Songs For A New World: My Last Farewell

Hello once again ladies & gentle persons of indiscriminate gender.  Welcome to another bout of pointless rambling from yours truly.  I must admit that I am writing today’s blog with a slightly heavy heart for today marks one week since the closing of Songs For A New World.  Since that time I’ve been able to kick off my shoes, replace them with my Superman thongs (yes I really own a pair) & get back into the groove of my life pre-Harvest Rain but before I can completely say goodbye I need to done one final thing.

Songs For A New World: The Wrap Up

My whole Songs (I’m abbreviating it from now on) experience was pretty brief & so hectic that I never really got a chance to blog about everything that was going on.  Perhaps you didn’t really care but hey, nobody is forcing you to stay.  (hehe just kidding… if you leave I’ll come to your house & cut you while you sleep.)

The Show: My first experience with Songs was 3 or 4 years ago when a friend sang I’m Not Afraid Of Anything.  She did an amazing job & I decided I must perform in the show one day.  Of course deciding you MUST do something & actually DOING it are two very different things & not being a producer of music theatre in any way meant I was pretty powerless so naturally I was quite excited when I got the following email:

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am a Nigerian general who has recently inherited $6 000 000 after the death of my darling mother.  If you would like me to give it all to you for no suspicious reason at all please be at the Harvest Rain warehouse on Mina Parade this weekend so we can meet.

Best regards,
Completely Trustworthy Stranger Jr. III

I had a sneaking suspicion he was using a fake name but who cares.  Six million dollars is a lot of money.  Sadly he never showed but by an amazing stroke of luck Harvest Rain were auditioning for Songs!  What are the odds?  By an even more amazing stroke of luck I got cast as Man 2 & the whole journey kicked off.

The People: Before I ever work with anybody I have this nasty little habit of researching them to see what they’re like.  If I’m being honest a lot of people said a few not so nice things about Harvest Rain.  Not about anyone in particular, there are just some rumours going around about the group in general.  I heard one rumour that said they employ lots of gay people & try to keep them straight & then another one that said they refuse to hire anyone who isn’t a heterosexual. Let me tell you that if EITHER of these stories are true then Harvest Rain is really not living up to people’s expectations.  There is a more diverse cross-section of people in their employment than at a Pauline Hanson protest rally & nobody is concerned at all!  DISCRIMINATION FAIL!!!!  They had gay people working with straight, short people working with tall & even skinny people working with me!  It was like a real life version of that musical episode of Different Strokes I always wished they made.

The most common story, by far, & the one I think I take the most exception to, is the rumour that Harvest Rain are cliquey.  (Cliquey – adj. – kl ee kee.  1. An exclusive group of friends or associates who don’t let you play with them because you’re nerdy or you like comic books or you write your own blog, even though the only reason they don’t do it is because they are big stupid heads…  Sorry, where was I?)  If you are reading this & think “Oh NOES!  I told Luke they are cliquey!” then don’t worry, lots of people did.  Nobody said it out of malice, people actually believe it but this is one rumour I have to put to bed now.  There is a big difference between a clique & a family.  The term clique is usually used to describe a group of people who exclude others & I am living proof that these guys don’t do that.  I was welcomed into their family with open arms & invited to dinner & taken out to try my first sushi & never once was I made to feel unwelcome.  If they were cliquey people, why would they do that?  I doubt they were trying to impress me.  I am a complete nobody in the theatre world but these guys made me feel like I was part of something special so for that I say “thank you”.

P.S. They are so totally a cult though.  They sacrifice interns to the pagan god Dumbledore every winter solstice in the hope that he will convince the Sorting Hat to give them a bountiful Horcrux… or something like that.  I could never keep up.

My Final Thought: Did you ever do something in your life that was so perfect you were almost (please note the use of the word almost) glad it ended simply because it meant you could no longer mess it up?  Well that’s how I would describe my Songs experience.  I really feel I met some amazing people & together we made some amazing theatre & now it is crystallised as a perfect memory that can never be taken away from me.  I know the audiences were small but I think that made them even more special.  Kind of like Collector’s Edition People.  Especially the ones who were so moved by the show that they came to see it two & three times or sent us emails or came up & shook our hands in the foyer afterwards.  It really was so fulfilling that by the time it came to an end I didn’t feel as sad as you might expect.  I now simply look forward to the next time I get to work with Harvest Rain again… even the gay people.

Unless there is a next time,
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Carnival Worker Teeth Removal Artist


2 Responses to “Songs For A New World: My Last Farewell”

  1. Shaun Kohlman Says:

    Venz, you are brilliant! I laughed so hard about the sacrificing interns bit! 😀

    I’m so glad you are part of our family and make sure you dont disappear off the face of the planet! 🙂 xx

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