Friday, November 3, 2017

11/3/2017 -- Practice log

2:30pm - 2:45: roughly 1 mile brisk walk, 5 lb ankle weights. Finger spin wall plane drills. Alternating timings/directions/directionalities.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween post mortem

     And now another of the majorly busy seasons has passed. Halloween gigs are usually a very lucrative time, but several of my gigs had to pull out due to the wildfires in Sonoma. I still did a sweet family-friendly Halloween party in Napa, and then I also had a peculiar gig Halloween night being a creepy clown.
     Let me preface this by saying clowns usually do a lot of work to distance themselves from being creepy. I had some doubts about whether I should even be doing this job. The client had cited Twisty of American Horror Story and Pennywise as what they would like for their office party. I figured why not take the chance to try something different? We can find growth in uncomfortable places.
     After a bit of research on creepy clowns I noticed some commonalities. You rarely saw explicit gore or blood. White tended to be their dominant color, unlike most scary things, though their whites also tended to be a bit dirty. Subtle details and the unchanging aspects of the makeup were the root of their creepy. Think about the plastered-on smiles, and the idea that those smiles seem so fake. I note in both iterations of Pennywise the oversize forehead tends to be one of the main unsettling details.
   My concept was to do deep scar makeup that would show through the normaliah clown makeup. I hoped this would convey that underneath the makeup something was wrong. I stuck to primaries, but rooted the entire thing in white pants and white frilly shirt. The major detail for me was to black out my teeth, so if I did smile with an open mouth you would see pointy teeth. I spent several dats redoing a basic clown poof wig into a medusa-life dreaded mess. Think Sideshow Bob hair.
     I succeeded in scaring the hell out of the office party! You can check out details of the makeup process on my Youtube channel, and lots of creepy pictures! Happy Halloween!
    Now back to being a sweet and family-friendly clown.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

   The wildfires have cancelled several gigs of mine. It also looks like Ministry of Flow's Reunion empowerment retreat has been cancelled. I'm not glad for the devastation these fires are wrecking across the state, but I am sort of glad for the rest time I am getting as a result. I was a little nervous moving from a busy festival season straight into busy gig season.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Forward into Fall

     The hectic summer months are past, with them my festival season is largely over too. I taught at Universal Flow Gathering, MOPS Manipulation, Buugeng Convergence, Firedrums, Enchanted Forest, New England Flow Fest, OolaHula's Flow Camp,  and Pacific Fire Gathering. I performed at most of the above as well as at HoopCamp and Burning Man.  I attended one festival for the joy of it (Priceless). I also went to Juplaya. I still found time to hike Sonora Pass and Desolation Wilderness. I need to keep all eight of my tentacles moving.

    I have two festivals left this year. I'm attending Staff Senate in one week, where I am seeking only personal growth. I am also teaching, performing, and cohosting (with Erez Sas) at Ministry of Flow's Reunion retreat. Ministry of Flow is dear to my heart, so it is a happy way to close out the year.

   My next year is already looking stacked. CampFire has expressed interest in having me. I'm taking on a larger role, as well as teaching/performing again, at Buugeng Convergence. I will also likely keep my role as FireDrums showcase codirector.

   My planning has started for what things are of interest to me. I am returning to my home, New Orleans, for Mardi Gras and will be booking private lessons. I have dreamed about returning to Flame to teach and perform, but we will see if it is in the cards. I am very interested in looking into some kind of teaching road trip. I may also consider the spring program at the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco. I will be applying to shin for Ministry of Flow next year. MOPS in October of 2018 is a definite for me.

    I've got the skeleton of my next solo buugeng piece in my head. I've also started a partner piece with a new performing partner. I'm listening to a lot of Forest Swords and Arca for inspiration. I've got the longer dream of a staff piece in my head.

   See you on the road.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beginnings of Summer

    Gosh, so much has happened. Let's break this up into digestible chunks. I'm sorry it's been almost two months in between posts! So much time begets so much to try to cover!
    I taught and performed at MOPS (Manipulation presented by Master Ong's Prop Shop). It was easily the most intimidating stage I have ever been on.  Kyle Driggs act was my personal favorite there, and Amy Wieliczka's act gets better every time I see it.
     I traveled to teach and perform at Buugeng Convergence in Austin, Texas. I had a really lovely time experimenting with weird tricks alongside Kaylie Kreatrix. We got into the pond there and did floating mandalas! I also had what I hope is the worst run-through of my "Clockwork" act I ever have. Coming off a really good run at MOPS, that was pretty disappointing. This was salvaged by the fest asking me to take an active role in organization for 2018. I've already started managing their media.
      I taught several classes, performed, and directed the stage show at FireDrums. There was lots of herding cats leading up to the event, but once there I settled into the gravity of unavoidable certainty. I had a wonderful run-through, perhaps my best yet. The work I was doing between Convergence and FireDrums to polish up my musicality really showed.
    We just made the final recording of our conclave submission for Burning Man. I proud of my section--I choreographed the finale, but the work isn't done, and we aren't accepted yet.
    I still have New England Flow Fest and OoolaHula's HoopCamp ahead to perform my "Clockwork" piece at, and to teach at. NEFF will be special since I am teaching my character for movement class. Pacific Fire Gathering is a big question mark right now--I hope to be teaching as well as performing my Flow Show piece with Roux Brulee one final time.
   Major news is that my FishSticks props are now in production and being sold by The Spinsterz. I'm also now sponsored by them!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Post Flow Show

Flow Show was a great success! We had so much positive feedback on our story, characters, and costumes. I'm so proud we brought such a well-rounded stage act.

This weekend is MOPS! It'll be great to return to that training space. If you haven't been... why haven't you?

I'm also proud to announce that I'm teaching and performing at Buugeng Convergence in Austin! This is a huge honor for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Just keep swimming

      A lot has happened! I taught and performed for the Boy Scouts of America in San Jose. I've had a few dozen clowning gigs. I also taught and performed at Universal Flow Gathering. But tomorrow is the big one, Flow Show 9 is finally here.
      I don't get to rest much after Flow Show. I have to go back to polishing my act for "Mops: Manipulation," where I will also be teaching. Barring any extreme negative feedback, I'll be performing that act at a few more places this season. It links well with the Flow Show act, as it is in a similar style and theme--even though it is not a partner act.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I'm excited to perform on stage with Clozee and Psymbionic, right here in Oakland! This Wednesday (01/25/2017) at The New Parish, for their weekly Wormhole Wednesday event.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fish and Roux have officially joined the cast of Flow Show 9

The news is in! The second round of cuts to the Flow Show happened, and Roux and I are now officially a part of the Flow Show SF 9! The Flow Show will be held April 14th-16th, 2017 at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco CA.

We join other luminaries of our art such as Brian Thompson, Jake Yoshioka, Noel Yee, Danielle Good, Cassie McKenny, Brooke McKenzie Simper, SolRiso, Delila Sayso, Irie Gilbert, Cary Jerome, Wryly Fable, Dylan Bradley, Anni Kupper, Sara Noelle, Amy Wieliczka,  Devin Tucker, Erol Efendioglu, Lane Lillquist, Russell McGeowan, Kyle Johnson, Cassaundra Smyth, Paul Savage, Leilani Ruffhouse, Jacob Turner, and Marlen Hazel

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The New Year

     December was a busy month! While busy is exciting and carries coin, I am now glad for a spot of what counts for rest. My January is all about quiet training and preparation for the steady times.

     My first challenging job of December was performing as Santa Claus for the first time. I spent two weeks diligently researching Santa performance, as well as practicing the walk, talk, and that jolly laugh. Some costume malfunctions with the fat suit were handled with gutted pillows from Target. Surprise atmospheric effects, soap suds jetted into the air to look like snow, ended up drenching me, but overall it was a lot of fun. I'm really proud to have succeeded so wildly in this role. Children are always the most fun to work with, both for the challenges they present for improvisation and for the unalloyed happiness. If you're curious, the number one gift request was for a bicycle. Only one child asked for guns, twelve of them specifically.

     My next job had me travelling to Texas, as a clown. I was incredibly happy to find the birthday boy is fond of both my favorite color and my favorite animal. I made him a purple balloon octopus larger than he was. It was grueling flying in Saturday morning, performing Saturday afternoon, and then flying back to California Sunday morning. I have already learned that TSA does not appreciate people flying in a clown outfits, so I did not repeat that mistake. This was also my first outing with my new purple leather clown luggage.

     My third job of the month was one I had been looking forward to quite a bit. A large private party in a ballroom with several hundred guests. A small outfit of circus misfits, five of us, held down entertaining the crowd. I was delighted to come out in my white tuxedo and perform for such a friendly audience. I was also happy for the spacious dance floor, where I could interact with guests in between working the room.

     My next job saw me performing as a living statue for a private party. Little did I know that I would be a living statue serving food! I suppose there is no escaping the service industry. Being a statue is interesting because it works against my desire to emotionally connect with the audience through movement, but little ticks and resets do help to show them you're there to perform. It's sort of meditative, you focus very intently on holding a dramatic pose and become increasingly aware of so many parts of your body.

     I took a quick break to visit family in Houston and New Orleans. I dream of someday performing again in New Orleans. If you haven't been, I'll gladly talk your ears off about my beloved home. If you have been, you already know. I was glad to briefly connect with some circus family in the South; I even made a play video with one of those clowns down there. Thanks for coming out, Jandro.

     Final gig of the year was on New Year's Eve. Roux Brûlée and I traveled to Fresno to perform for a private party. The crowd skewed older, so it took a little while to get them warmed up with circus tricks. By the end of the night, we had them all on the dance floor with us. One of my favorite moments was when a senior gentlemen requested I dance with his wife, as he had an old hip injury. I had a lot of fun dancing to Chuck Berry with her, and she likely showed me up. My other favorite moment was a bit of performance Roux and I did, where I danced with her on stilts as she twirled me around like a puppet. It was a happy way to bring in the New Year.

So here's to the New Year. I'm booked to help teach Boy Scouts juggling with the amazing Kyle Johnson in February. Roux and I are prepping our Flow Show act for April. I've received confirmation that in April I'll be performing and teaching at Manipulation 2017, down in Idyllwild. I've got applications out. I've got jobs to pick through. It's going to be another good year of growth for this Fish.