The Year from the Rearview Mirror

Mojave Desert Spring 2011 In June I completed the manuscript to Bankrupt Heart a project I’d been working on for some 21 months. This was the first of firsts, the vow to see to the end the finishing of the second novel. Bankrupt Heart my second novel has a tighter plot, memorable characters, sharp dialogue, […]

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The Road that Never Ends

Pulling off a national tour means you need a reliable vehicle. Here I am installing my fourth motor into my ’67 Ford. I did all my own work. The first few rebuilds were not so good, but they got better and lasted longer with practice. Note the camper shell. This shell was scrapped and a […]

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Sometimes I Played for Elephants

Touring a show by truck is a different experience from flying to an airport, renting a car, staying at a hotel, and getting all your meals in restaurants. I arranged my pickup truck to fit my show equipment and everything I would need to eat and sleep while traveling.     To travel in this […]

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Street Performing as Spoken Word

  Dana Smith  Harlequin Street Theater from 1978   My approach to street theater has placed particular emphasis on words. It is the power of the spoken word when combined with visual elements, and situational moments that can be one of the most effective tools when building a successful show. In the vernacular of the […]

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The Great Romance of Street Theater

Developing an efficient way of stopping pedestrians is not so simple. It is a trial and error process. Eventually each act finds something that does the trick. Some acts are incredibly skillful at gathering an audience. There are all kinds of street shows. People present all kinds of skills. Some people work silent, others talk. […]

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Father Daughter Life on the Road…

Tonight I begin a Father-Daughter Night series at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Over the next two weekends I’ll do five nights of shows with the irrepressible Bob Sarlatte hosting the stage. Bob’s a Saint Ignatius High School grad. I went to school at Bellarmine. My wife and I have three daughters. Our youngest, Alana […]

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Long Hops and short stops

In the early 70’s as the counter cultural movement took to the streets the first wave of artists built shows from scratch. We had no templates to work from. By the early 80’s that was over. Acts arrived at venues derived from the first wave shows of the late 60’s to early 70’s. We felt […]

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Circus as Change

Especially interesting speculation with regard to whether the newfangled cirque is a durable long lasting incarnation. And it comes while finding by accident this other iteration of circus, something that seems to have survived against all odds. Time will tell. Fortune telling is not my specialty. It seems the era when Jack Benny, Bob Hope, […]

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