Eva opened a can of paint today and just started painting. She has impeccable timing. She senses just when I’m about to snap and steps in. It’s called OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I’ll never get Izzy’s entry to be exactly like it was in 1917 but it wiil fool your eye. All the scars and drips and bad electrical wires are gone. The cracks and voids that create shadows of doubt have been filled and smooth away. The walls are cloud like and the case mouldings and baseboards are strong and sure. The reintroduction of the two missing panel doors gives this small entry hallway all the possibilities. North, South, East, West. Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, Courtyard. Take your pick,open a door. The painting has begun.

Eva and I have been doing spaces not unlike this for 25 years. I always say this will be the last one, and I usually start another project before I’ve finished the one I have started. It’s one reason I never got into producing or making movies or T.V. I would always rush home after a shoot and continue or start the next design fiasco. On my last movie, Artworks I actually did some of the set dressing. That’s really what I wanted to do before I became an Actor. Set Designer, there’s still time but I do it for myself instead.

We’ve been redoing Izzy’s bathroom at the same time. A major shift. Toilet where the shower was, sink where the radiator was. Floors, walls, lighting. We’re into a wekk and a half now and today the floor is being layed. Yesterday we came to the conclusion that the shower door won’t work. Well it works but you can’t really close it behind you. So that door isn’t an option. Time for a nostalgic, soft curtain that will give the room a warmth that the glass didn’t. Bathrooms in Stockholm can be a toilet with a sink on top of it that might have a shower wand and a hole for a drain. All in the space of a square meter if your lucky. When these buildings were built people cleaned up somewhere else and maybe once a week. Hmm…..

Izzy likes to shower 4 times a day. Just kidding, but I think we take it for granted that water comes out of a tap at all. We put a bench seat in the shower stall which made my Plumber Hasse smirk. Apparently that is a novelty in Stockholm. I explained to him that Isabel is a girl and wants to shave her legs and that sitting and shaving is safer. I told him he shouldn’t talk on his cell phone when he drives either. It could be blood everywhere.

Last night we broke off from the DIY project to make an apperance in the music video Roy is directing. It’s a project he’s been working on for several weeks and is full scale lights, camera, action. Isabel is playing a Ballerina and I’m the Carnival Strongman in a Dark Carnival tableau. Eva decided just to be a stage mom this time but usually is happy to pull on a costume. The location is outside Stockholm at a beautiful old riding stable and the big indoor arena is serving as the main tent so to speak. A talented troupe from Gothenburg was assembled, juggling, balancing, fire, clowns. Roy even managed to somehow score a circus horse and an expert horsewoman to command it. It was a scene and the sawdust floor of the arena with a large spot of light really transported you to some weird childhood memory of what it might be like to be in the Big Top Tent with all the crazy characters.

Isabel really was beautiful, a Ballenchin Ballet Star on point, spinning like a top.Eva off to the side whispering encouragement. She dance ballet for close to 30 years so she knows a thing or two. As the Carny Strongman I performed feats of strength, bending a steel bar in my teeth. I even brought a step platform along that I’ve been using to plaster the cieling with so I could be a little bit bigger than life. The old beefcake boy was brought back to life for a moment in time and the wild hair and beard was a nice counterpoint to the still bulging biceps.

We arrived midway through production for our bit and when we opened the door to the Artists Lounge it was like opening an old trunk and seeing your lifes work stored away. All the memories of the moments of anticipation that surround work like this came swirling back to me. Twenty-five plus years of answering the call. It’s always been a Weird Carnival to say the least. I didn’t think I missed it but this was different, I was working with my kids and best friend. The other players as well were eager and excited to perform. The lounge was full of costumes, hair and make-up and craft service was a table heaping with food. Katja and her sis putting on the warpaint. You bond instantly in these circumstances and that’s the beauty of the life of a performer, naked but fully embraced.

What really struck me most though was watching my son take the reins and calmly work. Listening as much as directing which showed me his level of maturity and respect for the people who surrounded him. I think he’s on his way, what ever path he chooses. And me? Maybe I have a second act as well.

I’ll post some pictures next time of the Dark Carnival