action hero news

action painting in the name of experimentation….
August 6, 2008, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The strangest thing just happened. I was halfway through performing a work-in-progress at the Forest Fringe in Edinburgh. It was approaching the point at which I jump over a paddling pool on a child’s bicycle, Evel Knievel style, when I became aware of a commotion. Sitting on my bicycle I looked down the ‘runway’ towards the ramp and saw a bearded man brushing paint onto a large dustpan. This wasn’t something I’d expected to see. I then made eye contact with Gemma my fellow performer and she looked at me with a look of real distress and held up her hands which were dripping with white emulsion paint. Again, this was not something I had expected to see. There was no paint in the show. No plans to introduce a bearded character at this crucial moment in the show and definately no plans to cover the floor and Gemma in white emulsion. It then occured to me, what had happened. The ramp that I use to jump is usually weighted down to the floor with stage weights but we couldn’t find any so had used two large pots of white emulsion. When Gemma had taken out the paddling pool from its storage place under the ramp she knocked over the pot and the lid had fallen off. The whole tin of paint spilled onto the floor. The bearded man was an audience member who had jumped to the rescue and was trying to help clear it up. Gemma was frantically trying to clear it up so I could continue with the performance and do the jump but obviously its no easy task cleaning up white paint with a dustpan and brush and a skirt. She looked at me with a look which said ‘what on earth shall we do’ and I looked back in a way to suggest ‘just leave it, I’ll jump anyway’. I hadn’t thought this through. I proceeded with the jump, fell off the bike and landed on my back in  the paint. The performance ended and we found ourselves standing in front of an audience at Edinburgh, both covered in paint, next to a floor and bicycle covered in paint trying to explain to a bemused crowd that the paint was not part of the show. They rather generously applauded what must have appeared to be the most random sequence of events they had ever seen. I still can’t quite believe it happened. At least it was a work-in-progress…….