Fulbright Application

When the Political Scientist was preparing her statement for the Fulbright Scholarship last week she asked me to try answering the following questions the way I would if I were her:

Why she would be a “perfect candidate?”  

Natural ability as an international creature.

Why go to the US instead of Japan?

Maybe argue that Japanese foreign policy can only be understood if you also have a detailed understanding of America’s Asian policies?

How will Lithuania benefit from her studies? 

Maybe she should talk about how much Lithuania will suffer if they don’t send her instead?  Maybe stick to hard facts about Lithuanian projects she is already helping through political knowledge at a small, small scale, for the ambassador, etc. and make the argument that she could do that so much better if she had a fucking clue what she was doing!

How will she exploit the knowledge gained when she comes back? 

Coming back?  I thought that was contrary to the plan.  Stay abroad; work at the UN, be a face for Lithuanian business, art or culture.  Perhaps that is a good answer, and closer to the truth, but Lithuania also surely wants to keep their talent, so she needs to be careful.

Why is her focus shifting from Japan to the EU and now trying to involve the US as well?

What can she say, she loves studying the world!  She never switched, for fuck’s sake; she should tell them to stop asking such stupid questions.  I think that her interest is in geopolitics but that she wants to study it at as high a resolution as possible.  She’s not jumping around, she’s filling out her field of knowledge and allowing the new information to illuminate her current body of knowledge.

Why did she start studying Japanese in the first place?

To meet Haafu boys.

What can she tell about Lithuania in a 1 min conversation (elevator, i.e.) with a stranger American?  

When sexy girls don’t understand you they just laugh.  This is a hard question ’cause I don’t know Lithuania.

Why did she choose the universities in that order? 

I don’t remember her order, but I think it was mostly for their reputations as cosmopolitan centers.  She wanted to be on the East Coast for the reason that the schools there are closer to the centers of the action (DC, NYC, etc.)

What does she think about North Korea’s actions and what would be the perfect reaction for the US and Japan?

Fucking good question, and one she should be able to answer.  What will Abe do now that he is in control.  What would be his best strategy and why?  For these kinds of questions, I would focus on one topic, like economy, or even one market…  she would have to qualify what she knows so that she does not sound like she has blinders on, only knowing one topic, but she should demonstrate at least locally deep knowledge.

This week she learned that her application has been reviewed and that she is first on the waiting list.  Unfortunately, she learned that is she had labeled her field of study as “Japan Studies” instead of “International Relations” she would have actually been first on the list for that field.  Now she has to wait for another few months to see if they have enough money for all the Lithuanian candidates.  It is one of the times when going for something more ambitious didn’t work; if she had just said she wanted to study Japanese anthropology it may have been accepted.  Still, I think that the possible payoff of having gone for the higher goal might still be worth it.  Maybe they tell her this Japanese fable just to make the news of being wait-listed a little easier to take?  It’s not over yet!

My First Solo Takeoff

Six weeks ago, The Rocker learned that the Canadian embassy in Hong Kong is working with a hotel chain for December 2006 on a big Canadian food and cultural promotion event.  They asked The Rocker and I to source an artist from our network who can entertain/interact with family audience.  The hotel chain would cover accommodation, meal, laundry, airfare, and the embassy will find ways to pay the artist fee.

Small projects like these can really help promote Canadian New Circus in Asia.   Unfortunately, the high-level Canadian freelance circus and street performers at our New Circus Festival will have already returned home by mid-November and the Asian artists from our show might have been a good alternative if it weren’t for the Canadian requirement.  In any case, I proposed a global fee to provide video and photos to help them cast potential artists and then to management of the contract and event including performing fees and per diem for a maximum of seven 15-minute shows.  Once they agreed to this fee I started confirming an artist.  Should have been simple, but it wasn’t.

As I started the search in my circus network, they suddenly came back to me out of the blue asking if I have any violinists with the assumption that it might reduce the performing fee.  I think there was some confusion because if and when we ever do represent musicians, they would be on the same pay scale as the rest of our performing artists as we demand the same level of quality and experience from all artists whom we represent.

I finally suggested a Canadian performer who was available and excited about tailoring her act to showcase aspects of Canadian culture.  However, when I sent the first videos of a clown from my network, they explained their worry that a clown could be confused for a Russian, Chinese, or even American clown.  I assured her that the Canadian style of clowning which developed very recently in Quebec draws quite a bit from the theatrical tradition instead of the circus tradition and that the performer we are suggesting is one of the top graduates of the National Circus School of Canada, perhaps the most respected professional circus training institution in the world.  I prepared some information about the school and about the Canadian contemporary circus tradition that the embassy could pass on to the sponsoring hotel.  I explained to them that the National Circus School is very interested in attracting Asian students and expertise and that it is the dream of many Canadian circus artists to find a way to perform in Asia – this is an excellent opportunity to make a small connection between Hong Kong and Canada.  We are already seeing the international appeal of Canadian circus from the fact that The Rocker’s festival is highlighting the newest and most contemporary circus group from Montreal.

This seemed to put everyone at ease, but then they came back with a financial proposal which was 25% lower than my estimate and a request for the artist to stay for 5 weeks instead of 3 and to perform a few more times.  They also requested a number that showcases Canadian holiday traditions – these two requests are driving up the fee a lot, especially the request to specifically create a new number instead of to make small changes to an existing one.

We agreed just to add a little bit more to the artist’s fee to compensate for the two extra shows at a discounted rate and decided to ask the artist to create the number at home on her own since the client didn’t want to pay the CAD 1,500 for me to travel to Hong Kong for a week to work with her.  The embassy accepted this new fee even though it required them to split some of the costs with the hotel as the budget was higher than they could afford.

One problem is that to reduce costs, the client wants the per diem to be in the form of a hotel credit which means that she’ll have to eat all her meals at the hotel.  The client feels that the amount they provide in meal tickets is substantial, so they are not willing to increase that amount, but they are willing to pay for her insurance and to allow her the freedom to eat at their property whenever she wants instead of at fixed mealtimes.  I had suggested a more mobile cash per diem for the artist so that she could truly experience Hong Kong.  Canadian artists are accustomed to having the option between a generous meal credit at their accommodations (where they eat very, very, well) or a slightly reduced per diem in cash that permits them to go out and see the city.  Usually, artists prefer the latter option since it permits them to economize on their daily spending if they want to pocket the difference – it’s like a bonus on top of their performance fee.  Since it didn’t look like they would move on this, I reduced our already tiny management fee to reduce the impact on the artist.
To get her maximum exposure in Hong Kong (and, I guess, to maximize the return on their investment), the consulate then asked if she could do some corporate gigs and outreach work with the Hong Kong community i.e. to visit an orphanage, do gigs for the consulate staff’s kids and maybe masterclass at theatre schools.  Some will be paid and some will not, but this is part of their conditions to invite her to Hong Kong.   Performing arts in general and the circus arts in particular have great potential for community outreach and cultural exchange – goals spelled out in The Rocker Industries’ mission statement but I asked if they could keep the time requirement to a minimum to ensure that she will have time to enjoy Hong Kong.  Some of their colleagues were interested in having her to perform at an extra paid gig on Dec 6 for an international IT conference led by the Canadian Minister of industry with all the hi-tech companies from Canada in China after Hong Kong.  If I think she is suitable to perform during a business reception, they want me to let them know her availability and they’ll get back to her.

Since I was approaching the end of the time that the artist had given me to finalize her contract, I not only needed to communicate all of these changes but also verify that she was, in fact, still available.  In the meantime, I prepared an invoice to the consulate using the structure of The Rocker’s company in Canada so that every entity in the project was Canadian.

So finally, the draft contract that I sent to the consulate for approval had her starting on the 4th or 5th of December and will run until the 8th of January in fantastic lodging with all meals and transport provided.  There will be fifteen 15-minute animations for a dinnertime and lunchtime public with freedom to interact with the audience with content that promotes Canadian Culture (think of hockey, maple syrup, Quebec music, maple leaves… everything that is Christmas in Canada)!  There will be a few cultural outreach events i.e. visiting an orphan home, gigs for Consulate staff kids, maybe masterclass at theatre schools, and the possibility to work after Hong Kong in China or for a separate corporate event for a Hong Kong company that would increase her fee.  To protect the artist, I needed to include a limitation on the number of volunteer events in the agreement and have requested that any other events, paying or otherwise, be managed through us for coordination purposes.  I asked them for an upfront fee which they refused, preferring instead to make one payment on December 6th once the artist has arrived in Hong Kong which should be fine, but I’ve asked also for a nonrefundable deposit upon signing.

Once I had the consulate’s approval, I sent the agreement to the artist for her comments.  She confirmed that she was available for the original 3 weeks, but that needs to check one other contract before agreeing to the 2-week extension.  Still, she was quite excited to start developing Canadian ideas and was also happy about the prospect of doing community outreach as this is something that she is really interested in.  She accepted, so we’re moving ahead to the preproduction stage under the assumption that the consulate will sign their agreement with The Rocker and I.

In the meantime, I’m collecting the run and technical needs for the show since the sooner the venue has an idea about what a show entails, the better.  I’m sure that these requirements are really quite light compared to the sort of events that they are used to hosting.  Basically, the performer starts offstage amidst the diners and during 10 minutes, slowly makes her way to a 1m high 3mX4m platform.  When the performer reaches the platform, the lights in the dining room will dim slightly and basic theatrical lighting (most simply, gelled Par 64s mounted on lighting trees in front and to the side of the platform) light the platform.  She needs two microphones (with stands) to pick up accordion music and vocals, stage monitors and a PA system suitable for the size of the dining hall, a CD player capable of playing CD-R disks, an audio technician to perform simple audio changes on cue, and a light technician to perform simple lighting cross-fades on cue.  The hotel confirms that they have sufficient technical equipment on-hand for the modest needs of this performance, but if they need more support I’ve sked for a full listing of their materials so that I can design a basic technical rider from that.  The client wants to record one performance for its own records, which should be fine.

So that’s that.  The performer is officially confirmed for next month and now the consulate has moved on to looking for chefs.  In any case the food promotion will go ahead, but they are maybe going to source two chefs from Asia instead of Canada to save costs.  They will sign the contract around Nov 15 because they want to see how the hotel promotes the artist first.  Probably a good idea. Chefs, insurance, and meal flexibility.  Show business.

I’ll travel to Hong Kong on Wednesday and Thursday to reset my visa and to have a site visit over lunch to go through everything for our upcoming project.  I’m looking forward to seeing Hong Kong again.

“How to Make a Circus Show,” or, “Every Single Note That I Took in a Production Meeting Since Arriving in Taiwan”

  • Schedule a meeting with to find video interns willing to work on the new production.
  • Make a “physical script” of the new production.
  • Propose the technical needs of a warm-up tent.
  • Check for video camera availability
  • Recommend back video projection
  • Ensure that video screens are not cut from the budget
  • Schedule 6 hours on October 19th for rigging and acrobatic tests
  • Find a way to safely set the top of the stage structure on fire.
  • Rent two rehearsal projectors when video artists are here.
  • Coordinate the National Theater’s photo shoot to happen at the same time as our video shoot.
  • Verify what rehearsal room we can use at the National Theater from October 27th.
  • See if we can get a deal if we book plane tickets together.
  • Contact the video editor to see about renting the camera for the performance.
  • Contact Neihu School to see if they have any rehearsal space availability
  • Create a set-up schedule
  • 5 crew members for the main stage.
  • 3 crew members for the small stage.
  • Validate that we are not responsible for arranging technical crew of the tents.
  • Hire interns to increase the number of crew
  • Hire a technical director that is in charge of both the festival and the new production.
  • Coordinate information between crew, technical supplier, and technical director
  • Work with an efficient lighting designer who will finalize lighting design before set-up is finished.
  • Put foreign designers in touch with each other
  • Deal with the fact that our lightning needs are more than what the theatre has available
  • Leaving sound equipment needs to the National Theater
  • Plan for an audience of 5000
  • World Music Festival has no one in charge of music, but this is not our concern.
  • We have nothing finalized for the press conference on October 26th.
  • Outdoor video screens will arrive on October 26th, the day before the show.
  • One projector costs 20,000NT/day.
  • Rent 2 projectors for side rear-projection screens and one LCD screen
  • Make sure that the screens will be OK in the wind
  • The tissus girl from the audition trains on-site at an amusement park.
  • Schedule a detailed production meeting.
  • Decide on G4/G5 rental for video artists.
  • Create proposal, budget, and video for Chinese cabaret project.
  • Is it cheaper to rent the cameras over the weekend?
  • Contact fashion student interns.
  • Rehearsing on the main stage is required from October 19th
  • Be strict with the marketing department about the schedule for the last weeks before the premiere.
  • Public television documentary follow-up.
  • Find rehearsal space at the National Theatre in October.
  • Find out if the insurance costs for acrobatic artists is additive or not.
  • We need to rent sound equipment for rehearsal after musicians arrive
  • Decide exact dates that we can start working with film students.
  • Discuss TAV 1-hour long open studio event
  • Contact the Macau cultural center for future touring opportunities
  • Go over the lighting list
  • Get guitar
  • Get media coverage of the creation
  • Find out when we are scheduled to use projectors at National Theater for rehearsals.
  • Inform the Taiwanese musicians that they need to be available after foreign musicians arrive
  • Get video artists’ camera preferences so we can get started filming as soon as they arrive.
  • Find out final decision for warm up tent
  • Do we need to do location scouting?
  • Do we need permissions to shoot?
  • Client will be at rehearsal on Monday – we must be very positive!
  • Christian Rizzo will also be there Monday to shoot video of rehearsal.
  • Choreographer starts on Monday.
  • The Rocker and Travelling Acrobat to see The Choreographer’s show on Saturday.
  • Travelling Acrobat will be responsible for rehearsal camera starting Friday.
  • Video artists will bring their own DV for her work.
  • May want a G4/G5 and graphic designer for our own work
  • Hong Kong festival directors say our programming is solid, but marketing materials are unclear and weak.
  • Hong Kong directors interested in working with us for the future.
  • Lion dance wants 70,000 NTD per show.  Do they have a sick lion we could use?
  • No need to contact hip-hop group.
  • Contracts going out to artists.
  • We will have media notify public of postponements/cancellations at either 10PM or 12 noon.
  • Closing ceremony group will not interfere with rehearsal schedule
  • Tickets for headliner groups are selling quickly.
  • Two projectors for our rehearsals.
  • They have decided in which rooms we can set up wireless internet.
  • Props and costumes can be locked in the National Theater.
  • We will not have construction going on during shows.
  • Insurance for acrobats is only 1,000,000 NTD general insurance and 100,000 NTD acrobat insurance.
  • We need to find a new lecture hall for the presentation; the one we wanted is not available.
  • Dimensions of the rehearsal hall at the National Theater: 45ft X 30ft X 18ft.
  • Dimensions of the rehearsal hall at the Concert Hall: 51ft X 33ft X 10ft.
  • Technical director will be at rehearsal on Monday to measure, etc.
  • If people want to do photoshoots of the production, it should be after October 9th.
  • We shoot the video clip on October 12th, possibly at the old beer factory of Taipei.
  • Wednesday, September 20, 14h – Internal production meeting
  • Wednesday, September 20 – Deadline for Travelling Acrobat’s letters of recommendation
  • Wednesday, September 20 – Meeting at the National Theater
  • Friday, September 22nd, 11h – Production meeting with National Theatre
  • Friday, September 22nd, ~12h – Business planning Meeting
  • Friday, September 22nd – Deadline for Travelling Acrobat’s application for TAV residence
  • Negotiate other options for open studio street performance.
  • Meet with costume designer at rehearsal on Monday, September 18th.
  • Discuss VIP guests
  • Discuss project proposal for TAV residence
  • Send recommendation points
  • Buy a bulletin board for important documents.
  • Discuss filming schedule
  • Determine The Firebreather’s performance fee for the TAV performance.
  • Draft a TOHU grant guarantee
  • Verify that the technical rider meets the needs of the National Theater.
  • Meet with documentary filmmaker to discuss rights, responsibilities, etc.
  • Prepare release forms for the “behind the scenes” documentary with all artists concerned.
  • Location scouting for industrial filming locations.
  • Prepare updated festival budget
  • Prepare updated artists’ participation and equipment lists
  • Compile all technical files into one electronic folder and forward it to National Theatre
  • Find a store window in which we can film acrobats as store models.
  • Prepare an update regarding confirmation of artist’s plane reservations.
  • Can we find a film student who is willing to do live filming for us?
  • Can we coordinate arrival/departure times to facilitate pickup and drop-off times?
  • Confirm the date and needs of the 10/24 or 10/26 press conference for the National Theater
  • Discuss filming schedule with Travelling Acrobat.
  • Which camera’s do video artists want for the live filming?
  • Do video artists need hand-held projectors?
  • Research electric guitar rental.
  • Research wheelchair rental.
  • Continue researching trampoline rental.
  • Buy a supply of DV tapes.
  • Prepare a list of which artists have signed their contracts.
  • Remind National Theater that it is very important for us to rehearse on the stage on the 19th.
  • Provide Taiwanese artists’ rehearsal schedule at TAV on September 24th and September 29th.
  • Can Stage Manager send us the most recent outdoor plan?
  • Make sure that the National Theater is renting two video cameras for the live filming.
  • Secure storage room near rehearsal room at the National Theater for expensive/fragile equipment?
  • How and where are the backdrops and masking attached to the structure?
  • Research warmup tent options to provide layout diagrams/photos.
  • Secure a total of four (4) smoke machines including two (2) hand-held if possible.
  • Find the specifications of the entrances to the stage.
  • What do we need for secure access to the top of the structure (ladder, attach points, etc)?
  • Arrange rental of a bass amp from the date of bassist’s arrival (October 15, 2006).
  • Arrange rental of microphones and stands for voice and Gu Zhang from 10/8
  • Arrange extra staff and a cart for days when we need switch rehearsal rooms at the National Theater
  • CD player for our rehearsals at the National Theater.
  • Actual stage size is 9m X 11m.
  • The Rocker will act as production manager for the foreign technicians and artists until their arrival
  • Any circus rigging concerns addressed to Travelling Acrobat to answer or verify with The Rigger.
  • We do not need to rent the beer factory.  We will scout free locations instead.
  • Phone contact is best with foreign artists as they can be a little unresponsive over email.
  • Most recent lighting needs will not change, but their arrangement in the structure might.
  • We should keep the warm-up tend for the full festival for the use of all outdoor performers.
  • We are supposed to have all contracts signed by 9/18 for the acrobats, and 9/19 for the musicians.
  • If marketing wants photos, we should do it during our video shoot and not lose rehearsal time
  • If we do not have enough artists on a certain day, we should give The Choreographer the day off.
  • Include all tech directors on technical emails to translate and coordinate communications
  • Sunday, 9/24 – Meeting with costume designer at Taiwan Productions 14h30
  • Monday, 9/25 – Internal Production Meeting at Taiwan Productions 11h
  • Friday, 9/29 – Fifth Production Meeting
  • Monday, 10/2 – All departments are meeting 10h at Concert Hall.
  • Discuss VIP guests
  • Schedule filming schedule
  • Discuss ideal stair configurations for the main stage.
  • Discuss the possibility of having platforms for the musicians.
  • Discuss options for the warm-up room.
  • Make a “model” of the performing area to determine placement of equipment and people.
  • Determine how many assistants we need for the outside performances.
  • Correct nametag typos.
  • Email individual schedules to each artist.
  • Find out about scheduling our rehearsals on the 19th and 20th.
  • Find out street performer fire needs and discuss fire extinguisher idea.
  • Discuss documenting the live shows – how many cameras and nights
  • Get wiring schematics of best-case video setup.
  • Make sure that the costume acquisition progresses on-schedule – prototypes by next Sunday.
  • Send off rehearsal schedule for street show
  • Get updated site maps for the whole production team.
  • What is the size of our storage room at the National Theater?
  • Is there a tube that can take smoke from a smoke machine up to the top of the structure?
  • Did we get an answer for the ladders to climb to the top of the structure?
  • Did we get an answer regarding rehearsal microphones, stands, CD player and bass amp?
  • Confirm that we will have a lighting operator at all times.
  • Confirm that we have two video assistants to help with set-up, rehearsal, and running the video
  • Check National Theater square lighting so that we can plan a route for the parade.
  • Make sure that we will have mats available to cover the floor of the warm-up tent.
  • Get an updated schedule for the outdoor performances.
  • Coordinate airport arrival and prop transport/access for artists.
  • How many extra people do we have to run errands on site (go-fers)?
  • Determine how many people we need for outdoor performances.
  • What is the total number of personnel that the National Theater is providing?
  • What personnel do we have for the main stage on the second week?
  • Confirm that we have dressing rooms in the National Theater.
  • Update all important files weekly and make sure that they are dated.
  • Check with marketing on the press conference on the 25th.
  • Can the National Theater at least sponsor us for renting a projector for TAV day?
  • Tech director away 9/27 to 10/7, so please check all technical matters before he leaves
  • The backdrops will be on the outside of the structure so that we can light the pipes
  • Warm-up tent of 6mX6m has been proposed which is 1/2 the necessary size
  • We have a cart but possibly no personnel for the days we switch rehearsal rooms
  • Staff for the event must know who everyone is, understand organizational structure, and see video
  • Every morning of the festival we should hold a small production meeting
  • We will have color-coded name tags for the festival staff and artists
  • We will have only 3 security guards.  Will that be enough?
  • Rehearsal and technical set-up time arranged for every outdoor artist
  • From 10/18-10/30 there are 5 crew members running the main stage
  • From 10/18-11/5 there is 1 tech, 1 stage manager, 1 assistant for small stage
  • We should get all of the National Theater’s plans for personnel and security in writing
  • The Rigger can work with technicians building the stage from the 16th
  • The small stage will be set up and ready by the evening of the 24th
  • A warm-up tent for 12 (i.e., no changing, make-up, eating, or rehearsing) needs:
  • 40 square meters of 1cm-3cm thick training mats (6m X 8m would be ideal).
  • A cooler or refrigerator with enough bottled water and tea for 12 artists (6L-10L depending on the weather).  Nuts, fruits, and candybars/sportsbars should be provided as well.
  • Power outlets and enough space in the tent to place 3 rotating-blade fans around the mats.
  • Power outlets and one small boombox for playing warmup music.
  • Unobstructed height of at least 4 meters.
  • A tent that can open on two sides is preferable in the case of hot weather.
  • Travelling Acrobat needs 4 boxes of the talcum pulverate and 3 rolls of the cloth athletic tape.
  • Submitting technical requirements except lighting (which they already have) on 9/14
  • Need two additional portable smoke machines for the top of the towers
  • Need long electric extension cables to reach the top of the tower
  • Need two metal ladders to climb to the top of the towers on both sides of the stage
  • Need safety cables to secure the performers to the top of the tower.
  • Double-checking all the musician and video requirements and sending it in
  • Waiting to see what The Rigger is able to bring in himself before sending rigging requirements
  • Morning rehearsal for outdoor groups to determine movement in the square
  • Will need the lighting team and the sound team present for those rehearsals
  • Need follow-spots at night for the groups that travel in the square to help direct focus.
  • Need costume sizes to get costumes early enough to start aging them and working on the painting
  • Stage is no longer 40 ft by 40 ft by 30 ft, but rather 11m by 9m and 9m high.
  • The National Theater assumed we only need live cameras the day of the performance which is wrong
  • Need live cameras as soon as we can use the main stage
  • The National Theatre requested fewer technical staff than we were expecting
  • We were waiting for the National Theater’s staff list but never got it and they proceeded without us.
  • They’ve asked for the cue sheet but we will not have before dress rehearsal on the actual stage.
  • Follow spots on top of the towers will follow outdoor performers anywhere in the square
  • Need to send new technical rider and requirements to our rigging, lighting, and video team
  • Validate that all performers are available on-stage rehearsals and technical rehearsals
  • A musician just told us that she’s not available to rehearse the week before the show (Oct.17 to 21).
  • We only have a small room in the morning Oct.17 to 21 which doesn’t help the acrobats at all.
  • Setting up a rehearsal room requires 1 hr set up and 1 hr to strike each time
  • Can we have one room for the whole rehearsal period?
  • Trampoline will not work since the background is not black
  • Still no news on the wheelchair to use as a dolly for the video shoot.
  • No news on the new translators for the festival
  • We currently are paying for two translators at the rehearsals when one would be sufficient.
  • Translated program notes professionally since it uses poetic imagery and difficult words
  • Artists (and we) want good video of all of the performances.
  • See if artists know people to be volunteers in exchange for free shows and food.
  • Final draft of the artists’ and technicians’ rehearsal, setup, and performance schedules are done
  • Artists still have a week to ask questions, find problems before they arrive
  • Schedules for local artists from 10/19 are needed
  • Artists can start using the stage 10/19
  • Construction of the roof begins 10/16
  • Rigging can be installed anytime on 10/17.
  • Light crew can start hanging lights 10/17
  • We will make a detailed schedule in English for the 17th and 18th as well.
  • How many hours of work and how many people required to hang the lights?
  • From 1800h to 2200h the artists will be using the stage so lighting will need to work around them
  • Personnel requirements for day and night crews on the 21st and 22nd are needed
  • Day and night light installation crews need to overlap
  • Day crew light crew availability on the morning of the 27th has been noted.
  • Video artists and light crew need to be available until midnight
  • Well-labeled graphic schematic of video set-up needed to see if signal reduction is a problem:
  • 2 live camera feeds from the stage
  • 2 camera operators (1 from Montreal and 1 hired by the National Theater as per your request)
  • Mixing with prerecorded video.
  • Three projection screens.
  • How many additional crew will you need for setup and operation of the video system?
  • Video will have 4 hours with The Lighting Designer on-stage without artists present.
  • No additional video crew for setup but lighting crew can help run cable
  • Have not heard from the video artists yet but are assuming they need:
  • 4 DVD players
  • 2 3CCD digital cameras (they have one already)
  • 2 tripods
  • 2 Folsom E 603 video switcher
  • AExtron matrix 128 Video Distributer 5 in/5 out
  • 2 small 17″ LCD monitor
  • A6 anti-electricity signal distributor
  • 3 10,000 ansi projectors (10/23 on)
  • 2 300″ front Projection Screens (projectors and screens are mounted vertically!) (10/23 on)
  • 1 300″ rear Projection Screen (projector and screen are mounted horizontally!) (10/23 on)
  • If we can use their camera until 10/21 the National Theater only needs to rent one
  • Tech needs for 30-minute TAV show on the 14th with one screen and one projector needed
  • The video setup schedule that we are proposing to the National Theater is coming together well
  • October 21st (18h – 22h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 22nd (18h – 22h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 23rd (9h – 12h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 23rd (13h – 17h) – Projector Setup
  • October 23rd (19h – 22h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 23rd (22h – 24h) – Working with lighting designer
  • October 24th (9h – 12h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 24th (13h – 17h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 24th (19h – 22h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 25th (22h – 24h) – Working with lightning designer
  • October 25th (9h – 12h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 25th (13h – 17h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 25th (19h – 22h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 25th (22h – 24h) – Working with lighting designer
  • October 26th (9h – 12h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 26th (13h – 17h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 26th (19h – 21h) – Dress Rehearsal
  • October 27th (9h – 12h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 27th (13h – 17h) – Rehearsal with acrobats
  • October 27th (19h – 21h) – Opening!
  • Wednesday is the last chance for them to make any changes to their setup plans!
  • Lighting designer wants 1 chief electrician, 1 board operator, 1 or 2 technicians
  • 1 board operator and several technicians possible
  • There are no licensed Master Electricians available for our festival but the crew is quite experienced
  • National Theater can only afford 2 overnights
  • From 18h 22h Lighting Designer will try the lighting with the acrobats and musicians
  • Lighting Designer will sleep during the other rehearsal time
  • Later that night, sequencing of lighting cues will occur
  • Day crew on the 27th may need to be moved to the 26th instead, please stand by.
  • The National Theater can have crews until 23h, but will try for 24h on our nights
  • 3 x 4h intensities with everyone focused on lighting is ideal
  • Instead, the above plan avoids that but rehearsal stops may be needed
  • 19h-23h on 10/23 for intensities might work too if needed
  • Need lighting design including follow-spots for general lighting in the square and outdoor shows
  • Need lighting design that will illuminate the main tent’s exterior at night.
  • Need technical specifications and details about the ladders and the platforms beside the stage
  • Need tech specs and designs/schematics for the platform and stair design for stage access
  • Need tech specs and designs/schematics for the musicians’ platforms
  • For the event at the TAV, they are providing:
  • 4 15 inches PA speaker* 4~6
  • 4 standards mic
  • 4 wireless mic
  • 1 10 channels mixer.
  • And we are also asking for:
  • 2 monitors
  • 4 DIs (Direct Boxes, balanced cable 3 pins)
  • 2 or three Small tables (about knee height) – TAV should have
  • 3 long extension cords – TAV should have
  • 3 power strips – TAV should have
  • Things are moving, moving, moving!
  • The Rocker controls shooting schedule, but the office needs his location list
  • Shooting scheduled on the 15th and 17th which means we paying camera rental on the 16th.
  • The office suggests that we negotiate the guitar price with a translator.
  • 10/20-10/21 and 10/21-10/22 are overnight tech setups with full night crew finishing at 6h
  • Day crews will continue in the morning starting at 5h to insure good handover
  • Lighting Designer there 18h – 6h on 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th for cueing
  • Requests that the tech director and board operator work with him on those nights
  • All video cabling (live camera and projectors) goes to his table where all the equipment is installed
  • Table should be where he can have a general view of the stage, like next to the lightboard operator
  • Ideally as close to the stage as possible to avoid signal reduction problems
  • Video just needs one helper to do the troubleshooting if something is not working right
  • There will be no interference with the signal if the camera is recording
  • Would be nice to have a camera on tripod to capture the whole view of the stage.
  • Shooting schedule on the 13th, 15th, and 17th, is ok
  • Would like the video editing computer from 10/16
  • Could video edit a 60-second trailer ‘on-the-fly’ for publicity purposes?
  • We’d have another 4 days to prepare an ‘official’ trailer that incorporates on-stage work.
  • For TAV we only have a 4500 lumen projector and a homemade cloth screen
  • Can video bring enough equipment to improvise 30 minutes of video
  • Sent foreign artists’ rehearsal and performance schedules for the festival.
  • Need to add hospitality/social/airport information and we are all set.
  • Will do the same for all of the outdoor performers, musicians, and technicians.
  • Tomorrow night will send out schedules so that they know what to expect once they arrive.
  • Musicians’ rehearsal time must be canceled 24 hours in advance to avoid unnecessary setup
  • When rehearsals that span a meal time, we will schedule meals for them in our actual schedules.
  • Completed scenario (English/ Chinese)
  • Completed scene list (English/ Chinese)
  • Completed production Schedule
  • Completed rehearsal schedule
  • Completed set-up schedule
  • Technical team face-to-face to discuss the general setup situation and lighting plans
  • Is it possible to increase the height of the front towers to 6m?
  • We need 6 Colors on side lighting and 4 Beams on the floor.
  • Cirque Human want to trade 4 of our Colors for Beams, leaving us 2 Colors and 8 Beams.
  • 6 Beams on the sides are ok but 2 Beams and 2 Colors on the floor is less than ideal.
  • Should the Lighting Designer bring his own console to speed up programming?
  • Licensing: “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails
  • Licensing: “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson
  • Licensing: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Marilyn Manson
  • Drummer will be late on 10/13 rehearsal and can’t be there 10/17 because of a performance.
  • Need The Rocker’s input on the new rehearsal schedule and his description of the show.
  • TAV provided us pictures of their equipment
  • They will also help get a table for the open studio on 10/14.
  • Someone will take care of my studio when I do my performance
  • I need to tell that person what to do during that time.
  • Easier to move platforms upstage center instead having two stair units.
  • Drums now placed on the platforms instead of on the stage itself.
  • The stairs that were formerly upstage center can flank the drum platforms instead.
  • It is very difficult to find a lightboard operator with good English in Taiwan.
  • Basic technical terms should be no problem, but the technical director will serve as our translator.
  • Overnight crews will have another at least 5 technicians provided by the vendor
  • Can work 22nd-23rd, 23rd-24th, 24th-25, 25th-26th, and 26th-27th with TD and board operator.
  • From 22h-24h on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th, Lighting Designer can work with video designer
  • Intensities for 19h-23h on the 23rd
  • Day crews are available for lighting patching, cueing, and touch-up from the 20th to the 27th.
  • Independent from the lightning setup, the vendor provides setup crew for projectors and screens.
  • Bring his own console costs another CAD 750 and overweight fee
  • Production prefers to rental so we’ll check with the vendor.
  • Hire 3-6 students for communications in the square.
  • Formatting and inclusion of social events into the artists’ schedules.
  • Check availability of requested lighting console.
  • Fireworks for parade.
  • Final list of parade participants.
  • Hire a photographer.
  • Insurances for acrobats.
  • Hotel visit.
  • Guy’s schedule and people to meet.
  • Text for FLASH program.
  • After the press conference for the opening:
  • 14:00 – 15:45   Travelling Acrobat + stage manager on stage: solve the powder problem
  • 15:45 – 16:00   Talk and Notes (in dressing room)
  • 16:00 – 16:30   Hip hop girl teaches make-up
  • 16:30 – 17:00   Rigging rehearsal
  • 17:00 – 18:00   Work ending + curtain call
  • 18:00 – 19:00   Emergencies + make up + change costume + dinner
  • 19:00 – 19:15   Meet on stage + talk
  • 19:15 – 19:45   Real warm up
  • 19:45 – 20:45   Dress rehearsal
  • 20:45 – 21:30   Rehearsal: ending + curtain call + emergencies

Eve of the Premiere

It is the day before the premiere and the show has taken huge leaps in the last week.  I am really quite happy with the end result, and all of the acrobats have really impressed me with their natural stage presence after the debacle of the introverted, underlit extract that we tried to perform in the TAV courtyard last week.  Since we’ve been rehearsing outdoors with the whole band and the video, etc, etc, we have had audience for about a week which had been great practice.  As expected, the performers were a little shy at first, but now they are really giving a lot of energy and the crowd is responding in kind.

Tempers Flare

Flares.  A month ago, The Lighting Designer sent us info about hand-held pyro and smoke effects.  One is the emergency flare used in boats that provides 60 seconds of bright pink light and smoke and can be found at a marina or Santai Fireworks in Taipei.  The other is a can that holds big white smoke for 30 seconds that is made by Le Maitre Special F/X.  Unfortunately, the Production team said that they never saw the email which freaked The Rocker out.  Happily, a representative from the National Theatre was able to get 6 flares abroad a few weeks ago that should arrive just in time for the premiere, so at least we are not empty-handed.  Taiwan Productions will order another 6 to have as extras if needed – new little problems creeping up on you until the very end!

Press Conference Part 2

Press conference today for the opening of the festival followed by music rehearsals on stage at 3:00 and dress rehearsal tonight!

A journalist from a Taiwanese newspaper heard about my open studio and called the TAV for an interview this week – hopefully we can do the interview done at our rehearsal since things are getting really busy!

To add to the mix is a last-minute request for a lecture at the Sacred Heart Girls’ High School about Canadian New Circus, training, career and performance.  There is no fee, but also no performance, so they are asking for all the ENC graduates participate if possible.