Had a staff orientation for most of today. They covered all the boring stuff about safety, living in Qatar etc etc. But they also ran us through the process of how the company won the tender, the development of the style of the show, the gigs they have done in the past, and what to expect. It was a big reminder that we are working on what will likely be the biggest piece of theatre ever (!). Yes, bigger probably than the last to summer games.
Its incredible where this team has come from. DA was a top tap dancer, then choreographer, then moved into artistic direction, until he was doing his only shows. These got bigger and bigger and bigger, leading up to Sydney 2000. How else do you learn how to deal with 12,000 volunteer performers? Or start to attempt the largest ever LED screen (5 times bigger than next largest attempted). Or create a company of over 300 people in a foreign country, instantly, then move out and on to another project. The process taken to get to this point is boggling.
Even better - we about to move into 'lock down' mode, where, under top secrecy, everything will be rehearsed, tested, flown, projected and exploded. The site will be used 24 hours a day for months on end. I wish I could write more about all this shit that's going to happen.
They also screened for us the full 3D animated films of the ceremonies. It really is hot. Not only will it be a spectacular celebration of the cultures of the region, but it's also dramatic - there's a story, everything has been thought about with the audience in mind.
Sitting at your desk doing CAD drawings it's easy to forget I'll be seeing all this unfold in the coming few months.
More useful knowledge/hearsay:
1) One of the reasons this country is so safe and stable, considering it location, may well be that a well-known terrorist society blackmailed the government. Cash to stay away.
2) Why do all the homes have 8 foot brick walls around them? No, not for safety security considerations, but modesty. This way the women-folk inside can get about without their abaya, without fear of shame. Considering some of the glamorous and slinky gowns I have seen for sale in the shopping malls, the life indoors must be very different to that presented on the street!
3) After a successful event, Qatar might bid for the BIG games. Interesting...
4) The lower paid guest workers earn something like 300 riyal per month. Divide by 3.5 for $Aud. These include the roadworking gangs, out in this heat.
The thing that is not exciting is the move this week to (unpaid) 6 day weeks for everyone in the company until the end! I have not signed a real contract yet so here's hoping I can wangle something...