Johan's life

Take a peek backstage – Here is where you find what’s going on around the shows on tour as well as during the creation with rehearsals, construction etc!

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The stuff in between

What I love the most is the stuff in between. The things that happen almost by themselves. While moving from A to B. Where all of a sudden, if you keep the door open for it, there is something unexpected to find. If we are not too busy with our own preoccupation of what is going on, a lot of other things are also going on.

I re-listened to an interview with Rob Torres this Summer, and one of the ideas he talked about is still lingering with me. It has almost become a mantra or a specific focus: Remember to not be afraid of the silence. Embrace it. To stay open and welcome whatever is just there by itself and has its own life. All you need to do is to be aware, to listen, and to give it space. Scary in a way, but also very exciting!

Leonard Cohen wrote a song about it:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Sums it up pretty well, yes?!

This photo is a happy memory for me, that made me think about these things – it’s from a really wonderful evening in Helsingör during this year’s tour. One of those shows where everything is just nice; and plenty of room for play. Where the performance becomes so much more than what you could ever plan or prepare in advance. I guess a photo is not much, but it makes me smile because I can see the crack.

Photo: Karsten Piper

The wave

4 years ago on this day we took the step from miniature model to large scale beast and started tweaking what was to become the biggest wave pendulum in the world. …and we’re still tweaking! 😀

If our backers only would have known how far away from the promised result we were the first time we tested it… To be honest it really looked like shit and nothing worked. It is a hard call to make to pick up the phone after years of work and say: “We blew your money and it all went down the toilet. Sorry” Instead, we kept pushing and after another 6 months and a constant covering of what seemed to be never ending and (VERY high) unexpected additional costs, she was there in all her beauty. Like she had never done anything else. I remember crying the first time we released her and the wave appeared with a perfect shape, with the music and the lights turned on. It was all in sync and it looked so natural, almost like there would be no other option for it than to do just that exact thing that it was designed for. To reveal the mathematics of nature and perform it’s hypnotizing dance. I was swept away by it’s grace. I knew that it would be a beautiful thing, but to be standing just underneath it and watch it happen, all by itself was so much more on a deeper level than I could ever have imagined. At that moment it felt worth so much more than all the effort that had gone into creating it, even though on the paper or in a budget it would have looked horribly wrong. I am so glad I didn’t know about that before I got started – that way I would never have gotten down that rabbit hole.

I guess that is the dilemma with how the bureaucratic structure looks when you create art. Everybody wants to know what the finished result will be before you even get started. And how much it will cost. And for whom it will be performed, the target group. For how many? For how long? And what will the message be? The thing is; art needs to be wild. Without restrains it can lead us to somewhere we haven’t been before. That is when it can blow us away for real and jolt our hearts. We need to allow it to go into the dark, unknown. Art needs to get lost and if it ever comes back it will tell us the story.

Here is my official hello

my_hello_1_IMG_6431I have been away from everything for almost 7 months. Thinking lately that I would soon pop up in some spectacular way and surprise you all perhaps topped up with some amazing insights about life and so on to share with you, blending in perfectly with everyone shutting down Facebook etc for a while only to come back to tell everyone else to get offline. To my own surprise, that won’t happen. One part of me feels like not popping up at all, even. What an anticlimax! Feels like performing only the first half of a magic trick. “As you can clearly see for yourselves, Ladies and gentlemen,  the rabbit’s head is now completely chopped off!” *Applause* “Thank you!” *End of trick* One big part of me tells me to go further into the bush, not stopping at avoiding social media and holding back the urge of uploading all of those beautiful moments I’ve had on my soul searching escapades. (Luckily; most of those moments I don’t have photos of anyway since I didn’t bring any phone/camera – which helps me from putting another filter on them just to make sure they really show how wonderful my life truly is. And ohhhh how many great #nofilter #butyesfilter photo opportunities I’ve spoiled here…)

Just to confuse things , here are a few random photos that doesn’t explain much:

I did some things while I was away. Especially; I started focusing on feeling good and listening inwards. Long walks where there are less or no people. Sitting in silence (I think it’s called something but I just call it sitting in silence). Healthy food. No TV and so on. I went to a lot of physio therapy – not only for my most recently operated wrist but for the whole body. (5th wrist operation so far this February, yay!) Already up to more than 50 physio treatments and it is the best thing I’ve ever done, treating the whole body to release old stress etc. Sort of like an overhaul for a car but for a human. Checked up on my damaged eye and some other things too while I had the time. Still no treatment for a broken retina, waiting for science and medicine to catch up with me.

It does not feel like this is some kind of break and then back to normal; this IS the new normal. (To take care of myself and make health my first priority… Eureka, I’ve invented the wheel haha!) Here we go, I cant stop this one from coming even though I really want you all to make your own decisions etc bla bla: (as if there ever was a free will anyway…!) I think everybody should do one. I am talking about the overhaul-thing. Not just a break. Change. I mean, throw out all the stuff that you don’t like or even hurts you, keep/invite the stuff you like and makes you grow. I realize this is exactly what my latest 4 years as an artist has been all about, to create art from a very honest core and make it matter while making GLITCH together with Stephen Rappaport as the director and mentor. Now I have gathered the guts to take this step in my personal life too, and it is maybe the best thing that I have done. I am learning to breathe again.

I guess most of you won’t read this far and I sort of like that in some weird way. Probably I am writing this for myself first of all anyway, to put down in words what I am up to as a reminder or so. Perhaps it is just me and one more creepy stalker left at the end of this text? Yes, you guessed it; that could be YOU still reading this! The lucky creep! (I am only kidding, don’t be offended …creep <3) After all, some people actually asked where the heck I was and how I am. It makes me happy! Didn’t mean to upset anyone, just had to be silent for a while. So here is my update: I am here and I am fine. If you have my number, I might even answer the phone from now on. There has been some sand/dust locking the phone in mute but now it’s working again. Managed to get it off today with some strong spray that not only fixed the mute-button-problem but also blurred the whole screen permanently so I can’t see who’s calling anymore. (Yes; thats your cue, creep! 😉 ) Actually, there has been a lot of sand in all of my things since I learnt kite surfing. Feels good knowing I can start a sand importing business anytime without too much additional effort than just emptying my pockets, wallet and underwear if I ever get tired of my current job.

Talking about my current job; I would love to start doing it again some day soon. I love doing my show GLITCH (Link here) and I would love to do more stuff like that. As long as I get to be me I could even consider to do some juggling also. The calendar is as white as snow and I have only just now started thinking that it would be fun to fill it with some nice adventures. I have around 9 zillion unread e-mails in my inbox (sorry!). Send me something new before I get lost in what’s already there (probably mostly spam anyway but it makes me feel important). I would be really happy if you give me a call if you have something that fits my profile! (Read above, the stuff about being me). And to be honest; it sort of freaks me out that I let that calendar become completely empty without doing anything about it. Guess it was needed to clear my mind. Anyway; I am ready to rumble, I think.

On a side note; I built a bar this Summer. It is the one in the top picture. I like making stuff. Let me know if you want me to make stuff. I can drive a heavy truck too and I know some stuff about rigging. (I have a book about it also).

Funnily enough I already got a new job while being busy not doing my old one. Believe it or not; as a business coach! Time management and how to be effective. Talk about a blind leading a blind! 😀 (Which is a concept I whole heartedly believe in. If that got you on the hook; check this one out too.) The only problem so far is that my client never shows up for our meetings. If you want to see me on stage before I get to far into the woods doing something completely different, this is a good time to seize me. Looks like there is a chance I could become popular in new and slightly unexpected ways.

Except from all this; If I could force you all to do one thing (Which I of course can’t so don’t worry, I have no such power at all. I’m the guy who hid under a rock for 7 months ready to lose it all so take it easy). Except from being nice not only to the cute animals I would have you read the book Sapiens. I don’t want to have a serious conversation with anyone of you until you have gotten at least a few chapters in. (This again only me trying to sound important and I would never be able to withhold that anyway) But seriously, I believe a good book recommendation every now and then doesn’t hurt. Feel free to give yours to me; I’ve finished my one book after 7 months and have noticed that I have started reading on the back of food packages again so good suggestions are more than welcome!

So finally, I have done an update telling you/myself all or perhaps nothing of what I have been up to. Who knows what is coming ahead? (This is a rhetorical question, please don’t answer it in the field below. Or do, I would like that too when I think of it. Be creative. Talk about god if you must. I have a good book recommendation about that too that really both stimulates and stirs everything up a bit) I might crawl back under my secret stone now and disappear for another year or two. Or I will start posting some random links and quotes that aren’t mine to seem smart. Funny videos of course and then something serious about some important election that we should all engage in or some incredible sports result that will only make me feel lazy and crap inside. Or perhaps I will instead go out and do something actually spectacular. How would I know? I am asking you too. If you have a job for me I will maybe be incredible, and that’s a promise.

Oh, and remember to take walks in the morning before anything else happens. Barefoot if possible. And eat healthily. And sleep under the stars when applicable. Ride a bike. Be with animals (Not in that way, creep! Friendly reminder!) Cook your own food. Take your time and listen to yourself. And some other things that I have already forgotten but that I feel is really good.

That’s all – I am out of here. Have a good day!

PS: Did I mention I am keen to perform again? Share this update if you want to support me in getting a job. Or just share a link to something you would like to see me do. (Suggested link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gT64CJxbo4 – Copy paste and write something like “Wow, this is something I really want to see at *insert name of your local theatre here*. Use your favorite OMG LOL BDSM to personalize your message and make it sound credible)

PS 2: Still reading? Who are you, my dear creep? :-*

Photo credit: I actually did take some photos myself; but the good ones are taken by my dear friend Mickey Thörnblad. Check out his webpage for more photos!

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Summer tour in Sweden!

DCIM100GOPROThis Summer I will stay in Sweden for the first time in almost 10 years. So far the tour includes Göteborg, Halmstad, Gävle, Landskrona, Helsingborg, Kristainstad och Helsingör (DK), Varberg, Dala Floda and Gävle. Check back for updates about when and where here on the site and join the tour on instagram and Facebook!

Hi Stockholm... and hi office!

officeBack in Stockholm and it is a lot of planning to to for the making of the new show. The team is coming tomorrow and I am preparing schedules and so on. How did we become +10 people involved all of a sudden?! This is a smaller army to synchronize (and cook for!)

Make a 3 months schedule – check through budget – cook chili con carne – write reports – dominate the printer – check the taxation rules – decide a show name – book accommodation – travel & transport (do we really need TWO trucks??) – order lighting equipment – calculate wrong – start over. Like a boss. 😛

Makes me feel like this:

Goodbye Switzerland!

IMG_1088 - version 2That’s all, folks! The last show is played and the bags are packed. The tent(s) goes down and I’m going home. The platform is taken care of by Swiss cargo so all I need to travel with is the other 50 kilos of equipment that my other two bags are full of. The air companies normally love it when I check in.

After 57 shows in 43 days with over 50 000 people in the audience it is now time for new adventures. Thank you Salto Natale for a truly wonderful period!

New webpage!

IMG_1070Today we decided that the new webpage was ready to launch, a little bit late since the old page was taken down a month ago when the web hotel stopped supporting ASP. (Which is programming for dinosaurs)

A big thank you to Martin Lundström and Pontus Uggla for a fantastic job!

If you find any broken links or anything else that isn’t working as it should, it would be great if you drop us a note at info@johanwellton.com.

Having a great time in Zürich!

salto nataleHaving a great time in Switzerland performing my act BOUNCE! in the christmas show SALTO NATALE. We do over 50 shows during the month, playing for 1200 people at a time under the big top. It’s a great group of people (+70 performers!) and an amazing production team, so we are all having a blast!

 

A castle?!

I just moved into a castle. Awkwardly, I feel like home. I am trying to not get too used to this, but already have a feeling that there will be claw marks on the velvet wallpaper after they have tried to get me out of here. A few things though: I gotta get get used to the ridiculously oversized pool table. To keep calm while passing the enormous bear in the hallway. I do my best not to get lost in the stairway labyrinth. I struggle to fill out the enormous bed and I make plans how to relate to a bathroom in gold. Life is hard.

Theatre in Stockholm?

spelplatser2The Swedish tour for my new production is starting to take form, but no theatre is chosen for Stockholm yet. Where should I perform..?