There have been more than enough views and reviews written about the London Olympic opening ceremony so my account is unnecessary but I write this anyway. This is simply my own personnel experience of the London Olympic opening ceremony and the weeks leading up to the 27th July 2012.
|If you have found this webpage because you are looking for a experienced Party DJ in London please click on the HOME page for info on mobile discos and DJ hire. However this page is about DJ Jim's experience during the London Olympic games and the run up to it.
London 2012 By DJ JIM
In 2000 I was booked to play an after show party at the Royal Festival hall London. It was a few days after the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony and the party was for the professional dancers from that show. The dancers had come to the UK as part of a tour and this was their opening night so had a party to celebrate. It was a private function without a bar and none of the hall staff present, so it was just me and the dancers. When I said I had missed the opening ceremony because I had been working they took their positions and performed the dance they had shown the world just a few days earlier. It was a unique privilege, the dancers that had wowed the world a few days before were now doing a private show just for me. Everyone was jumping around, energetic, lively, oozing fun and that feel good feeling that only comes with being happy. Wow! I thought it must be wonderful to be part of something like this. 12 years later I was.
I have always liked a good party and the biggest party in the world was coming to my home town, like many, I wanted to be involved. Years ago I had signed up to support the bid and nearer the time applied to be a Games Maker. Ultimately I had a rare privilege of being a games maker for the Paralmypic's and part of a very small group on the recreation team in the heart of the athletes village. I am not sure why, but in about July 2011 and out of the blue I received an invitation to apply to audition for ceremonies.
Not really expecting to actually get an audition I applied hoping for the best but not kidding myself. London is a huge city full of talented and energetic performers so I forgot about the whole thing until I was asked to attend an audition at the Three Mills studio in Bromley by Bow. Places for auditions were limited and not everyone got one so I was already over the first hurdle. This was in mid November 2011 and although still not expecting success I gave it my best shot. The audition group was for about 200 people and involved a mixture of dancing, acting, and lots hands in the air cheering and clapping. There was a bit of a mix of ages and although I gained confidence when I realised I wasn't the oldest person in the room I wasn't far from it. Everyone was very chatty and I noticed people had come from far afield to attend the audition. In the queue a man in front of me looked Chinese so I asked him where he was from, Leicester was his reply but in the next breath he added he had only just moved there from Byjeing. He told me that he didn't get the chance to be part of the games of 2008 but didn't want to miss out twice. At first Leicester seemed a long way to come but I was to find out later this was in no way unique.
The audition took about two hours and on the way home I thought "that's it, I did my best but Ill never hear from them again" except by the time I got home I had received an email inviting me back to the Three Mills for the the next audition stage in December 2011. I was over the second hurdle.
When I arrived for the next audition the queue outside contained lots of young fit dances and even people on rollers skates. So I thought "Jim you got no chance, you must be here just to make the numbers up". However the Three Mills is a very big place and I was to find out that there where several auditions going on at the same time. The big queue I was in divided into different groups and when I finally got into my audition room it was based more on acting, so the average age of my fellow auditionees was slightly older than the beautiful young things waiting with me outside. However just as before the room was full of energetic people, all giving it their best. After some warm up exercises including dancing to the Time Warp and playing a giant game of what's the time Mr Wolf, we were arranged into columns and taught some set piece movements. One of these was called Dials - Levers. This involved imagining you were operating a machine and to turn it on you had to rotate a dial with your right hand adjacent to your head on your left in a clockwise direction. You then had to rotate a dial with your left hand slightly below it in a anticlockwise direction. The next part of the sequence was to load the machine with an imaginary sheet of metal which was slid into place from the right rotating to the left. The imaginary press on the machine then had to be pulled sharply down and released in double time. The final action was to reach over to the right and pull on the imaginary stop lever rooted deep into the ground. This move was one of the sequences used in the show by the weavers, the workers miming the operation of the the giant looms, and like all the sequences done in 8 quick movements.
There was another routine which was called shovel - pickaxe which as you can guess involved imagining digging with a shovel and a pickaxe. This routine also became part of the show during opening ceremony and was used by everyone to converge to the center where the Olympic ring was being forged. One of the final parts of the audition was to walk forward looking determined, I think I came across more grumpy than determined and because I found some of the set routines a bit complicated I left the Three Mills studio some three hours after I had arrived thinking I had blown it.
Christmas 2011 came and went and with no news I started to think about trying to get some tickets to see the Olympics. Then in early January an email popped into my inbox which was headed London Olympic Games ceremonies cast offer. Before opening the email I had to read that last bit again it said cast offer. I was being offered a place in the cast for the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I was not sure what was going to be involved or why they could possibly want me but I had made it over the last hurdle and I was in the cast for the London Olympic ceremony. This seemed unreal. It took only a few heart beats to open the email and click on the accept role offer before I sat back in my chair and started to imaging what type of show London would put on for the Olympic Opening ceremony. It was four months before the first rehearsal when I would find out.
To continue reading Jim's account of the London 2012 click Olympic Ceremony 1st Rehearsal.