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Apr 27, 2008

Video Games Live: Review of New York City Show

As Gamers lined up outside the Beacon Theatre on Broadway, scalpers were asking up to $150 a ticket (Well... I was; maybe he saw me coming). The smoke machine had been trickling its haze onto the stage for a few hours, and the 2 hour rehearsal had almost covered all the music, with a few numbers left to be read at sight in the performance. The free coke being passed out by the line on the street had taken its effect as the orchestra made it's way on stage, and a costume contest was taking place: loudest applause wins...

The audience were given its money's worth. Most raucous were the volunteer moments when some vintage games were played live on stage to live orchestral backing: the conductor giving signals of which section to jump to if the player moved on, died, won, lost exploded or was run over by a car hit by a log. Frogger and space invaders, live... Who would have imagined 30 years later....

For the audience, it was a truly unique experience to hear some of their favorite game music played live with the energy of 40 musicians behind it. Halo, Final Fantasy... all really good music, and worth hearing in concert if you are familiar with it already.

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Apr 25, 2008

Free Broadway Tickets in New York: if you volunteer to usher

You can get in to Some shows for free: In exchange for an hour or so of your time (usually before the show, sometimes half an hour afterwards), handing out programs or checking for forgotten handbags after the show.
Full Report in "THE AGE" by Sue White.

Volunteer Ushering is a little-known way to see shows for free. Forget lining up with the masses for cheap tickets, numerous New York theatres have volunteer usher programs, using up to a dozen volunteers per show.
Call the theatre's box office or house manager and ask if they use volunteer ushers, and how to register.

Each theatre will have its own system, so there's a bit of running around involved to set things up but, as some have pointed out, this is no more time and energy than you might expend lining up for last-minute tickets or at the half-price ticket box.

Sue White says: "Volunteer ushering gave me the opportunity to see five shows in the space of a week. Ironically, the work is not usually "ushering" itself. You'll be stuffing programs with updates to the cast list and then checking for lost property after the show. My roles included pointing confused patrons to the bathrooms; handing out programs; and (my favourite), asking patrons to stand and wait while the "real" usher returned to show them to their seat. Only at the high-energy Blue Man Group show was I entrusted with the actual task of ushering - because the seating plan was so foolproof they figured a volunteer could hardly muck things up."

Once the lights go down, ushers are pointed to the best seats available and simply sit and enjoy the show.

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Apr 22, 2008

Is Berlin the New New York? Have renters been raped too many times?

We have noticed that recently there is an "Art Drain" to Berlin... Our artists, musicians and free spirits are being priced out of Manhattan by greedy landlords, whose rents are so exorbitant now that there's really not much point anymore....

Quite common amongst artists living in the US is credit card debt and tax debt. So moving to Europe makes sense to them as they don't have any $US to their name anyway. May as well live in relative poverty in Berlin where the rent is half as much and you don't have to sell out to survive.

The attitude is different there. You can find bars that will ask for 'whatever you believe is fair'. Pretty unusual eh?

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