Mart Kase asks himself a few questions and answers them.

What is the stage production Start-up about?

I don’t exactly know. The stage production does not talk about two things:
It doesn’t talk about the state and about how the state hassles businessmen. I don’t like it when Estonia is cursed and criticised. The future of nations is dark anyway. I don’t want to hassle the defenceless or wag my finger in close-up in their direction. Quite the contrary. Estonia is a dream country for starting up a business or for carrying out studies concerning society, for instance. It makes no difference to anyone. Liberalism has created opportunities and the mentality does not impede activity. The state cannot endlessly coddle people to get them to undertake entrepreneurship. It is sufficient to create opportunities. Grants are not a privilege.
The stage production does not talk about the ability to find partners and financiers for ideas. That is the second stage of ideas and at least as complicated as the first stage. The theme of how to expand and present one’s business to the world through the proper channels is very broad. I don’t know anything about it and I don’t know how to write adequate dramaturgical exaggerations about it, so it was better to leave it all out. The final result should be light rather than sombre, more artistic than only social. It should carry a message.

Why is this theme topical just now?

I’m extremely fed up with the daily nonsense about “economic recession” and “depression”. It’s very tiresome. There are times when one must act, not go into hiding. I do not consider what a couple of successful younger generation Estonian businessmen have done to be right – they have taken money out of their companies, reduced their businesses, and gone travelling around the world for a couple of years, justifying their course of action with the claim that now is not a favourable or practical time for doing business. Businessmen must think more broadly than the comfortable life of the individual. At the same time, I feel sorry for Oliver Kruuda, who said a couple of months back: “Quite honestly, I don’t want to deal with anything anymore. There’s no better time than six o’clock Friday evening, which feels like the beginning of a month-long vacation for me.”

Author and director Mart Kase
Scenography Kairi Mändla
Actors Gert Raudsep, Kristel Leesmend (guest), Jaak Prints, Bert Raudsep (guest)

And now Asko Seeba asks, and Mart Kase answers:

Interview with the Author

I got pretty curious about how the masterminds behind the scenes came up to the idea of the show and what further plans they have. I asked couple of questions from Mr. Mart Kase, the Writer and Director of the play. Here come the responses.

Q: How did you come up with the idea of the play?

A: The continuos talks about economic recession and the people’s sour faces started to get on my nerves. It is rather obvious, that mere failure-analyzis and whining never helps anybody. You have to flood everything with positive attitude. So, I realized there is a need for enthusiastic start, not clamming up.

On the other hand, it is still a time where people at several old purviews (like media, advertising, exchanges etc.) experience shrivel. At the same time new models emerge. Better adopters with open minds are successful in this.

And what matters most, inventing and fantasizing is always fun – think about how and what else there could be in life, limitless fantasy. So, the idea emerged to produce a play that encourages people into vigilance and action.

One friend suggested a good place for hosting the show. The other friend recommended that such kind of theatre must be done in the morning. That’s how we ended up with 8:15 AM.

The actors are Kristel Leesmend, Jaak Prints, Bert Raudsep and Gert Raudsep. All the ideas are created by the characters personified by the actors. They go onto stage and spell out their thoughts they have in their heads in this specific morning. Each performance is different. Sometimes the ideas are bright, the other time the necessarily warm contact with the audience is not achieved.

Q: Can we expect some sequel like “First Sale”, “Pitching for Investors” or something else startupish idyllic?

A: The topics of “Pitching for Investors”, “Selling Your Ideas to Others” or things like that would be very good topics. However, it would be much harder to do than brainstorming ideas. Ideas on their own actually won’t matter much. Execution of those matters. If we find a suitable angle or enough information or success stories, then producing a sequel might become realistic. At the same time, we need to realize we are professional people of theatre and culture, talking about stuff that we know very little about, and we can’t take a serious stance that we are now teaching others.

Q: For how long do you plan to run the show?

A: We performed 8 times during May and June. It will be performed in 6 mornings during September. I don’t know yet what happens then. We are dreaming about some tour in small towns of Estonia. Performing the play in those at 8:15 AM in the morning would be rather punk. At the moment those thoughts are on hold due to shortage of finances and time. It is possible that we perform again in Tallinn in Spring 2010. Will see. There is nothing certain at the moment.

Q: How does the public interest look? Tickets are sould out?

A: Although there has been some sceptics, questioning whether people would really come into theatre at 8:15 AM, all the tickets to the performances in Spring were completely sold out. The auditorium is not big, fitting 100 watchers for each performance. The tickets to the performances in September came out three days ago and ca one third of them are already sold out. There is enough interest. We have seen the positive impact on people who have come to the show in groups together, before the beginning of their business day.

Here is a also a link to the blog post where I have collected press critics and blog posts from watchers. [Asko Seeba: these are in estonian language, but you could try google translator on it.]
The List of Ideas

Here is the list of the ideas from previous mornings of the performance, copied from the play’s web page with the permission by Author, and translated into english (only couple are left out that are too estonian cultural-embedded word-plays or I just didn’t figure what they reasonably might translate into). Lots of the ideas below are of course pretty funny as they are product of the actors in a playful mood. But hey, this thing has to be fun in the end! In between the lines you’ll find some pretty interesting ideas that make sense as well :) , and when you do, then the goal has been achieved.

The list:

      1. Kindergarten kids exchange program
      2. Ultrafluid for flowers
      3. Teddy bear service
      4. Me in another city
      5. Animals sports games
      6. Beer machines
      7. Domestic ghost
      8. Honest feedback service
      9. Fridge cleaning service
      10. Universal battery
      11. Spray butter
      12. Sneeze eliciting device
      13. Pet “public house”
      14. Drink buddy rent
      15. Party info hotline
      16. Rollerblade and motorcycle taxi
      17. Chip inside a person, that informs about changes in organism (helps to obviate cancer, but also simply to know, when it is time to pay a visit to dentist)
      18. Pet (animal/bird) in freedom (freepet)
      19. Shit-scythe
      20. Audiobackgrounds for reading books
      21. 5 AM discotheque
      22. Funeral bus
      23. Ones boat
      24. Hairdresser-GP-dentist-physiotherapist
      25. Carrier pigeon (a human)
      26. Grandma’s yarn (knitwear store or something)
      27. Order yourself a poet/sportsman/actor
      28. Public transportation for smokers
      29. Carreer advisory in kindergartens
      30. Wifi-rabbit – where is a rabbit, there is a wifi
      31. Cinema hall, as in art’s hall
      32. Soap opera for language inepts – TV-format, international, watchers can have a healthy laugh
      33. Houses with cabriolet roofs
      34. Home doughnut machine
      35. Gods phone hot-line
      36. Magnet for plastics
      37. Self-renewing newspaper
      38. Universal washing aid (like soap, but for everything: dishes, hands, laundry, surfaces)
      39. Talking traffic lights
      40. Virtual jogging on city streets
      41. At the door of laundry house
      42. Police-locker
      43. Toilet voices
      44. Tooth-paste in the tube of liquid soap
      45. Disdrict of the elderly (billions-project)
      46. Lessons aid (center of the private teachers)
      47. Mosquito decoys (they come to the party and keep mosquitoes at them, i.e. they take the fire)
      48. Tourist day
      49. Sandbeach in the middle of the downtown
      50. Day as an animal
      51. Phantom bus (no windows, you can deal with your stuff in the bus)
      52. Santa Claus is coming, presents already in the bag (store, catalogue)
      53. Edible icecream stick
      54. Dog stays puppy
      55. Portable dumbbell
      56. Meetings flashback machine
      57. Moving trees
      58. Furniture store “Nostalgy” – the groomed soviet furniture
      59. Pan-bathtub
      60. Motorized knife
      61. Journal for deads
      62. Water-melon sized apples
      63. Batteryhause
      64. House on the tree
      65. Artificial sun
      66. Saucer that never gets dirty
      67. Doghouse for cats
      68. Bridge over the town
      69. Self-braking road
      70. Mood stickers
      71. Heel brake
      72. Beer that won’t make you fat
      73. “Pumps” – gives a “pumps” if somebody says an abusive word
      74. Intelligent pillow, blanket
      75. Bacteria that eat plastic
      76. Segway type of stairways
      77. Jazz-radio
      78. Mind-powered switch
      79. Colour-bomb
      80. 2-eye TV
      81. Cartoon-camera
      82. Pills with which you have a flashback of a beautiful moment
      83. Paper that neither burn nor get dirty
      84. Pills “poo won’t stink”
      85. Human tail accessory
      86. Dream camera
      87. Spray of the smell of a fresh bread
      88. Dogs boots
      89. Underground house
      90. Warms that live in pipes and eat hair
      91. Helmet-heardresser
      92. New universal plug
      93. Quitarola, i.e. mechanical quitar
      94. Deodorants “sawdust” and “fresh lawn”
      95. Estonian hat
      96. Books writing machine
      97. Fundamental-eco
      98. Wide-applicable balloon for one person
      99. Bird-antenna
      100. Taste-converter (cabbage – candy)
      101. Suicide hole (lava in the bottom)
      102. 1 cm sized cat
      103. Museum of old houses
      104. Creme that makes you bald – “radioctiv”
      105. Chewing gum that won’t lose its taste, lasts for 5 h
      106. Car doors that close without any audible noise
      107. Computer game “Estonian independece war” on-line version
      108. Robotic “third hand”
      109. Teddy bears with the shape of blackbeetle, louse, bloodsucker, tink, bedbug, ebola etc.
      110. White-board, black chalk for those who want something different
      111. Slipper straps that let sun through etc.
      112. Car that changes colours
      113. Retirement home for elderly mules
      114. Silent booth on the street
      115. Radiator in the post and in the sofa
      116. Universal stop (15-minutes pause, once a week)
      117. Universal ball (basket-, foot-, hand-, volley-)
      118. Tingler
      119. Permanent life
      120. Glasses with which you see the presence of a person and how passionate she/he is about life
      121. Scissors for cutting strips
      122. Long-awaited dog-skis
      123. Non-narrative TV
      124. Institute of making up and reusing languages
      125. Self-sharpening knife
      126. Intensive sleep-pills (6 h equals 15 minutes)
      127. Toaster that adds butter to the bread
      128. Bite-counter
      129. Design-barn
      130. Robot-body
      131. Hidden telly – feels like book-shelf, turn it around and it is a telly
      132. Rabbit- and bear-shaped light-switches
      133. Chair with invisible wheels (weels, ball-bearings, invisible, better mobility)
      134. Half-shorter and half-cheaper cigarettes
      135. 360 degrees photocamera
      136. Solar-battery powered fridge to the no-electricity countryside
      137. Coffee-cup with wifi
      138. Cat-dog
      139. Sadness pill
      140. One-second buttoner
      141. There is an imaginary friend in the ear
      142. Tree grows into earth
      143. Coffee-cup with built-in sifter for coffee grinding
      144. School for learning how to become estonian
      145. Candle kit “Estonia” (blue, black, white)
      146. Food that absorbs via skin
      147. Invisible tape
      148. Firefighting seagull
      149. Drinking cubicle for the lonly
      150. Bees on the roof of the towerhouse
      151. Talking flower-pot
      152. Hay-clock (clock in the middle of a field, air-passangers see it)
      153. Babybike (bike + cart, mother can ride freely)
      154. Boxy water-melon, L-shaped water-melon, U-shaped water-melon
      155. Post-catalogue / web page for mapping good locations of mushrooms and berries (montly fee ca 25 estonian kroons) + information on locations of fly-mushroom (more expensive, 180 kroons)
      156. Rotten egg detector
      157. Breeded city-doves who eat only dog poo
      158. Construction service (Pisa tower, Eiffel tower, White House)
      159. Hootch machine in throat (fifter-like) – water, juice, lemonade go in and hootch comes out
      160. Ethical beep
      161. Animals hatching from seeds
      162. Chocolate burger
      163. Trash to the outer space
      164. Dog pizza
      165. Auxiliary seagull (hatches orphaned eggs)
      166. Babies drowsing platform
      167. Dress that changes colour
      168. Shoelaces binding device
      169. Extension of the hand’s touch sensitivity
      170. Pillow with on-demand dreams
      171. Rolling cactus
      172. Cat with a turn signal
      173. Walking spring
      174. Invisible pleasure boat
      175. Ready-made makeup
      176. Polite traffic signs
      177. Washing machine for small creatures
      178. Direct link with the nature
      179. Climate shade
      180. Blinker on the top of the head of a person, showing that the person is in a hurry
      181. Mr. Wolf – man who knows everything, from whom you can ask everything
      182. Lie detector development
      183. Charger of battery of human
      184. Stop any production
      185. Secret research group on rain-forest matters
      186. Ego-solvent
      187. Alarm of routine
      188. Hearing aid of concience
      189. Dust alarm
      190. Animal money

So, what do you think? Did you find your next venture from here? Or do you propose your own additions to this list? Do you know about any of those above implemented somewhere? Add your comment on this below.