Category Archives: Random

LDNTwestival work progressing

Twestival 2009 will be taking place on 12th February. Taking a huge leap to global level – it’s taking place in over 100 cities around the world across 5 continents, the event promises to be one of the most hotly anticipated social media events this year.

Pleased to be involved in the event, my technical services company – GPSLighting Limited has been asked to supply the services for the event. This means we’ll be designing and providing the lighting, sound and video content. Just to give you an idea, here are some renderings and ideas for the venue, Shoreditch Studios, so far:-

A google sketch up rendering of the LDNTwestival venue

rendering of the venue, using google sketchup

The main archway between the two main railway arch studios

The main archway between the two main railway arch studios

this is what it will look like with the lighting

this is what it will look like with the lighting

Already receiving good coverage and ticket sales flying, the festival promises to raise money for a good cause Charity:Water and at the same time getting a load of social media/cyber tweeple (twitter users) together for a good old shin-dig/knees-up/partaaaay.

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unrest across the pond

                              Strike strike strike!

Casting some thoughts to those over in the US, specifically speaking, Hollywood, it has come to my attention that ‘Tinseltown’ ain’t all it’s cracked up to be (I think I knew that already, but anyway).

To break it down more simply, before you read the full post, it is that the two major unions that represent the performers – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), have broken down in talks. The dispute is over power and representation – the SAG undermining AFTRA, as SAG hold more members.

The breakdown comes before there are talks being held with the big-gun studios, who are represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Pictures, about performers pay. In a few months time, a contract expires between the film and TV studios and the stars.

Things need to be resolved because it is quite probable that a strike could take place when the contract expires. If this happened, it would be a deadly blow to Hollywood, especially after the ubiquitous writers’ strike.

Now, to bring this into some relevance to British theatre, I feel that we should take a lesson from our, somewhat extremist, cousins. It is to the great lengths that they go in which they get some return – the artistes aren’t happy about the distribution of the money and so they do something about it. Perhaps, it is about time that British artistes – performers and writers alike, got together a voice, properly, about something that they weren’t happy with, usually pay, and made a real difference.

Read a couple of posts here, which, although I tried to put simply, they probably explain better and in more detail…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7321289.stm

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN3033905520080330

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loving mum

by Sandy Matthews

Sunny BrightonA quick dash home on Saturday morning to sunny Brighton (the sun is always shining there – it’s like Neighbours!) and I was in the middle of a busy shopping afternoon in full breath in the leisure town that my previous stamping ground seems to be trapped in. What has become a cool-to-be-seen-in town centre, it’s hard to picture the roots of the tres-liberal playground that I grew up in. With each weekend towards the summer filling with Londoniniums drafting south, it becomes more of a battle each time I head back, attempting to get my neck above all of the other revellers.

However, I wasn’t down for tomfoolery, quips and solace, but more importantly to attend a family assemblage, making small talk and answering the ubiquitous – “so what are you doing when you finish university?” I’m sure you can gather that this also wasn’t the sole reason for being home, but rather to see my mummy on a fine spring day to shower her with the love that she so deserves. It also happens to be her fiftieth birthday on Wednesday, to which she is a pinnacle of what any fifty year old would hope to be.

So here’s to you Mum – Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Birthday and thank you for everything you’ve ever given me.

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the way they walk

Abercromie GirlsI sit here and observe a dinner time session at the refectory of my university. Recently refurbished, it is bright white, modern and clean; a clinical feeling of the environment is something that can easily be associated with the place. There is a general murmur, hum and rhubarb as the customers stroll in and make their way towards the main server to pick up their fuel for the remainder of the bright, bordering on spring, evening.

I used the word ‘stroll’ as the style of entrance they make to the public eatery and I must confess that this is a slapdash summary of the multitude of ways that these people arrive. To give you a more accurate summary, I must first give you a rough guide to the social scene at the university.

Set in the leafy suburbs of South West London it is a small Catholic, predominantly Irish, university which specialises in courses such as Sport, Drama, Media and Teaching – all of which have a certain social integrity to them. Such is this integrity that fashion and looks is often high on the agenda of many members with academic achievement placing second.

Usual attire is A & F hoodies, short leather jackets, Ugg boots, skinny jeans and cute leather bags that the girls drape around their forearm. So, as you can imagine, the dinner time session in the refectory is a place to show-off these fashion and looks, but it is ultimately the way that these are put together and displayed.

Characters walk in groups, huddles and entourages. The girls chirp chirping away to each other, flitting between their mobile phones, each other and anyone who may care to grab their attention. The lads in sports gear, hands in pockets (and sometimes further) bantering away and thrusting their masculinity to the ever watching eyes. There are walks of different tastes and suits – slight limps of injury or maybe just “total coolness”, a relaxed meander, a statement of a new item of clothing or brand new mobile phone, or, more typically, a nonchalant casual pace with the undertone of “I’m cool and don’t I know it”.

Above all this, the main overall observation is the way in which each of these people holds themselves. There is such high regard for themselves and each other which is actually very pleasant to witness, although at other times there is a real front to what the big bad world is really all about, unbeknown to many of these wrapped in their tiny, safe university nutshells.

I can perhaps be accused for being jealous of these fellow folk, for I once was myself a carefree, self-respecting meanderer of the refectory and now I am an arrogant and stubborn third year fearing the truth staring me in the face of the ‘real’ world. However, this is just a passing observation rather than a judgement, because the fact is that I have to give these people much more credit than I’ve made out. We’re all here at this institution working seriously towards a degree in our chosen profession… ahem… yeah right.

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the eel vic or the queen pie?

A mini Eastenders episode – minus the lights and camera.Queen Victoria Pub

I was on my break from work last night and I received a phone call from my manager.

“Don’t come back.”

“You what?”

“Don’t come back, okay?”

“Okay?” in a confused state I hung up.

I couldn’t have been that long surely? Maybe I was only meant to go for a couple of minutes. I headed back straight away thinking that my manager, Hana, as well as I know her, was being sarcastic and was actually having a cheap dig.

I get back, thinking she’s pi**ed off with me, say nothing and get on with the job.

About ten minutes later, her 6’5″, bald, tattoo-on-his-head, goggle eyed boyfriend walks up to the bar, slams his glass on down and spits at Hana. I glance up to see who the f**k he is and he goes for me shouting something in Polish. Hana manages to stop him as I move well out of the way absolutely petrified.

Everyone in the pub takes notice and there is now a sickeningly tense atmosphere with the only noise coming from the Pole, whilst throwing money at Hana demanding a drink. She manages to calm the situation and keeps him locked in a strange conversation as he pulls out wads of money and carries on throwing it at her.

I was asked by some of the locals to call the police, to which I replied, “No, if he sees me making a phone call, what do you think he’s going to do?” So they got the picture and one of them made a move outside to make the call. Around five minutes of heated discussion and a mystified atmosphere later, a couple of officers make their way into the pub and approach him. Immediately, it’s as if there’s a switch, he is completely calm and makes his way outside of the pub with the officers.

The next half an hour ensues with the police and making statements and clearing the whole situation up, inevitably by this point Hana is puffy-eyed and struggling to hold back the streaming tears.

I finally ring the bell for time, very shaken myself, making a considerable amount of mistakes as I serve the untimely rush of customers. As soon as the last customer has left until it’s just Hana and I clearing up.

After a little silence, almost too long, I have to ask, “What was that about?”

She shrugs, “I dunno… I can’t believe he did that.”

“It was pretty scary,” I manage to gather some courage, “What was is over?”

“You.” She gives a half laugh of disbelief, “He thinks I’m sleeping with you.”

I give out a burst of laughter as if to say, “what the hell is wrong with him?”

We toil off into conversation, mainly me asking questions and Hana going over the same point that “it will be all my fault,” as he says every time. I gradually find out how the whole situation came about and the situation that Hana now finds herself in. The fact is that she’s six months pregnant with his baby and he seems to think that she’s shagging around with just about every man she comes in contact with; his last girlfriend left him for his best-mate and he should now be carrying a sign above his head that says, “paranoid and jealous at every opportunity.”

The night finishes after a couple of much needed pints (how was I going to sleep with an image of this monster flying around my head!) and I manage to cheer Hana up a little and divert conversation away from the event, although it inevitably often leads back to it as it dominates both our thoughts.

I’m not sure how the next episode goes, but last night’s what just enough for me as it was. I’m the worst person in dealing with any situation of extreme conflict, aggressiveness or violence – the only thing I can do is stay right away, but in hindsight, that’s also the way I like it.

So there you have it, the night that the Eel Pie pub became the Queen Vic for a short while, with plenty of action.

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gathering thoughts

Isn’t it funny where and when exactly in the world we gather our thoughts? For many of us I’m sure we have common places such as, just before we go to sleep, out on a long walk in nature or just when you are going for a wee. The latter seems to be not so much a place to gather thoughts, but to come up with the best ideas. For some reason, this works for me, quite a lot. It’s the point where I am relaxed and focused on the one thing, as simple as that might sound. Thus I normally become inspired with some sort of great idea. Nevertheless, reporting that idea to a nearby friend, it doesn’t usually seem as good as when you originally had it. But you persevere and work it out and it eventually comes good. For instance, I had the idea earlier of posting this, however thinking about it now it doesn’t seem as good, however, I feel I’ve hopefully worked through that to make some sense of it… but I still might have failed… it doesn’t matter.

My point is, the next time you gather some thoughts, note where abouts and when that is and think about why it happened. Usually because you’ll be relaxed and focused doing a simple task. The benefit comes when you take this feeling and try and install it in your everyday life helping yourself to be inspired and captivated at any given moment.

Keep it simple.

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green peppers

Why don’t green peppers taste as nice as the red, orange or yellow ones?

 I love peppers, they are one of my favourite vegetables. You can eat them fresh or cooked, whole, diced chunky or small and they taste good whatever… apart from the green ones. Even in supermarkets they are cheaper! A strange phenomenon in the vegetable world that green doesn’t taste as good. Do you think the other peppers laugh at the green ones? Maybe…

 Quote of the day – “If it’s nil-nil, is it still a draw?” A.Anson – Thank you.

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