Abu Dhabi #3 - THE BUBBLESHOWS!
The BUBBLE SHOWS!
So how are the shows I’ll bet you’re wondering… How are they received? How’s the air-con? What does the client think?
Well, the shows are all going well – I’m at number 79 now, of 100 shows I’m doing this Summer (split between UK, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, and Hong Kong), and I’ve got my show pretty well sorted. That’s one of the great things about performing intensively like this – it gives you the creative opportunity to really nail down what works and what doesn’t.
The air con isn’t too bad, although there’s a big draft from it which kinda kills my “Bubble-Vision” section of my show.
Every show is well received and although the client hasn’t said all that much, I know that they are happy. The staff on the show all shout out to me “I LOVE BUBBLES” whenever they see me (a tagline in my shows).
And the kids? Well,.. the kids love it, just as they do in any other country. Most of them are cute and nice regular kids. Unfortunately, this is often overtaken by the 10 or 20% who are N A U G H T Y!
Ohmigosh! From what I hear, I’ve had it pretty light, but even still…. They get up on my stage in the middle of my show ALL THE TIME! Repeatedly! Then they run about giggling, trying not to be caught. Do they have performer aspirations? They want to be famous? Or they just like being naughty… I don’t know, but it has taken all my patience to just stick with my plan of being firm with them. I learnt a few words of Arabic, and one word is “KHALLAS!” It means “Enough!” I put my hand on their shoulder and squeeze just enough to let them know I’m serious and it seems to work. The security aren’t allowed to touch the kids as the kids are all Emirati’s and the job of a security guard is waaayyy below anything that they would do for a living. That’s how it is here – a lot depends on your social standing.
The older boys (say 10-12) are worse – they still try to get up on your stage but they DON’T CARE! About ANYTHING! They won’t get off if they don’t want to, or they’ll turn up with the aim of trying to ruin your show, partly by shouting and at you, but also in the case of the Clowns and Balloon girls, they have pinched Christine’s bottom, taken bits of their equipment, broken their tools, and told Becca, to f**k off!
Why do they do this? People discuss this quite a lot, and it’s generally assumed that they do it because they are not given any boundaries by their parents. They get everything that they want (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRTkCHE1sS4), and their Philippino nannies aren’t allowed to discipline them. Apparently their parents don’t spend enough time with them, although I don’t know if this is true: Kids rule here.
Also, and perhaps most importantly, they don’t get enough sleep!
This was the article that appeared in the National newspaper this morning – that kids in the Arabian culture tend to stay up very late and getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night when you’re little can lead to Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s not something that happens in the West so much – my kids go to bed between 8 and 9 every night. They probably get closer to 10 hours sleep. But here, the kids are up whenever. Either because their parents let them, or because they get to choose their bedtime. It’s rife.
Just to further illustrate this, my shows here are all during Ramadan, so they are at night! Sometimes my first show is not till MIDNIGHT and my last show can finish as late as 2.30 in the morning. It’s an event FOR kids!
My next leg of my tour is going to be 15 gigs in Hong Kong and is a Guinness World Records show. It’s a free event like in Jakarta, so I expect there’ll be more people there, and I look forward to giving you the lowdown on what the kids are like there!
Better… I hope!