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Old 08-31-04, 02:55 AM   #1
le pire
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Default USA Break Dancers RULE

Just got back into Boston from Waterloo (10 hour drive) and I'm beat... I'll post some stories about Halifax & Waterloo later this week (gotta start doing colleges tomorrow. No day off yet) but I just want to do a quick shout out to Klown, Ill Will and Cuba (pronounced Koo-bah).

Saturday turned into a total rain out and the USA Break Dancers went into the parking garage and pulled off a kick ass show. They came to Waterloo to work and give everyone a good time and crappy weather wasn't going to stop them. One word: RESPECT. These guys are what it is all about.


etienne
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Old 08-31-04, 11:13 PM   #2
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Default putting the 'water' in waterloo

The Record (Waterloo Region)
Local, Monday, August 30, 2004, p. B1

Wet weather rains out buskers; Attendance figures drop by half, despite record crowds on Thursday

ARMINA LIGAYA
RECORD STAFF

WATERLOO - The rain really dampened people's spirits at the Waterloo Busker Carnival this weekend.

Yesterday, for the first time in 16 years, the show did not go on.

"You could say it was a washout today," said Dean Shinn of Kitchener, a festival volunteer, taking cover under a tent.

King Street, between William and Erb streets in downtown Waterloo, was closed off for the annual festival, where 14 buskers from around the world were to perform.

But aside from a handful of people with umbrellas, the normal hustle and bustle of kids and street performers was nowhere to be seen yesterday.

Brightly coloured flags lined the street, and an empty trapeze stood in the middle of the road. A mini Ferris wheel lay motionless in the silent midway.

Organizers said about 20,000 to 25,000 people came to the four-day carnival, half the usual turnout.

"We had record numbers on Thursday and it looked like it was going to be an incredible weekend," said spokeswoman Cheryl Ewing. "Friday, we had really good crowds, so we were heading into a really fabulous Saturday."

It was clear from noon until 4 p.m. Saturday, but then "it came down like buckets for a while," Shinn said.

The Late Night Adult Show still went on, although the turnout was a third of what was expected.

Yesterday, the buskers didn't even step outside. In the green room at the Waterloo Community Arts Centre on Regina Street, a few performers were waiting for the rain to let up.

"I'm going to put on a little mood music," said Steven Étienne McGinley, a multi-talented busker from Cambridge, Mass., who performs under the name Étienne.

A smile crept across his face as the funeral march blared from the speaker. Giggles erupted across the room.

When the buskers were asked what they've been doing to pass the time, Étienne responded, "Crying."

He and the other performers did fit in a couple of shows during the weekend, and when the weather took a turn Saturday, they made the best of it.

Étienne moved his juggling act, which he described as "action-packed comedy," into a nearby parking garage.

The roof wasn't tall enough for him to do his favourite bit -- balancing on top of a ladder while playing French songs on a tuba.

But he did some energetic juggling tricks with a diabolo, a spinning reel and two rods connected with string.

"These are the people who came out to see you and you want them to have a good time," Étienne said.

"Because if it sucks for us, it sucks just as much, if not more, for the audience. And you don't want to let that happen."

By 2 p.m. yesterday, the rain still had not stopped.

The grand finale of the carnival -- the vaudeville show, where all buskers perform and proceeds go to next year's carnival -- was cancelled.

NO RAIN PLANS

Organizers did not have any rain plans for the festival, such as moving into Waterloo Town Square, because in the past, they haven't worked.

"In the mall, they don't have the height or the width," Ewing said. "And it's not the same atmosphere. It's not a street performance.

Even with soggy streets, Ewing said, she's happy with this year's event.

"We had amazing acts, and the crowds were very generous," she said.

"We're quite pleased. We're just very, very disappointed for the buskers."

Street performers only get a small honorarium to help with travel expenses. If they can't put on a show and fill their hats, they don't get paid.

But Étienne said he doesn't mind.

"When you get into street performing, you're not doing it for the money," he said.

"If you are, you're in for a big shock."

It's the very nature of how buskers get paid that is the best part of his job, he said.

"You are paid with claps, laughs, smiles and appreciation, and with money, by how much people like you," Étienne said.

"If other professions worked like that, then Microsoft wouldn't be the most powerful corporation in the world. If your car crashed on its own as often as your computer did, you wouldn't be driving that car.

"Performing is a very honest profession. And that's why I love it."
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Old 08-31-04, 11:18 PM   #3
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Wink Aidan, USA B'Dancers & Thom...

Guelph Mercury
Nightlife, Thursday, August 26, 2004, p. F10

Life is a juggling act

ARMINA LIGAYA
For NightLife

Thom Sellectomy usually tries to get people to see him as a person, before he completely freaks them out.

"I begin the show with a question and answer session . . . before I start doing those horrible things to myself," says Sellectomy of his act which he's bringing to the 16th annual Waterloo Busker Carnival this weekend.

The free event will flood King Street, between William and Erb streets in downtown Waterloo, with the mind-boggling, funny and bewitching talents of Sellectomy and 14 other street performers.

Maryland-based Thom Sellectomy -- or Geoffrey Cobb, his real name -- has been performing his strange and unusual routine for over 15 years.

His bizarre repertoire of tricks includes swallowing swords, running a drill up his nose and swallowing a nearly metre-long inflated balloon -- the kind used for balloon animals -- which is never to be seen again.

His performance usually elicits an interesting reaction from the crowd.

"There's usually a sort of stunned silence, but then the applause comes shortly after," he says.

However, unlike most sword swallowers, he says he doesn't push the grossness or freak show aspect of it.

"I try to make them hard to swallow, easy to watch," he says.

Although shocking and a little dangerous, Sellectomy, 36, says his antics are lighthearted and appropriate for the whole family.

"My favourite part of the show is when I get a child from the audience, and they get to pull a sword from my throat to help prove that it's real," he says.

Originally from Warren, Mich., Sellectomy began working towards his unorthodox career right after high school, when he attended Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey clown college in Venice, Fla.

After being a circus clown for two years, he met a sword swallower, Mike Schneider, who showed him the ropes.

"And I was dumb enough to do it," Sellectomy jokes.

He now works as a professional sword-swallower for 10 months out of the year. This full-time job has taken Sellectomy to events all across the U.S., Canada and Germany.

And luckily for him, his stage name -- a play on the surgical procedure for removing tonsils -- has not made him an ironic cautionary tale.

Especially because Sellectomy loves performing.

"I look forward to it, every chance I get," he says. "I have a great time doing the show. I honestly would not trade it for anything in the world."

It will be Sellectomy's first time at the Waterloo Busker Carnival, billed as one of the best busker festivals in the world.

"I've heard the crowds at the Waterloo event are some of the most fun in all the busker festivals in Canada," says Sellectomy.

And the volunteer-run festival should have something for everyone.

Like Aidan Orange, who can wrap his arms behind his head, all the way around his neck or balance a mountain bike on his chin.

Based in Toronto, he has travelled around the world performing his seemingly impossible contortion tricks and has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Or the USA Break Dancers, who combine authentic break dancing, acrobatics and comedy. All three members are from the Bronx in New York, the birthplace of hip-hop culture and have performed throughout the U.S.

The carnival's spirited performers usually draw up to 40,000 or 50,000 people each year.

So break open the piggy bank and empty out pockets.

Donations support this free festival and pay performers' salaries. There will be hats and guitar cases, just waiting to be filled with loonies, toonies or even bills.

Friday night features An Evening of Variety shows at the Waterloo Stage Theatre. The G-rated show starts at 7:30 p.m. and the PG-rated show begins at 10 p.m. Saturday features a Late Night Adult Show, and adult is emphasized. It starts at 11:30 p.m on the Parkade Pitch stage.
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Old 09-03-04, 12:33 PM   #4
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Hey all, who were in Waterloo.

It was a wicked time, despite the rain. We all still managed to get some good shows off, I hope.

But yeah, the USA Breakdancers, man, you guys are what it's about. Getting that show off in the garage was simply just awesome to watch. Dubbike and I drove into the garage and we couldn't get around the crowd, we didn't know what was going on until we heard Julio's trademark laugh.

Kudos to you too, Etienne, for managing to slug through another one after they made way. Good work to everyone who was there.

We had some great times, and it really was a blast. I'd really like to go back again in hopes I'll get the chance to work the whole weekend. A big BIG thanks to the administration (all volunteers!!) who made it quite possibly one of the best fests I have worked.

Just remember, for anyone who misses Waterloo, just call some friends over and play some Boggle, and drink their beer. It'll be like you're back in the good ol' North lounge again.

Peace!
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Old 09-03-04, 12:46 PM   #5
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Oh yeah-

Forgot to give props to Checkers and Thom for putting together the wicked Late Night show.

It was excellent to see it all come together as it did, not to mention Thom and Julio doing a FRIGGIN' WHIGGIDA-WHACK job of MCing the raunchiness, as well as Aidan Orange's deadpan delivery of the words "Spermicidal Lubricant".

That's all.
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Old 09-03-04, 02:28 PM   #6
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Note to Whitey:
Wack means bad (not good bad, but bad bad.)
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Old 09-03-04, 03:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the linguistic correction, friend.



Although this post was more directed to those who were at the festival, and would understand my bastardized slang which I have whipped into meaning what I want it to mean.

Word up, homes.
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Old 09-03-04, 03:17 PM   #8
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I spoke with Klown the other night, he said they had a good time. They are great guys to work with!!!
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Old 09-03-04, 03:23 PM   #9
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"Word up, homes."

Rock on, cheese and Crackers.
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Old 09-03-04, 04:59 PM   #10
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Well then, shizzle my nizzle, or something! Unh! Yeah!
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