Tuesday, 27 April 2010

In the Mind's Eye-Pod

I know I am some Generation Old-Fart, but I do wonder about the proliferation of the IPod and its ubiquitousness. Are younger people going to deafen sooner? Will social interaction in real time wither on the vine? You cannot get on public transport without seeing many people cocooned in IPod land. If you ask someone something, they have to pull out their ear-plugs to respond.

I remember getting on a bus in a large city and then, at the next stop, a young woman and her boyfriend got on. She was listening to her IPod and he just looked around, looking slightly at a loss as to what to occupy his time with. They travelled several kilometres into the centre of the city and she never exchanged a word with her boyfriend. They got off before me and she continued to walk down the footpath with him, still plugged in and plugged out from him. That is got to be some kind of weird, doesn't it?

I prefer my version. I don't own an IPod. I have what I call a "Mind's Eye-Pod". I walk around singing songs out loud or quietly, depending on where I am. This has at least two distinct advantages: I can stop at any time and respond to social interaction plus I work hard at remembering song lyrics which I am sure has a good effect on my memory. I'm training my neurons, exercising my vocal cords and having fun, all in one fell swoop!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The End of the Beginning

I've just got home after performing in a special matinee performance of our WWI play for Anzac Day. I'm not sure how many old Diggers were in the audience, but, if there were any, I hope we did them proud. The actor playing the main character wore his Great-grandfather's WWI medals for the curtain call. They included a Military Cross.

That is performance number two. We opened on Saturday night and then we did this special Anzac Day matinee today, Sunday. So we have six more performances left in the season.

On the way to the theatre, I was listening to the car radio and they were reporting on the various Anzac Day commemorations around the country. Quite unbidden, tears came to my eyes. Am I getting to be a sentimental old fool?

I couldn't help thinking about my Dad, who flew Hurricanes for the RAF in the Middle East during WWII.  He died in 1995, aged 83. He always turned out for the Dawn Parade, right up until shortly before he died.

I have never had to know war or fighting in a war. I hope my two sons will never experience war either. It may be a hoary old cliche, but we do owe a huge debt of gratitude to those men like my Dad and the many comrades of his who didn't return. And the men who went before them in WWI.

There aren't many WWII veterans still alive. Let us cherish and respect those who are still amongst us. "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM."

Friday, 23 April 2010

Dancing with Mammon

Fairly early on when I started this blogging lark, I discovered there was a setting for monetising your blog. This involves them (the great faceless them) placing ads relevant to content in your blog and if any blog followers ( I think I have a grand total of three) click on ads, the blogger gets some small return, something like US 1 cent per click.

I agonised a bit about this because I wasn't sure if I wanted to dance with Mammon. It seemed a tad cheesy (insert ad for Kraft cheese here). But I RATIONALISED as we all do. Well, I'm expending some time on this, mainly for the heck of it, the fun, but if a little monetary recompense could flow my way, well, why not?

I'm not sure if it is even set up properly. I may have 12 cents sitting in a Swiss bank account (insert ad for Goldman Sachs here - are they still standing?) trying to find me!

I have a good friend from Australia living in China at present and I said to him that if he could persuade his Chinese friends and associates to follow the blog of an erudite English and Theatre major such as myself, they might learn erudite English (valuable to them) and click on my ads (valuable to me). Millions of Chinese followers of my blog means millions of cents of clicks. When I'm a blog millionaire, come and tap me for some largesse and so that I can spread the love. I'm keen to support young artists of any persuasion, particularly theatre practitioners and writers but any art practice is worth supporting. Ah, dreams of blog-induced philanthropy!

It's tricky, selling out. Neil Sedaka may have reasoned that "breaking up is hard to do", but selling your soul ain't no piece of cake neither!

Monday, 19 April 2010

All the World's a Stage

It has been over a month since I last posted on this blog. Mainly this has been because I've been rehearsing a play about World War One which goes up next Saturday.

It has been a bit like enduring a war at times. Many of the actors, me included, have had trouble learning their lines because large chunks are rather prosaic and repetitive. Much like war, I believe, long periods of nothing but the mundane broken by sporadic fear and excitement. It's a good play, but I don't think I've ever been in a play where I had so much trouble getting the lines to stick in my memory.

And it's not because I'm getting old and doddery either because most of my fellow cast are in their teens and twenties and they have struggled to learn their lines too.

So some of the fear on stage during rehearsals has been "acted fear" but much of it has been "?!@#$& do I speak now? Is it my line? What is that line?"