Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dubai- Day two

Jet-lag has bled out. For me it's a three day gig but for most it's approaching the end of a 10 day gig so their rhythm given first shows are late afternoon consists of day adventures, indoor skiing, beaches, highest building venturing, meandering generally.

Experience has taught me that for the first few days in a foreign culture I need to stay quiet and bleed out that invisible green radiation only apparent to vendors, taxi drivers, pimps and pickpockets.

It's hot but meh, about as hot as the coast of the tropical island I live on. [Which is why I live at altitude] and about as hot as Perth in summer so no real drama there.

Only having three days I give up on the touristy aspect and focus on the matter at hand.

Not so much 'How do I construct shows in a marbled retailed colosseum?"

more  " what's the most efficient way to fulfil the clients unspoken brief."

Beginning in Japan, then later China and now the economically exploding middle east, Clowns and Variety performers with a street bent are used in newly constructed commercial ventures as talismans, social fabric softeners and disposable income laxatives to provide morphing generations safer passage between their times passed, where every cent was devoted to the basics in life, to their new condition where non essential spending is encouraged and the purchase of social signifiers and do-dads replaces the prior focuses of three square meals and the education of ones children.

Corporate heads know and bank big on 'quality' being subjective. That's why marketing is the carotid artery of commerce and why it's accepted as reasonable that the $200 tshirt is legitimately $190 more valuable than it's $10 cousin.

Clowns have little to do with this particular hypnotism, we are used at a later stage, our commercial function is to engender corporate loyalty. The people laugh, the people smile, the people get happy memories.......and the people return. The returning is our function and our worth.

So given I'm so articulate one one hand and so professionally mute on the other and given I've refused to be framed into doing 'shows' like an obedient 21st century vaudvillian and given my 11ft reality is a thing unto itself I enjoy a certain freedom. I'm trusted to simply 'do what I do.'

So by day two I'd figured roving and being at atmospheric fixture was one efficient aspect of my function and posing for between 100-150 photos with customers in the mall was the other.

So that's what I did.

I did a tiny bit of corner work, the basis for my street show, but just in passing and just to see if it had potential to be developed. It did but I'd need longer than three days to play with that and still be effective at the other stuff.

Day one I was depressed, combo of jet lag, the constant irritation of concrete dust in the green room and the vague disgust I have for my profession.
But day two I wasn't the least suicidal.

I had been warned that there were young entitled unsupervised brats who knew nothing but bullydom about the place. They were distinct from the sugar saturated brats that are an international fixture, [usually peaking at 4-7pm--the sugar saturation zone as it's known]
No these guys were just brittle young assholes I was told.

I met one on my third set on my second day.
I entered the mall and he swaggered in a belligerent bee-line towards me.
He was big for his age, more fat than muscle and he gave me his best approximation of a dead-eyed stare as he invaded my space.
I stopped, I've been on pegs 30 years now, I can stand still.
The fact that this little shit DARED to try and intimidate me filled me with a sudden rage the strength of a thousand dieing suns. His miniscule imagination would implode with the weight contained in the variety of ways I could fuck him up in that moment.
He sensed something in my contemptuous stare and broke contact and I turned my back on him, compounding my dismissal of him as a threat and walked onto an escalator, upping the stakes, making myself vulnerable but I'd already broken him.

However in reflecting and amplifying his hateful arrogance I had to spend the next three minutes bleeding out his essence, else I became him, which I found interesting.

That was day 2, It contained a social side which came after and I'll leave for the next post.

No comments: