In Germany with the Dummy Show!

While I was touring in Czech Republic this last Spring, I was sent an email about replacing a cellist in an acrobatic production show in Germany from an acrobat based in Berlin.
After many emails, FB messaging, thinking, and contemplating I wounded up flying to Dusseldorf to join the small (8 people total), yet powerful cast of Dummy about a month ago.
The first two weeks at the Essen show were challenging.
I found that the videos sent to me for the cello looping solo acts 2 months prior were not of the current artists and acts. Sure, I had taken the time, studied and taken apart all the loops (while recording and writing for my new album mind you), but now had to put them together in a different way. Then over night, at 2am, I had to create completely new music for a new straps artist. On top of it, the Tissu artist was so attached to the way the original cellist performed with her, she rejected what I was doing and cried after 4 of her performances.
My heart was breaking.
I fell in love the first time we performed and then it slid from there. She even pushed me to improvise, fully, in front of a full audience for one show. That was cool and an amazing experience, we let go, but even after that we still struggled. There was so much stress due to several cast members being out and leaving, that shit was seriously being slung around. The straps artist took a cue from the Tissu artist and acted out all diva as well with me and then told me not to take it personally. The original cellist decided that her music not be in the show at all (but months prior it was supposed to be and now all the Hannover press states thats she is the composer- agck!!). She had a myriad of comments after seeing me perform, everything from how I am onstage, like how I need to relax (like how can I?) and how weird it is to see someone else playing her music (so you should have told me not to in the first place?). Her only positive comment was how my own piece was her favorite thing. So, I became a person I don’t like to be on the outside: snappy, sarcastic, and negatively introverted. Toto, we are definitely not in Portland anymore.
The Tissu artist and I reconciled at the end. The straps artist, well, lets just say I’m not sure of our future. I came to do something exciting, new, and inspiring and felt I was thrown into the devil’s pit of artistic despair.
That was Essen.
This is Hannover.
None of the original cellist’s music remains in the show. I’ve created completely new pieces, and to completely new Tissu and Straps artists. And I kind of don’t hate to admit that its much easier working with them. They tell me what they need, I tailor my music to their acts, and we actually have the time to rehearse it! We found where I need to wait, where they need to wait for me, where we are together, and where we build certain cues. The pieces support their acts while letting me shine as well. Sans the stress, we are creating spaces with music and movement without attitude, from either party.
I am filled with gratitude and my inner child that so wanted to be a dancer, but was awkward and chubby, is living out its dreams vicariously. Finally, this is where and what I was hoping to receive from this experience!
We premiered this last Friday, the 23rd to really great reviews. TV and press were all over it, and we received high marks. This show has everything: urban style break-dancing, electronic music, hoola hoops, aerialists, acoustic sounding cello playing and singing, fragile emotion, uber strength, male and female singer voices, interactive projections, comedy, and wonder. Its great to be part of a show that is doing so well, has such an interesting concept, and I’m enjoying working and performing with the artists.

Here is more info of the GOP Variete Hannover Show if you’d like to see for yourself! Use google translate if need be 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *