Once upon a time

Once upon a time in my old job as a live sound engineer I used to meet thousands of people. It is not an exaggeration. Some of the tours were rather large with hundreds of people in a crew, then there was the local crew that was helping, the people who were at the venues, some of the fans, we met people in pubs or places we visited, the artists, the chefs of the artist, the caterers,… It was massive. At a certain point I remember doing a smaller tour for a few weeks in Europe and was being sent straight to another gig. Michael Jackson had died and we were supposed to do rehearsals for the tribute in London. It was a mess: The production company was a different one than the usual one, the monitor engineer did not know the desk, gear started acting up (I know now that that’s due to my large heart frequency- things just break that are not good anymore), but we still had some fun. In the breaks we played frisbee outside, we played tricks on each other hiding gear,… This is what you do. The catering was also great for once, so we ate more than we could handle. The band was amazing though and we really enjoyed listening to the songs. But it was rough and the actual show was even tougher: The stage manager had no clue and was lost, so I grabbed his piece of paper after day two and said to everyone that we are doing it if we don’t want the show to be miserable for everyone. It was crazy- the largest stage that I had ever seen. One was unable to see the other end of it. On top there was a large round video screen hovering on it, the amount of speakers was massive and the underworld for technicians was impossible to to cross in one go. I saw many people again that I had toured with previously, but I had no time for all of it. I hardly ate those last few days, the arena was cold as a freezer and not sleeping enough because of rehearsals and trying to keep it together for everyone, I pulled on my last reserves.
Then the day of the show dawned and somehow we all managed. I still don’t know how, but my latent organizational talent showed up and we pulled through. The stage manager had become obsolete, so he was doing other things. I cannot remember what.
It was rather strange to always be in the dark all day long: One did not see the day pass by or notice the weather. It was as if caught in a perpetual dark eternity that was glittering and luminous at the same time. It was an exciting life that I had chosen.
The show somehow went well with a few minor hick-ups that hardly anyone noticed. There were some stars we hadn’t heard of, a few new favorites, and some we knew of and were not so fond of. It’s always like this.
Once the show was over, we had to pack up and due to extreme fatigue for the ones who had been there during rehearsals as well as the show, it was more like a sleep-walking and casing up the gear. Some had to go back to different companies, one piece I was unable to find. At a certain point I just said: I’ve tried my best and when I could not find it, I asked someone else, but even they were having a hard time with their gear and finding the bits and bobs again. We both shrugged once we cased everything up and headed over to the guys to help with pulling down the speakers.
They just looked at me and said to go to the hotel and have a beer. They would do it. I had done enough. In that moment I was so relieved that I didn’t have to stay on longer that, for the first time in years, I thanked everyone, said goodbye to some other mates from other departments who were still pulling out their gear and went back to the hotel.
Some people were already back and they clapped and said well done. For once it did not feel like a victory to be honest. I felt spent, had a beer and waited until everyone showed up to say goodbye, and went to bed for an hour. The flight home was in an hour.
The alarm clock didn’t ring and luckily I must have had a nudge form my guardian angels at the time and I woke up 10 minutes before we were supposed to meet downstairs to get into the taxi.

I had 10 days off afterwards and all I did was that I slept.

Why am I telling you this story you might ask?

It is a lesson of who I am not. Many years later on yet another tour I realized that I am not this hardcore chick, being one of the boys. I was constantly tired, some of the local catering was rotten that we got, we sat in the dark all the time, and my body is extremely sensitive.
Many years later again, I am coming to understand that I am not only empathic, no, I am an empath, I soak up things from people and I am highly sensitive: To noise, to people walking past my window, I feel the neighbors’ energies, large crowds make me feel hyped and it takes a long time to fall asleep after I come back from work (which is just working in a shop at the moment).
I am undergoing a huge change and often trauma is coming up or things like this gig in Cardiff.
I understand how utterly beaten my body was and I just continued for many years until the body was unable to continue and just quit. I already had aches everywhere back then, but just didn’t understand. Every single person on tour that I met had something. So I just thought that it was normal. Someone had a flu, I would get it. Someone had an ailment, I would get it. It is still this way, but I am starting to learn techniques in order to not having to take on everything and I am certainly looking for another job. It is impossible to exist in a world that is mainly managed by insensitive people and to be normal.
I am not. And I am starting to see it as a gift.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to touring, because I felt safe. Everyone was weird and it was a world on its own, but on the other hand I am thinking back on how damaging it had been for my body. I didn’t understand the subtle energetic dynamics that govern life yet, how we exchange energies, how we take on things, how some people just plain pull energy from one. I didn’t know any better back then.
Would I do it again knowing all this? I don’t know. Our life is pre-determined up to a certain extent and we can only change about 25% of it depending on what actions or non-actions we take on a given day. That’s it. I knew back then when I was studying sound that I was supposed to tour. I just knew inside. People thought I was arrogant, but I saw myself touring. There was not even a shimmer of doubt in my mind. It happened within one year of doing sound school. It was crazy. But it was too much.

I am curious of what life still holds for me over the next few years.
So you might have to put up with a few posts of my sound days. I just needed to get it off of my chest.

Vanessa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s