Working With Talent Pt. 2 // Bundeswettbewerb Gesang

So after we brought the video-lady back up again I reached my seat next to my mother just in time before Michael Dixon got on stage to announce that unlike advertised before not Dominique Horowitz will be presenting but Katharine Mehrling who’d already been the president of the jury during the finals. And she did well presenting.

I was just as excited as I tend to be on opening night performances throughout the concert with that bitter-sweet moment of whitnessing something very special and something you look forward to but at the same time seeing that the event will end a very special time (which actually ment: returning to my dance studies classes, which are great but working with musical theatre is a little bit better….). But still I was eager to see if everything went just as we rehearsed and as far as I could see (and can remeber) everything was just fine.

You can watch every single performance on Vimeo and one of the performances I shared two days ago for Music Monday! And to be honest I think it’s best for you to spend an evening on Vimeo instead of reading what I think about all these performances – exept for said Music Monday…in that case, please, go, read what I wrote over there. 😉

I CAN’T even say bad things about the performers, I liked all of them, but since I spend about a week (more or less) with them I’m not able to pretend I can totally write just about their performances. But what I can do, is write about my mother’s view from what she told me. She’s a avid (musical) theatre goer, she’s the one travelling with me and seeing shows with me – she sees musicals as well as opera and straight plays. The one song performed she still talks about and even has shown to her friends at work is Marissa Möller’s performance of the chanson “Rabenmutter” (a German term for uncaring, cruel, bad mother), she als really liked Nedime Ince’s Turkish-German rendition of “Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte”, while I friend of mine really, really liked Elisabeth Köstner’s “Pulled” from the Addams Family. The song that kind of revived my Sondheim-obsession was Philipp Büttner’s “Marry Me a Little” while we all laughed our asses off when Paula Skorupa sang “Toothbrush” (other than the title is suggesting it’s a German song…but even if you speak English only I bet you’ll have fun just watching her!). I could go on and on like that. (if someone of you readers watches the videos, please let me know which one you like best!)

During intermission I went backstage to check on everything and see if there was any work for me to do (I remembered last year’s concert when I sat back stage and was holding hands of nervous singers and helping the stage manager). I shortly talked to the director to make some arrangements concerning the end of the concert when each and everyone of the winners had to go directly upstaris to attent a small photo call and the reception, we agreed on meeting in the left wing of the stage and there I was, sadly  not beeing able to see the last number from the auditorium, but at least I was there and able to listen from the side and I was there when they first went off stage which – in my opinion – is always a faszinating moment to see people in. After they took off their microphones the director took the lead and ordered me to be the last and from what I remeber we lost one of our “ducklings” and I ran all over the building looking for him (let’s just remeber the heels I wore here…), but when I came up to the lobby where the reception was held, he suddenly was there.

These receptions are always a little fun, because they actually are work (we mostly just wait for the people to go to organize some things in the end) but not really, we are allowed to drink a little wine and share some small talk with people, which was actually fun, because most of (the Berlin based) Germany’s musical theatre people were there and I had some nice conversations, mostly with gay men, but I also met an actor I work with at the criminal dinner entertainment I work for and he introduced me to the “assistant” headmaster of the musical college in Munich where he studied. I’m not very good at small talk but after I had more than a week of practise with the participants I did quite well I guess.

At about 1am I took some of the winners back to their dressing rooms and went up to the office to get changed myself. I packed my stuff and arranged everything to leave together with my bosses, when we went past the dressing rooms I decided to wait for the ones still there. So I watched my bosses leave and waited for Peter and Lisa, who somehow managed to get me to join them and some other participants for one last drink (because I escorted them to the bar anyways).

End of story: I was home at 3 am, and woke up at 8 am the next morning, I sat through all my classes (six hours of philosophical and theatrical dance studies research discussions) and went to work for two hours afterwards. I’m pretty proud, yes, I am.

Personally theses weeks with almost 100 hours of working show me how durable my body can be and I’ve always loved working directly with artists (though most of the time I didn’t work WITH but FOR them…anyway…). It was a good experience to be completely surrounded by music for that time which usually isn’t the case when I’m working.

What were your most intensive working experiences? What concert did you buzz about lately? Let me know in the comments below or on my facebook page!

And to all our winners, the people I spend the weekend with at Friedrichstadt Palast: I can’t wait to hear what you’ll do once you’ll leave your schools! Keep me posted, if possible. 😀


Theatergeburtstag // Theatrical Birth

(since this is a post corresponding with a German blogger initiative there will be the German post first, and English one can be found below)

Tanja Praske hat in ihrem Blog zu einer Blogparade unter dem Motto “Mein faszinierendes Kulturerlebnis” aufgerufen. Und da das hier ein Blog ist, der sich mit Kultur – primär mit Theater – beschäftigt, ist das quasi genau mein Thema. Zuerst einmal: Danke, Tanja, für diesen Input!

Seit ich diese Aktion gesehen habe, habe ich natürlich darüber nachgedacht, was mein (ultimativ)faszinierendes Kulturerlebnis gewesen sein könnte. Meine erste Begegnung mit Bildern des Malers Caravaggio in einer Kirche in Valetta, Malta? Der Blick auf die Altstadt von Jerusalem vom Ölberg aus? Oder mehr Theater: Meine Theaterbesuche am Broadway vergagenen Monat? Barrie Koskys Inszenierung von Rusalka? Eine Videoinstallation zu Kurtags Kafka-Fragmenten? Meg Stuarts Built to last? Aber dann ist mir aufgefallen, dass ich all diese Sachen nicht gesehen hätte, wäre nicht etwas ganz bestimmtes in meinem Leben passiert, was inzwischen etwa sechseinhalb Jahre her ist. Damals lernte ich nämlich Tobias Rausch, Ilka Rümke und Jan Linders kennen, als ich nach einem in der Mitgliederzeitschrift der DGhK veröffentlichten Aufruf zum ‘Casting’ für das Performanceprojekt highQ – Gehirne in Hochgeschwindigkeit besetzt wurde. Das war mein einziger Ausflug als Performerin und damit bin ich sehr glücklich, denn eigentlich habe ich da gelernt ins Theater zu gehen und darüber zu sprechen.

Ich war damals 16 Jahre alt, in der 11. Klasse und verwirrt, weil die meisten meiner Klassenkameraden 18 waren und ‘erwachsen’ und Party machten. Bei highQ war ich untern den Performenden zur Abwechslung mal die älteste, der jüngste von uns war zu dem Zeitpunkt erst 8 oder 9. Zusammen haben wir in unseren Proben viel Blödsinn gemacht und waren kreativ (manchmal zu viel, manchmal zu wenig – ich erinnere mich daran wie Tobias uns Jugendliche mal dazu zwang ein Sonnett zu schreiben, das sich eben durch strenge formale Vorgaben auszeichnet. Ich bin selten so grandios gescheiert!). Und vor allem sind wir mehrmals gemeinsam ins Theater gegangen. Rückblickend ist mir das (und vieles aus der Zeit) ein bisschen peinlich, wie naiv ich und wie wenig ich über Theater wusste, aber das ist nun mal so. In meiner Erinnerung ist es so, dass irgendwann angefangen habe, auch etwas mehr ins Theater zu gehen, zuerst war das eher so ein “mitgehen” mit den Erwachsenen, großen Theaterleuten, später bin ich dann auch alleine gegangen. Sie haben mich wie selbstverständlich gefragt, wie es bestimmte Dinge an Aufführungen fand und was ich generell sagen würde. Dadurch habe ich für mich sehr schnell einen Weg gefunden, über Aufführungen und Theatererlebnisse zu sprechen, gerade dieses Sprechen spielt heute (und wird hoffentlich in meinem ganzen weiteren Leben) eine große Rolle für mich: Über Theater sprechen ist nicht nur eine Grundvoraussetzung für die theaterwissenschaftliche Aufführungsanalyse, sondern hat auch für mich privat in den darauffolgenden Jahren eine große Rolle gespielt. (weil: wer über Theater reflektieren und sprechen kann, kann das auch über andere Dinge…)

Ohne diese Erfahrung hätte ich in diesem Sommer nicht meine Bachelorarbeit in Theaterwissenschaft geschrieben, ich hätte mir nicht mit 16 in den Kopf gesetzt Dramaturgin zu werden. Gleichzeitig hätte ich natürlich Tobias nie kennen gelernt und hätte nie in der vorletzten Spielzeit mit ihm arbeiten können, als ich nämlich Interviews für die Produktion “Felix Krull und seine Erben” am Theater Kiel führen durfte.


Tanja Praske asked on her blog for posts dealing with a fascinating cultural experience in ones life – and since this is a blog about culture, mostly theatre, it seemed to be my topic! So first of all, thank you, Tanja, for asking.

I read about that initiative a few days ago and since then I was thinking about what I could consider to be my (most) fascinating thing I experienced in the arts. My first encounter with the paintings of Caravaggio in that church in Valetta, Malta? The view over the OId City of Jerusalem from Mount of Olive? Or to be more theatrical: My visit to Broadway last month? Barrie Kosky‘s production of Rusalka? That video-installation of Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragments? Meg Stuart‘s Built to last? But then I realized that most of these thing wouln’t even have happenend to me if something very special hadn’t happened in my life. About six and a half years ago I got to know Tobias Rausch, Ilka Rümke and Jan Linders at an audition I attended after reading about it in the magazine of the German association for gifted children. After all I got cast in a performance called “highQ – Gehirne in Hochgeschwindigkeit” (“highQ – high-speed brains”) – which was my only appearance as a performer and that’s more than okay because basically that was when I learned to speak about theatre.

Back then I was 16, in 11th grade and confused – most of my classmates were 18 and of age and partying every weekend. At highQ I was the oldest of us performers, the youngest was only 8 or 9 at that time. We did a lot of nonsense at rehearsal and we were creative (sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much I remember my failed attempt to write a sonnett with all these formal restrictions once) and we also went to see some performances together. Looking back today it’s almost a little embarrassing how naive I was and how little I knew about theatre, but that’s how life works. I remember that as the time when I starting to go and see performances – at first I only went with somebody, then I started going on my own – just as I do today. Naturally the older, ‘grown up’ theatrepoeple would always ask me what I thought about certain scenes or the performance in general. Due to that I soon learned how to talk about performances and this way of talking has been very important to me ever since. Not only is talking about what you see in theatres very important to performance analysis just as we do it in the theatre studies, but also to me personally. If you can reflect and talk about theatrical performances you can also do that with other events in your life.

Without that experience I never would have written my BA thesis in theatre studies this past summer and I hadn’t decided to become a dramaturg one day when I was 16. At the same time I never would have met Tobias and never would have had the chance to work with him again second to last season when I was a interviewer for his production “Felix Krull und seine Erben” at Theater Kiel.