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Old 11-11-01, 05:17 PM   #1
danielc
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Apple How do you get there?

As a relatively new street performer on the circuit, I wonder if there's any others out there who feel the way I do on this matter.
I can't help but be inspired when I see huge shows take off, and I hold nothing but the utmost respect for any of the great performers I've seen who can start a huge show any place, any time.

However, I find this notoriously intimidating, and I sometimes feel it detracts from my show, in the sense that you (when you perform shows around these heavyhatters) feel the need to prove yourself- To show that you can do it.
I feel sometimes the performing community is a very surface community, and that at its rawest level, elitism runs abound. Other times, I feel that the performing community is a great place to be a part of.

That's the only way I feel I can justify being able to say I'm very uneasy when the "heavyhatters" are around. It just seems like I'm being evaluated all the time, and to me, it feels like that adversely affects my performance. I mean, some pick it up faster than others, but it doesn't mean you're not trying.

I don't care to tell people what my biggest hat is if they ask, even if it is half of, or even a third of what they make.. But the fact some performers seem to think of you less because you make less money really bothers me. It's left me wondering if I can really ever get better. Basically, what I'm trying to ask is "How can you get to be someone who does the huge shows and has a great time if there's always a pressure to impress not just the audience?"

Sorry about this. Just a stream of random thoughts.

All the best,
Daniel

[This message has been edited by danielc (edited 11-11-2001).]
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Old 11-11-01, 10:37 PM   #2
Mr.Taxi Trix
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Piggy

Hi.

My first great trip was down to Key West in '86. I went to be a professional juggler on Mallory Pier. A delighted man of 19, I had been schooled in basic street shows in Harvard Square by the rope walker Mark Farneth, had cut my teeth on many a country fair in New England, and figured I was ready. Midway through my first show, my fairly bored but sympathetic crowd got quite interested in watching Birdy Mclean set up. I lost that crowd along with some bravado. The silvery tinkle was missing from my laughter for a day or two. OK, a week or two. I took a job washing dishes at Casa Manyanas, and watched the pros through the winter, hitching out to the West Coast later on, looking for different pitches. The old pros were never particularly interested in me or overtly nice to me. (Exceptions were Love 22 and Butterfly. Love always had a grin and good word for me, and Robert gave me a ride to an Avner show at festival time.) Really, though, I hadn't given them any reason to be kind.
I know that now.
Then, it looked like elitism.
What can I tell ya? Put in ten years, it'll be different. I went back there and held my own with the big dogs in 96. It rocked. But most of all, count on more of the same if you live like a powerhouse act takes away from your ability. The old timers can smell it when you have a chip on your shoulder. Be fun to be with. Learn from them. Comment on conditions, ask intelligent questions. Create partnership. You'll be fine.
In terms of your final question, take the case that "pressure" is a self-created thing. Give up creating it. Cheers.
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