DIARY 2006














Fri, Apr 14

<22:25 EEST> Good Friday everyone! It's almost a week since the Student Theatre Festival and I'm still trying to find my way back into an introverted lifestyle. Not that it's necessarily the smartest thing to do. At least right now, my closest friends are not around for a couple of days, and I'm finding reading and hacking quite enjoyable.

A lot felt like happening during the single festival weekend. Not surprising for anyone who's ever been to anything nearly like these. I guess it's a bit like Assembly for thespians; no matter how nerdily you are into that special subject, hanging out with like minded people means great fun in a social kind of way. It feels like the party of the century, at least for a few weeks :)

Festivity ensued right in the morning of departure, after hauling the props for Paska kaparee in the coach. The trip to Vaasa, while taking over four hours, went by in a breeze in high spirits (pun intended). That night I saw Of Mice and Men by Lapland Student Theatre, and while it was well executed, it offered nothing particularly enticing.

Evening offered the usual nightclub experience, with a few extras reserved for the festival participants. There was an exclusive lounge with open mike, and the range of performances was pretty exciting, not just the usual stand-up stuff. In the most appropriate pun, I covered Paska's Banana Butt Plug, while a number of JYT members stole the show on the dance floor :D

Returning to the lodging school for the night was not the end for the party. I happened to hear some music from the ladies' room, and there were a few people with two guitars, gathered for some good old-fashioned singing. I joined the lot for a couple of hours, and managed to learn a couple of new tricks and songs in the process.

After about three hours' sleep, it was time to see another play. The guys from Turku showed a bastardization of Decamerone that wasn't easy on the audience, and I'm still pondering on it. I didn't get to see any other plays, except the impro contest that night, and we had work setting up things for our cabaret.

As our show was due on Sunday morning, we had decided not to party too hard in the evening before. I ended up going for a photo-shooting walk with Jimmy from Joensuu. It was the perfect thing to do in a new city, before a good night's sleep.

It turned out an interesting challenge to set up Paska kaparee in the assigned venue. It was completely different from our home base Ilokivi, so we needed to improvise on quite a few things, including the sound system. It turned out a pretty good performance despite many people being tired -- some of them had only arrived in Vaasa in the morning, coming from the premiere of Ruusun varjo in Jyväskylä -- and we were eventually rewarded with a nice surpise: The honourary mention for the best new script, from the Finnish playwrights' association :D

It still overwhelms me. I couldn't believe our silly little cabaret could compete with 'serious' drama. We were extremely lucky that the judges had that kind of sense of humour, and that they could find the profundities planted beneath all that shit (pun intended). In fact, during the impro contest it became evident that judges have hugely varying tastes, and that this kind of art is very subjective. It's also interesting that Turku's Decamerone was also discussed extensively by the head judge. But we nailed it!-) Not surprisingly the return trip's coach party reached new dimensions of fun.

The transition back into everyday reality has been smooth, with hardly a day without meeting some fellow JYT guys. I feel like I'm not getting anything real done, but then again my studies are finished as of this spring. I've managed to complete only one of the educational science courses, meaning I cannot apply for teacher training starting this autumn, but it's better than nothing at least. My mind is firmly stuck on JYT matters such as next year's productions, so I guess I have to stick around for a while. Peace, Love, Unity and Respect!

Risto A. Paju