Sunday, November 16, 2008

Decompression

It's been a whole week since Singin In The Rain wrapped and I've only just begun the hell that is Post-Show Decompression. Every time I mix a theatre production I invariably leave with at least one obnoxious song stuck in my head. It's part of the reason I charge so much for theatre gigs. It's never a good one either, it's always the soppy love ballad from the top of Act II or the silly comedy bit from the middle of the first act. eeesh.

Now, there are two scientifically proven methods for getting a tune out of your head. Since your brain is on a mission to have complete thoughts, a song that you don't know all the words to will pretty much loop endlessly until you actively do something to stop it. (Or, as my own research into PSD indicates, about six weeks.) The first thing that will make your brain happy is to listen to the song in its entirety. That seems to satisfy the little bugger as having completed the thought and you can move on. The other thing is to do math, which makes you use the other side of your brain.

In the age of the iPod it's becoming ever more convenient to employ the first option. The only downside to this is that if you're an engineer who does a lot of rock shows, it's a little embarrassing to have random show tunes come blasting out of your sound system. The downside to the math option is that my brain is really, really good at holding on to a song. Since I was in about fourth grade it's been a constant pass time of mine to go over and over a song in my head, picking apart the production. When it's a Foo Fighters tune with impeccable song writing and pristine production, yay brain... when it's Brush Up Your Shakespeare from Kiss Me Kate... not so much. The fact is, I have to do so much math to get my brain to stop cycling the song that it's just not worth it.

So, my usual practice is simply to blast other, less objectionable material whenever I'm in the truck. There are a few songs that if I play them once I have an obsessive-compulsive obligation to play them at least seven times. Surprise! You're Dead by Faith No More is at the top of the list. So, for the next little bit I'll be washing the dishes with my iPod on my hip and the cans clamped tightly on my noggin in the hopes that the blissful sounds of Mike Patten coming unhinged can purge me of my show tune demons.



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1 comment:

  1. No! No! No! You didn't just mention "Brush Up Your Shakespeare!" (weeps) Played in pit for that at Baldwin-Wallace and could NOT get that (it was "change" music) out of my head forever and NOW YOU PUT IT BACK IN THERE!! (hears "brush up your shakespeare, start learning it now" on loop).

    Similarly, I'm dealing with this right now since I'm almost through with "Peter Pan" down here at the community college. We have one weekend of performances left. My saving grace should be the fact I'm playing in another music production a week and a half later, so that should cure some of the earworms that wiggle their way in.

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