Fire Pixie

New Year's Eve in Japan-sterdam

We survived our first and most difficult day of performances.. it's all downhill from here.

Yesterday was New Year's Eve.  It started out with a relaxing morning wherein I finished my first drawing and hung it on the wall.  I'm unreasonably proud of it.
After a walk to the Family Mart (our local 7-11 type store) and some apartment yoga, we headed over to the park.  We had 7 shows yesterday - each of the 4 of us had a solo set, and we had three ensemble stage shows to do.  That's a lot of shows, but it's only 4 shows each, and it probably works out to about 45 minutes of stage time apiece.  
Totally do-able.. until you take into account that the stages are each about a 3/4 mile from our dressing room, in different directions.  
I went to all 7 shows yesterday, and did a little extra exploring, and I wouldn't be surprised if I walked 8-10 miles all told.  That, on top of actually performing (and our shows are incredibly high-energy), and I'm pretty beat.  It seems to be a great way to get past the last of the jet lag, however - yesterday pounded us FLAT and so today I slept in until 10:30 am instead of waking up at 3 or 4 am.  I'm so proud.

At Sunset, there was a teaser fireworks show as all the lights in the park came on.  At midnight, Huis ten Bosch put on the biggest, most amazing fireworks display I have ever seen.   Our dressing room is on the third floor of a building that looks out right over the harbor and our view was fantastic.  At several points during the show I couldn't help just shouting and cheering.. so delightful!
Our ensemble fire show is looking good - still a little rough around the edges, but we're getting choreography and transitions worked out and every time we perform it's a little bit better.   
The solo shows all look incredible.  I loved watching everyone get out there and do what they do best.  All our performers have very different styles, and watching the solo shows was really inspiring.  I can't quite figure out to describe the feeling it gives me.. perhaps it's like a cookie.  If the sugar, the chocolate chips and the butter are all delicious and fresh, it's a joy to let the combined flavors mingle on my tongue.  Understanding the quality and distinctiveness of each ingredient makes the whole just that much sweeter.
Our first stage show featured an unexpected exploding fire pot, wherein the pressure inside the little oil lamp built up and exploded the wick up into the air with a dramatic fire ball right when Sequoia and Shaina were bending over it to light their tools.  We blame the unfamiliar Japanese fuel - nothing like this has ever happened in 10 years of using that pot.  (everyone was mostly OK)
Our second stage show started in the rain and finished in the freezing snow.  Thank heavens it wasn't terribly windy.  We only lost about half the audience when the snow / sleet started coming down in earnest.  These people are troopers.
Our third stage show (1:00 am) was delayed for about 5 minutes because an absolutely adorable young Japanese couple commandeered our stage for a super romantic and silly marriage proposal.  That was lovely.  The temperature at that show, at our best guess, was -3 C.   Could have easily been colder.  
Photo by Sequoia
In spite of all the challenges.. yesterday was magical.  The park is illuminated with what must be millions of lights, and the walk through the Art Garden to get to one of our stages is nothing short of astonishing.  The photos just don't do it justice.. the light sort of flows and waves across the ground, and the canal reflects everything around it, and everyone's just walking around with their mouths hanging open.  
Our other stage location, at the Palace, has an enormous lotus-type fire sculpture and fields of torches, and the whole place radiates fire and heat and beauty (and smoke, but who's complaining?).  
Everyone is incredibly nice, helpful, and doing their best to make each day a great experience for everyone else.  It's hard, but it's working.  And it's only going to get easier.
We've got the same number of shows today but won't have to pull such a late night, for which I am grateful.  We're hoping to catch some of the other acts at the park before they wrap up at the end of the week.  And did I mention that it was SOO good to be able to sleep in this morning?  :)

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