Tag Archives: Road Dog

Crumbs of cinnamon buns

“Well, I’m excited to be here and by excited I mean I want to do something, and by something I mean I want to give you the best 20 minutes of entertainment packed into 60 minutes that you or any audience has ever seen.”

Backstage before the show goes up our one man solo production team is bounding about fleet of foot and fogged of mind. As ever I am prepping for one more swig of the unquenchably intoxicating elixir of performance life.

This present decade proceeds at a more measured pace. The previous decade each year I made some 500 appearances before my audiences.  

There is a backward and forward command of your material when working so incessantly. In place of such a regime I am now deploying a more rambling-rollercoaster-improvised style. Like a pesky fly the improviser dashes from one near death like moment to the next dodging the swatting like silence while awaiting another sure laugh to land. The beloved house fly dodges web and window sill while dreaming of succulent crumbs of cinnamon buns. Authentic laughter is no less delicate and uncertain a fated final end.

While working with my show-dog Lacey our five thousand performances once developed was ‘error’-tight with minimal variation between any two performances. Improvisation demands that our work be fueled by cognitive super powers. We live and die by such gambits. Rare is the performer that can rise to the occasion 500 times each and every moment of every show across the timeline of a year. There must be such a talented soul buried out there in this sea of performing humanity.

Between June and July I’m figuring I will launch somewhere near one hundred shows. By the end of July the audiences and performances sent into mayhem, mirth and orbit will then return to earth. Instead of landing the shuttle in the Mojave it will be a Prius motoring southward over and around the Canadian Rockies, pondering life along the Grand Ronde River, lingering on the backside of The Sisters, Oregon and finally safely back in the hangar where we make our home in this sprawling sea of high priced real estate famously named California.

It’s one thing to be the world’s great lover and it is another thing entirely to be the world’s greatest lover’s lover.

Listening to their every word, laughing at their every joke and then it’s back into the bedroom.

All the cards, the flowers and chocolates… and then its back into the bedroom.

This isn’t just about love, this is about the championship of love, you hear that inner voice that says, “go on kid, you can do it, take one more for the team.”

Now you know that there is no way out other than going all the way in.

She’s perfect and you’re perfect. The whole thing is perfect even though you know there is no such thing as perfect and even that’s perfect.

April 24, ’18 Road Dog Redux

Coast to Coast

the road

What a Juggler Sees

Physical training while touring can be gigantic pain. If there are long jumps between dates you’re going to miss your workout. The best of the best jugglers train every day. The length of a workout varies. Physical intensity is relative to the mental focus the act brings to the training process. The uncommon acts have stellar focal power- they stand out because they’re talents are many and easy to recognize.

We deal with the distraction of touring. If the virtuosity of a stunt is so high that it can only be attempted under optimal conditions then the trick is dropped while on the road. You’ll scale back and include only the stunts you can do drop dead stone cold one hundred percent every time. Your audience only sees a fraction of your best work.

Trailer 1

My Beautiful Reward

Driving, eating and sleeping are all scheduled around performing. Your day is framed by the stage time. Maybe Lenny Bruce walked on but variety acts have to get ready. Props have to be set. Costumes, even casual what might at first appear to be street attire is worn because it can accommodate the range of movement the performer expects to make during the show.

You go out on ten coast to coast national tours and perform a few thousand shows across the entire lower forty-eight and you are bent by such a process. Gas stations, rest areas, hotels and convenience stores become habitat. Once in touring mode you become the student of regional patterns. There is a contrast between how a local person’s schedule is all caught up and tied to the concerns of their immediate surroundings.

Troy small

Between the Long Hops and Small Town Stops

While touring the performer is painting a story of human attachment to place and people. We are invasive species, foreign objects—curiosities. How we can survive without the familiar comforts of our own home is hard for a local to understand. Why we train so hard is to give form to that emptiness. We are working not just for a living but for our psychological survival. The best jugglers exercise many talents.

Buy a book, book a show. Tell a friend. Share my blog. Be in touch… Best of luck and love

Edited Red Star

March 27th Cultures Cauldron of Creativity

2009SPF00415.jpg
Feast of Fools at the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival. Photography by EPIC PHotography Inc…

I signed a multi-year deal to emcee at the Oregon State Fair. Small potatoes by show business standards but for a roustabout and lunch bucket card carrying member of the small time entertainment racket my hosting the stage was fat city after a steady diet gigs in places you can’t even find on a map.

Another agent that liked my style booked me to emcee at the Ohio State Fair. My duties included stage management as well as emceeing. I was a man of many hats. Simple enough. Set lights, sound check, here’s where you come on and how you walk off. Any entertainer worth his salt realizes they’ve got a sweet gig when they find an experienced hand taking the lead on a stage they’re going to throw it down on.

Orange Toss

Spearing a tossed orange with a barbecue fork clinched in my teeth

…arriving, loading in, setting up, killing time backstage, holed up in the green room, eating with your fingers from the deli tray, special ordered, all Italian sliced salami and sausages, peppers, succulent morsels, olives and onions, crackers and cheeses, a white tablecloth spread not necessarily enabling a long life- but while you were here it was at least a good short life, squeezing in and peeling out of costume, getting on stage, under the hot lights, taking your best shot, holding your own, sticking to the schedule, the final burst of applause, taking a bow, maybe help keeping the stage manager sane, then after going back to the hotel to hanging with the lineup of showmen and showgirls. Drinking whiskey, spinning tales of woe about long hops, pulling up to some  hole in the brick wall, hard to find barely advertised one night stand— long lost nights both on and offstage— and long after the last calls been called out by a weary ready for bed host, cashing a thousand hopes and dreams in, waving the white toweled bravado to the last breath, collapsing on your hotel room bed, so near to the crack of dawn you could touch it… Heavy eyed party-monger, falls off to sleep, waking too soon, scaring yourself in the bathroom mirror, using a cool rag to soak your puffy eyes— will the swelling ever go down?  Putting on your sunglasses, grabbing your suitcase, closing the door, heading back to the venue, sleep deprived but game faced, ready to play your hand all over again, for one more night, out on the circuit— custom built-perfection sized for the small-time up and comer’s, and then at long last after a too hot weekend of show after show after show, you load out, close the backstage doors and as this one comes to the bittersweet end instead of hanging with your own show biz kind, instead of gathering with your tribe, you’re rolling out all alone on that long white striped highway pointing you to the next destination, the gig slated for tomorrow and your fateful rendezvous with that big fat delicious break— that your fool mind keeps taunting you with— that lucky pot of belly laughs and applause— that your addled dream machine mind keeps teasing you with— that all you ever really wanted out of this show biz thing— was to earn a laugh and be given an honest shot at riding without so much as a care in this roller coaster ride of a world— and there you find yourself listening to to the whispering wind born love song singing in your hair…

Koots

Wanderlust Peeking Back from My Lucky Stars

Edited Red Star