The prime reason I went to Dubai was to reconnect.
The gig itself had an alarming number of red flags, new market, no contract, first additional request asking if I could fly myself there, payment being 10-15 days after the gig.
Normally most of these, even in isolation, would be enough for me not to bother.
I'll admit I'm a career masochist. I'm proud of my mind melting gigs inflicted from within and without, however variety is key and your ideal trainwreck of a gig should catch you somewhat by surprise rather than being a series of obvious guillotines strewn in your path.
What countered all these misgivings were my peers who all spoke well of the company. Peers are powerful that way.
We are all tribal Apes, street performers form short-term tribes for cash and fee and various over-lapping peer groups form with the performers themselves
Rugged individualism is admired but without social skills no tribe will take you. You offer them nothing.
My peers have all failed more than your average person.
You don't get a reality-manipulating wrinkle-exploiting street show out of a box.
It takes a thousand shows, each containing mistakes made and lessons learnt.
Mistakes that teach us we're at best 49% full of shit rather than the average 51%
Additionally shared pitches and shared focus let you learn via others mistakes as well as your own.
Leaving some of us happy with our success but mindful that ignorance was a constant companion and that life was ongoing.
Man were we ever merciless towards the brittle though. Ego annihilation was the way we shook hands.
Nothing eclipses the rush of bathing in applause.
The best of us recognised that didn't mean much other, with certain tricks, you could reproduce that effect.
The worst of us equated that with a missing childhood nipple and made camp upon that tit to dispense wisdom.
Me? I'm a vacillator, I aspire to be half full of myself.
So end of day three there was a get together, three festivals, three casts, one Irish pub.
Todd Various, Windyman, Jay of the Jay-Show, Gazzo, the Atari show dude from Argentina and myself got there first. Just a knack we have coupled with innate social enthusiam I guess. I bought the first round, Atari didn't care what i chose so I got him a cider, lesson learned, a teachable moment. Know what you want.
The anecdotal olympics began. We joined tables together on the astroturf, there were increasing numbers of us, a pond and a Duck.
I met some new people who's names I've forgotton but who's faces I remember, Stuart, the producer arrived earlyish with his wife and they hung for a modicum before presumably retiring to whatever lavish batcave middle eastern clients afforded them. [Jesus martin, be nice, BE NICE]
Flying Dutchmen arrived, as did Gavin Hay and the subterraneally droll Kim Potter who's dry wit is so powerful he has to avoid produce sections at supermarkets lest he dehydrate things via proximity.
Chris Lynam, the pent-up-rage-Clown was there, he's mellow in real life. Silver turned up and that was a treat because we worked out we hadn't seen each other in 23 years, [which is just over three generations in clown-years] I gave him a memory he'd forgotten which is always satisfying. Andrew Elliott appeared out of no-where. We had both been weary philosophers decades ago and it was pleasing to see we'd each survived and grown more comfortably into ourselves.
It didn't get messy, it was just a bunch of guys and gals at a bar who'd worked out making your own reality was more fun that renting.
Jovial, pleasant, however this evening was the reason I'd taken the gig and my heart soared like a duck. That's a metaphor, the actual duck was still there and represented if anything insomnia and entitlement and total lack of flying and so was kinda useless.