Tyley Ross are the engines behind this eleven member group, though we missed their vocalist, AnnMarie Milazzo, struck down by a sore throat and replaced at last minute by a Canadian whose name did not appear on the program. As Kiesewalter says, "These arias, in essence, are pop tunes that have stood the test of time."
I wonder if we might ever look forward to an entire opera arranged by Kiesewalter and performed in this infectious style?
I expected a more over-the-top performance, however, and they don't appear to hang together as a group on stage. One does not get the feeling they have spent much time together as a rock band - they are all much too polite to each other!