Frank van Gaalen: ‘Being on stage in front of 4,500 people gives so much euphoria, which is happiness, pure happiness’

Frank van Gaalen: ‘Being on stage in front of 4,500 people gives so much euphoria, which is happiness, pure happiness’

Organizing the annual introduction party called TOP Week involves a lot of work. Fontys student Frank van Gaalen knows that like no other. This year, he is chairperson of the TOP Committee and responsible for the entire organization.

Beeld: Jack Tummers

1. What is your greatest source of jealousy?

‘I especially envy people who do what they want to do. Some people live in the moment and can totally enjoy what they are doing. They are where they want to be. I have yet to completely figure out where I want to go.’

2. What do you daydream about?

‘What I’m looking forward to is being on stage with the cantus, in front of such a large group of 4,500 people. That’s such a happy moment; one I’ve been working towards for a whole year. That gives so much euphoria, I am really looking forward to that. That’s happiness, pure happiness.’

3. What is your biggest fear?

‘Now of course that’s a calamity. That something happens during the TOP. You feel like you’re responsible for 4,500 people in that week. So I’m afraid of things going wrong that you can’t predict. And there is the fear that there is something that you could have known or could have prevented. That’s a big worry.’

4. What is a perfect night out for you?

‘With all the hustle and bustle, I really enjoy getting back to my group of friends. Then we cook something, there are bottles of wine, we talk and laugh, and a lot of goofiness. Usually it’s at someone’s house, like a friend with an apartment at party bar the Prince. At carnival, we’re there, too.’

5. What music can’t you get enough of?

‘Having studied music myself, I listen to everything really. Jazz, classical music, pop music, film music, techno. But I especially like film music, I composed that myself. It offers so much emotion. A good example is the soundtrack of the film The Danish Girl. In it, the same theme is repeated over and over again. But the dynamics change through differences in rhythm and performance and instruments. That ensures that, in different situations, the same theme always turns out differently.’

‘My cousin thought, I’m going to New York; I’m going to live there. That’s exactly what he did. I would like to have the guts for that too’

6. What do few people know about you?

‘That I studied music; that I make music myself. And that I’m walking around in the association world in the Esplanade Building, while I’m from a university of applied sciences. I also really like that.’

7. Who is your role model and why?

‘That’s actually different people in different situations. For example, my cousin. He made up his mind: I’m going to New York; I’m simply going to live there. That’s exactly what he did. I would like to have the guts for that too.’

8. What causes you to have a short fuse?

‘I don’t get annoyed easily. But I can’t stand people who keep thinking in a negative way. Who, instead of thinking in terms of solutions, only see obstacles. Instead of contributing ideas, they insist that it won’t work. That drains your energy.’

9. What should you actually be doing (more)?

‘Sports. I sit a lot, I talk a lot, I don’t move enough. And seeing my family. I’m so busy with my board work that I only talk to my parents once a month, and really only online. I would also like to see my grandparents a lot more. They are very old, but this year I am too busy to go there often. I hate that, why don’t I do that more often?’

10. What is your favorite delivery meal?

‘If I order anything, it’s pizza. Prosciutto, fungi, and mozzarella, at Rijslust. I like that. But I almost never do it. I like to cook myself. I also like cooking for others. What do I cook? Spaghetti Bolognese, that’s fun to do, easy and tasty, and my roommates will start calling in if I say anything else.’

11. Never eat meat again or never fly again?

‘Flying takes me farther and there’s still so much of the world I haven’t seen. I like meat. But if I really have to choose I would get rid of meat. I treat myself to visiting other continents.’

12. Never play sports or never go to a concert again?

‘Music is my passion, so with pain in my heart I have to say never sports again. And I really love field hockey, which is my outlet.’

13. Shopping or online shopping?

‘I’m not into online shopping, but I’m also not into strolling down a busy shopping street. I thought that was the cool thing in the coronavirus days, that you could reserve a time slot and look around a store by yourself. It will never be online again because I won’t get a feel for it, and I need new clothes anyway.’

Translated by Language Center, Riet Bettonviel


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