Tag Archives: Showman

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.

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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.

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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 25, 2018 The Bigger the Dream

Running with the Small Dogs

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Sunset in the Superstitions not far from Apache Junction, Arizona

We rolled out on the road without a wireless telephone or an Automated Teller Machine card. We used such antiquated technologies as American Express cashier checks, wired funds via Western Union, made calls with coins fed into pay phones.

Running the American West at times for months without coming off the road was paid for by solitude. Once the knack for being alone became a skill. Once comfortable in your own bones living day to day without companionship or conversation the feasibility of touring tilted in your favor.

You no longer need run hard from one date to the other fearing what is in between. That segment of space and time becomes a mindful opportunity. You can pull off and eat supper at an overlook during sunset. You might get under a shade tree and spend the afternoon working out. Roll down a dirt road along a river, build a fire, drink a glass of whiskey and spend your evening looking up at a sky choked with stars.

Small Town

Ely, Nevada on a busy day!

If you are going to give your audience an unvarnished glimpse of who you really are why not deepen your own center, cultivate a truer more fully realized sense of belonging to the cosmos, report back from the frontier to the landlocked-nine-to-fivers what you’ve found out about what drifting out on the highways and byways of the American West can mean to a fellow citizen. My audiences expected such payment in return for the investment of their attention.

A showman might not have fame or great wealth. Instead we may be symbolic post suburban-middle class kindred spirits. We might just be reporters of what an ordinary person might be capable of as they escape the mundane grip of a more conventional life.

In that way we owe our audiences the blueprint we’ve sorted out as to how a laugh filled entertainment might just brighten the load they carry, make something larger in their imaginations possible. A showman in possession of a show can cure modernity’s digitally induced melancholy. On an ordinary day we’re not much better than average, but when it all clicks a showman can electrify the minds of every single person captivated by the experience we’ve driven so far and for so long to bring to their community. We are shaman, we can possess magic. It is all that and more or nothing at all…

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Showman between Performance at Tempe Festival for the Arts

As ever, explore my site, buy a book, book a show (or come find me today… in Oakland’s Fairyland) and come on back. I’ll be here even if I’m running with the little dogs out there.

Edited Red Star