Monday, 31 May 2010

Live from the X-Men Green room.

Hello folks. I sit here now with my laptop in the green-room at the studio. Our first show today is at 1.15 and then we do another one at 4.15. This is definitely a good thing, 3 shows a day when there's not much audience is a bit draining. The weekend was good though, Saturday had big audiences for all 3 shows and Sunday would have been the same but the rain came down pretty hard for most of the afternoon.

We've been given an official rota for the next 4 weeks, we've been given designated days off (mine being Thursday) so that we dont all work a 7 day week. My cover guy is yet to try my role but he's been in the show as another character and gets to see a lot of what i do, plus he knows all my lines so hopefully it wont take long to pass the Cyclops torch.

There havent been many more mishaps in the show since my last update, however, yesterday part of the set was broken when two foam barrels that fly up in the air during a big pyro effect came down right on the lip of a balcony, sending fibre glass and wood all over the stage. When we came down for the next show there was a very strong smell of glue coming from the stage :-p Surprisingly, normally everything in this business is fixed with Duct tape!

Anyways, on to the next shows, the park doesn't look too quiet considering it's a Monday so hopefully we'll have some enthusiastic audiences.

Cyclops awaaaaay!!!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

part 2.

So i figure i should use my last remaining internet hours to update. I could be without web access for a few days until we get a wireless router installed in our green room.

So we went to the Brauhaus tonight, just a small handfull of us. It was good fun, as soon as we walked in and ordered our round we noticed the big boss of the park sat with some important looking poeple, shortly after that he came over to us and said hi and told us the first round was on him which was a very generous and well received surprise. We spent the night talking about how things were going and swapping stories of shows gone by. This happens a lot, there's a lot of history in the live-action stunt show industry and it's all quite closely knit. I hope that sometime in the future i'll meet some of the people who seem to be the focus of these stories.

So here I am a few pints later, very sleepy and looking forward to another day of shows tomorrow, who knows, in a couple of days i could be in the audience watching Aiden (my cover and the lead Gambit) doing my role. Will be nice to put my feet up!

Speak to you when I can people.


Holy Smokes Blogman

Hey guys.

So today was day 4 of shows, we're still definitely hammering out the dents but overall things are going well.

Recent incidents include the soundtrack starting 5 minutes early and messing up the lighting for the show, CO2 guns running out of gas, the flame grill refusing to fire and the odd effect malfunctioning. These things are to be expected I guess!
We're currently the only show running three times a day in the park as we're the latest attraction and have been in all the papers, however the park is pretty quiet on weekdays and after a while we may see the show cut down to twice daily.

We're still doing rehearsals between shows as the cover people are starting to learn their alternative roles. So far our back up Gambit has done some shows as has our back-up Wolverine and one of the mutants. Hopefully soon my cover will be able to let me have some shows off so I can sit in the audience and get a perspective of the show that i wouldn't normally see.

Outside of the show life is going alright, the sleepy town of Kirchhellen plays host to some upcoming parties which will be great as very little goes on here. Our little group of performers tend to be the noisiest people in any bar we go to but the locals here seem entertained by us foreigners and we've had no trouble (stunt teams living in Kirchhellen in the past have been known to cause a few problems :-P)

Tonight we return to our favourite watering hole, the Brauhaus, as Gareth's girlfriend who has been visiting for the last few days is leaving tomorrow morning, any excuse for a drink basically! Depending on just how much we consume and how early we get back I may update later this evening.

Till then ya'll.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Guten tag von-blog.

Hello all.

Well as you know we opened the show yesterday, properley this time! Our first Audience was very busy, there's been so much hype about us since we got here and we finally had a chance to impress. Thankfully we put on the best show so far, it felt great and the crowd loved it. However, show number 2 began to have technical difficulty about 15mins into it and by the end nothing was working, not even the sound track. Luckily our tech guy in the sound booth came over the microphone and apologised to the audience (who had probably guessed that things had gone wrong)and told them to come back for the 3rd show. During the meet and greet loads of people asked us what effects they had missed and when we told them they all seemed really keen to come back to see the third.
The third show had the biggest audience yet, unsurprisingly, and like the 1st show it went pretty well.

In the evening our director (also my agent) took all his agency employees out for some drinks which was great, he'd worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks and thanked us for our hard work too. He drove back to England today and we wont see him until the end of the season.

So onto today. Show number one was a bit awkward as we had new people controlling the lighting (which is on an automated system, like pressing play on a cd player) he was a bit nervous and as a result we ended up with the lighting que's 5 minutes ahead of the soundtrack but hey, he was new and these things happen. The second and third shows went smoothly and once again the audiences were fantastic.

So this is really where we settle in, our covers are beginning to try their hand at the shows by doing one a day, it may be a few days before I get to sit in the audience as my cover plays Gambit but also covers Wolverine. It's probably more important that he learns Wolverine first as he has much more to do on stage than I. When I do finally get to watch the show i'll record the whole thing. No chance to upload thigs yet as i'm still using this bloody USB stick which doesn't tolerate such things.

But hey, there's many a month to go so i'm sure when I do get to upload videos they'll be of a high standard! Hope everyone reading this is well and you're enjoying the updates.

Ciao for now!


Sunday, 23 May 2010

So here we go.

Hi folks, time to let you know the recent news.

So after our press release day we were given Saturday and most of today off, this was mainly due a to a national cheerleading competition being held in our theatre... weird no? So after some R&R we trudged back into the set today to discover that the cheerleading was still going on, i.e, running late.
After a 2 hour wait we were finally able to get rehearsing on the elements of the show that needed changing after our performance to the press. As a result i'm sat here at 1am, 7 hours before i need to get up to go to the set for our first public performance day.

Tomorrow is a holiday in Germany so the park will be packed, also, there is a lot of hype about the show after we appeared in loads of newspapers with some very good reviews so we're expecting a full house :-)

I think that'll do for now, I definitely need my rest before tomorrow and should hopefully have the internet again by midweek. Wish me luck!!!


Slightly neglectful.

Hi blog, just a quick message to say i'll be updating later tonight :-)


Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Well hello again bloggers.

So today was the day, our first show with an audience, i'll get onto that shortly but first let me tell you about yesterday.

So after having worked a 12 hour shift on Tuesday it came as no surprise when we ended up doing another 12 hour shift yesterday. The morning and early afternoon were spent doing final alterations to costume and the set and Fx. We then watched a run through of the show with all the Fx, pyro, music and lighting and no actors on stage. The purpose of this being that we had to remember when to avoid certain explosions etc. After that the techies had to work hard to finalise some of the things that hadn't worked particularly well in time for a full run through. At precisely quarter to midnight we began a full run of absolutely everything, most of us were pretty worn out by then but we knew it had to be done.

It went pretty well bar the odd hiccup, some lighting and pyro were a bit off but there wasn't much else wrong. Finally, at about 12.40am we were allowed to leave but were told we'd have to be by 9 the next morning.

So after a few hours sleep we all went back to the set today to do one more run-through before the very first show with an audience. The run through didn't consist of any pyro etc as there wouldn't have been enough time to reset everything. We started the run at about 10:30 and decided that we were ready to go ahead at 12pm.

The audience today consisted of all sorts of officials from Moviepark and lots of members of the press as well as senior representatives of Mirage entertainment, basically it was time to impress and everyone gave 100% resulting in an un-interrupted show with only 3 or 4 errors, all of which were Fx of Pyro (I.E, not our fault). After the show finished we were asked back out on stage where we were given flowers and received much more applause. We then spent an hour doing photos for the press and for the park publicity team. So all in all, a successful day.

The next 3 days at the set will be taken up by a cheerleading show (weird isn't it? But we have known about it for a while now) meaning that we've been given tomorrow off to recover from the last few weeks and we dont need to go back til Friday evening when the cheerleaders are gone to do some final tweaking of the show before our director, Mirage and Sigma (special fx) people all fly home.

Tonight we're going to Dorsten for a celebratory meal with all the cast and crew, no doubt celebratory drinking will happen too. I'll raise a glass for all you people back home who've been following the blog, from now on it takes the role of telling you about each performance day and the kinds of things that go on once a show of this magnitude is open to the public.



Monday, 17 May 2010


Well hello blog readers.

What an insane few days it's been since my last update, let me fill you in.

So after discovering that our new soundtrack was very different to the one we'd been rehearsing to we spent a long time re-choreographing a lot of the show, with reasonable success. We also watched a lot of Pyro and FX testing which all looked pretty cool, however, our Italian director Angelo left yesterday and we were immediatly gathered together in front of the producer, our fight director and the writer of the script, who has been here for a few days now. They told us that the show needed some drastic changes (to which the cast all agreed) and that those 3 would be our directing team until the show opens. So we started, essentially, from scratch; keeping most of the character blocking (their stage movements) but completely re-working the acting styles, some of the fights and the general vibe of the show.

So after busting a gut yesterday we had started to make improvements. The X-Men characters are now much more realistic to how they appear in the comics (bearing in mind that the shows are based on the comics, not the movies). Today we finished re-doing every last dead-spot in the show and believe me there were a lot of them. Myself, Aidan and Phil (Gambit and Magneto) stayed behind to assist with the lighting, we thought we'd be in for an all nighter but ended up leaving sometime around 10pm much to our relief (especially since we were in at 10am)

So tomorrow is crunch time, it's our last day before opening which means we'll be running the show with full costume, pyro, visual Fx and sound effects. We'll be running it many times over until we're happy with every last scene. It's going to be a really long one and to be honest i'm already feeling the strain since we havent had a day off for 2 weeks or so, nevertheless we all know that we have to commit fully to doing the best we can so we can put on a show on Wednesday that we all feel proud of.

On Wednesday night we're being taken out for a staff meal as a reward for our efforts so my next update will be later in the week. Wish me luck folks! Hopefully i'll be able to tell you all how well it went soon :-)

Till then readers.


Thursday, 13 May 2010


Hello blog.

Well today has been a perfect mixture of good and bad.

Lets start with the good shall we?
So this afternoon we turned up for rehearsal and I was told that after many teething problems my collapsing lamp-post was ready to be tried out again. So after discussing the logistics of what I would be doing I tried it out and it's fantastic. Basically I stand atop a balcony and fire my laser eyes at Magneto, narrowly missing him. He then takes aim at the balcony and using his powers begins to destroy it, firstly a lot of pyrotechnics go off and then the entire thing hinges down (done with pnuematics). As the balcony falls I swing onto a nearby lamp-post which triggers it to fall down towards the stage. It's tied off with a rope disguised as a cable so that it doesn't go all the way to the ground and just as it stops moving I jump to the floor and proceed to kick some bad guy ass. I was very satisfied with how that went.

Now for the bad news...
After having sent off a list of edits that needed to be made to the soundtrack we finally received the new version only to discover that it's been made very different indeed. Music has been cut, changed, added and altered and even more frustrating nearly all my lines have changed. This leaves me in the posistion of having to hammer all the old lines out of my head (and i was getting damn good at them) and re-learn the new ones with only 5 days of rehearsal left. As for everyone else, well a lot of their lines have changed too, some considerably. So we now have to spend some time re-choreographing the parts where the music has altered whilst trying to learn where our new lines have been slotted in.

But hey, those are the cards we've been dealt and to stand around complaining would just waste more time at this stage so we persevere. Tomorrow we are having a German lesson with one of the tech guys to ensure that we understand our new lines as well as learning to speak them correctly, hopefully it won't take too long and we can get back to practicing all the stunts that are in the show. Speaking of which, we're now able to do run throughs with abseiling mutants, abseiling Wolverine, my lamp-post stunt, a mutant running up a building at high speed and another stunt where Nightcrawler runs up a ladder only to have Magneto rip it from the wall and falls nearly to the ground.

So I remain positive and still look forward to the opening of the show. 5 Days and counting!

That's about it for now guys, speak to you soon!


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Ooh, me aching bones...

Hello blog readers.

Well today was another long one. We came into the set at 2pm to have an official costume fitting so we could make any changes. My costume is a lot different from last time and not particularly flattering, but I suppose I shouldnt expect much when playing a spandex clad superhero. Only a few adjustments needed for mine so I can imagine we'll be rehearsing in them soon. Only 10 days left until opening now!

We then spent the rest of the day working through every scene in the show and trying to improve our acting skills, it's turning out to be a very long process and i'm beginning to think that we should be focusing on the pyrotechnics etc so we're safe on the stage when all the effects go off. Still, acting is important as our performances need to be convincing, there's a lot of dialogue in the show so we cant just rely on the action sequences to keep the audiences attention.

So here I am at almost 11pm, not been home for long but we probably wont be in until the afternoon tomorrow, time for a well earned glass of whiskey with the rest of the cast I think!

Hopefully soon i'll be able to let you know about the stunts in the show, going to be a couple of veeery long days when we get to that stage as we're teaching Shaolin monks to abseil!

Until then everyone!


Friday, 7 May 2010

I'm back.

Hello all.

Well as you can tell it's been a little while since I was here. We ran out of credit on the internet USB and since we were well into rehearsals we didn't have time to get it topped up.

But here I am so i'll give you the latest news; we have been rehearsing under the supervision of an artistic director called Angelo. He's been finding ways to fill the dead spots in the show by improving our acting. It's a very slow process as it turns out as he is Italian and has to use a translator most of the time, then Jocelyn (Wolverines wife) has to translate to Chinese for the Shaolins and the 2 Chinese acrobats. But we're making progress and right now i'm sitting in the auditorium watching the first attempts at abseiling from the ceiling.

We're also getting closer to the time where the special effects will be going off and there's a hell of a lot of them. We have 7 exploding drain covers that fly into the air, numerous explosions and much of the set is collapsible so Magneto looks like he's genuinly got the power to control metal. It's all very exciting, just a shame it's taken so long to get this far!

Well i'm sure i'm going to be needed soon so i'll sign off for now but hopefully the usual updates will resume for the next couple of weeks.

Ciao for now!