Each week, The Residents asks a Wellington local to describe their typical, capital day.
“The feeling of being in the city of Wellington starts at the break of dawn. The sunrises around 6. My apartment is on the 14 floor of a building on The Terrace and looks out over the harbour. So my day starts with seeing the whole of Wellington, the mountains, the sea, The Performance Arcade, and Oriental Parade. I look and see what the weathers doing. It is at this time I know where I am, even though I may go back to sleep.
Everyday working in the arts is so different. It’s very seldom that I have a routine, which is nice - that’s how I like to do it. I can stay at home all day and do work there, or I can work in town. Everyday there is a different place to be.
I start the day having breakfast at home. I play ‘Words with Friends’ with my brother, who’s in the Bahamas - catching up on my moves there. My apartment is usually quite hot, so when I step outside on The Terrace it’s usually a lot colder and I regret what it is that I’ve chosen to wear.
Normally, at the moment, I go into school. I have an office at Massey University because I am doing a PhD there. I always walk along Cuba Street and it brings once again the feeling of being in the city and starting the day, seeing what people are doing.
I will spend time working in my office at Massey. I have lunch with Amelia, my girlfriend. And in the afternoon, more work. I usually have meetings with various upcoming 2016 Performance Arcade artists. That will involve them meeting me at my office or in at a cafe in town, usually on Cuba Street again. I work pretty closely with the artists to prepare their work for the Arcade. It is a form of presentation that a lot of artists haven’t experienced before. They are used to the way a work is in a gallery or theatre, so they are often not prepared for the way the work will be on the waterfront, in public. It is often a matter of rehearsing them through the work, rehearsing them through what they tell the audience about the work. We test things “What if an audience did this?” That’s a large feature of that conversation. A large part of my day is often meeting, talking, leading people in different places, and in different contexts. It’s about communication, and even though I am an artist I spend eighty per cent of my time communicating and typing. Some of that is very creative writing but a lot of that is administration and coordination.
In the evenings, we usually have dinner around 6 or 7. Amelia and I have Nacho night every week - we’re really keen on that. I often cook. I really like cooking. Often, I will work at night again. Working on a project like The Performance Arcade, you have to keep ahead of everyone else to be able to have that overview and keep everyone in your team operating. This year I have been trying to enable a large team to work more independently, and I have had a fantastic associate director who is helping with that.
Recently we’ve been watching American Horror Story - which is a brilliant series. It’s not like many other horror films. It’s not focused on gratuitous and shocking horror. It’s got some very interesting decisions about plot-line and cast. Asylum focuses on the perception of madness in America, and how that has evolved and changed in different strata of society. The next one about Witches is about femininity.
I generally survive on around 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night. If I sleep more my brain dulls. I sleep better if I have done a lot of things and I know there isn’t anything else to do. I also shower in the evenings - it’s that feeling of being clean and having psychologically rinsed of the day. Little rituals like that have a big impact on how I feel.