performers.net forums  

Go Back   performers.net forums > THE GREEN ROOM > BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-06-03, 09:28 PM   #1
Rex Boyd
Kansas Man in Exile
 
Rex Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Posts: 265
Post Philip Petit

I read a magazine article about Philip Petit and wanted to learn more about him so did a quick Google to find that there is not much out there on the net about him. I also heard him recently on the radio here in England plugging his book about his tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers. Apparantly he also walked a wire attached to the Eiffel tower in front of 250,000 people and he is hoping to walk across the Grand Canyon.

The one other time I have come across info about him was in an old documentary about street performers in NYC. He is also a juggler and unicylclist. In the documentary he is doing a show for about a dozen people on a snowy day at Washington Square park.

Anybody know him? or know more about him?

Thanks,

Rex
__________________

www.rexboyd.co.uk
Rex Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-03, 01:07 AM   #2
le pire
Senior Member
 
le pire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Post

He is a legendary street performer from NYC in the late 70's-80's. Went on to do big apple circus, ringling bros. etc.

Check out the book
"drawing a circle in the square" about NYC street performers.


étienne
le pire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-03, 02:39 PM   #3
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Post

He directed me once, at his home near Woodstock, NY, three days of one-on-one intensive training. Very, very good training. If I had implemented 1/2 of what he taught me, the stars would shine brighter now, the morning dew would be just a hint more alluring. Why, if I had even implemented a third of it, I would enjoy more spring in my step, and a tall glass of water would glide down with an ease rarely seen. The frogs would dance, I tell ya.
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-03, 01:36 PM   #4
young raoul
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: winnipeg, canada
Posts: 66
Post

hey rex -
Finkel actually had him out to do a wire walk between two buildings in Edmonton - might even have been the first Edmo street fest - if you're interested in old timey wire guys in that same vein there's an interesting biography - The Great Farini by Shane Peacock - about a Canadian wire-walker named William Hunt in the late 1800's, a contemporary of Blondin, they both did wire walks over Niagara Falls - it's a good read...

yr
young raoul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-03, 06:55 PM   #5
Dom
Member
 
Dom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yamba, NSW, Australia
Posts: 62
New Zealand

hiya Rex,

Philippe Petit, born Nemours, France. Learnt magic & juggling as a kid.
Left home and went to Paris age 14, started street performing regularly. Night shows mainly, usually corner Rue De Buci, Blvd St Germain. Hitch-hiked/busked thru Europe, Russia, and Asia learning rope/wire walk on way. Returning to France he did the Notre-Dame wire-walk (first illegal stunt) in 1971. Invited to Australia for 1st Nimbin Festival, 1973 and does second illegal walk between Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons receiving fine of $200 AUS. Third illegal and now famous Twin Towers walk in 1974 gets him heaps of gigs. Regularly worked under the tree next to the fountain in Washington Square Park 70's & 80's according to Master/William Lee.

Wrote several books: "Les Trois Coups" (in French only) an amazing describtion of his three illegal walks and "On The High Wire" - an intense and stimulating book on the history, discipline and high art of rope/wire walking.

The Eiffel Tower to Trocadero walk you mention was commisssioned for the 1989 Bicentennial of the French Revolution in Paris.

I believe he still holds the record for the highest ever wire walk (the Twin Towers).

There was a French film on a homeless boy and his life in the streets of Marseille featuring Philippe made in the early 90's. It features Philippe doing a 15 minute silent street show at sunset and is one of the most beautifully filmed pieces on our art that I've ever seen. Sadly I don't have a copy, just the memory.

I'd love to meet him one day

Dom
__________________

www.dom.zip.com.au
Dom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 12:41 PM   #6
le pire
Senior Member
 
le pire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Post

The film is called "Mondo" and it came out in 1996. I think it is available on video in the USA...


étienne
le pire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 02:13 PM   #7
Rex Boyd
Kansas Man in Exile
 
Rex Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Posts: 265
Post

Hey thanks for the superbly quick and thorough replies everyone.

I had a look for "Mondo" on Amazon and only found it on Amazon France, but unfortunately it is currently unavailable.

Rex
__________________

www.rexboyd.co.uk
Rex Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 05:07 PM   #8
le pire
Senior Member
 
le pire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Post

Some Phillipe Petit remarks:


"I don't have respect for people who walk on the wire with any kind of safety net. I don't really like the fact that if you fall you die, but it's part of what the wire is."

"It's an irony to be both poor and famous, but that's what I am. As far as money goes, I'm usually in a disaster situation, just barely afloat. I helped a benefit committee raise half a million dollars, but I couldn't afford the taxi home. I get lots of offers to walk the high wire, but I choose what I say yes to. I've been a street juggler for ten years...and, yes, I pass my hat....I have no shame. Last winter, I demolished a house for $5 an hour. And I wash windows very well."

As far as Mondo goes--


Try this:

Link to Amazon


étienne

[ 12-09-2003: Message edited by: Jim ]</p>
le pire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 07:05 PM   #9
Dom
Member
 
Dom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yamba, NSW, Australia
Posts: 62
New Zealand

Merci Etienne for providing the film title.

Don't fancy buying an NTSC VHS version though.
In Oz, we're blessed with a multi-cultural TV channel called SBS
which will probably rerun it in the next year (hopefully I'll be home).
Otherwise it'll have to wait till the next visit to la FNAC in Paris.

As for the P. Petit quotes, the irony one about sum's it up for me
and probably half the folk on this board.
__________________

www.dom.zip.com.au
Dom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 08:04 PM   #10
RiffRaff
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: FL
Posts: 93
Post

I believe there is a whole chapter on Petit in the Jeff Sheridan book, "Street Magic" (I forget the author's name).

Rex, is the documentary you mentioned available for purchase?
RiffRaff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 10:04 PM   #11
Jim
Your Host
 
Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 1,094
Blog Entries: 6
Mime

Also, if you spell his name right, you'll get more Google hits. [img]wink.gif[/img]

Philippe Petit

He wrote a book which was released earlier this year called:
"To Reach the Clouds, My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers"
Publisher Web Site Here with lots more info.

I saw him interviewed on Letterman this spring doing promo for the book. After his interview, he did a wire walk from the building across the street to the roof of Letterman's Ed Sullivan Theater. It was really nice to see him walking. I had only ever seen photos of him.
__________________
Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-03, 10:34 PM   #12
Jim
Your Host
 
Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 1,094
Blog Entries: 6
Lightbulb

More Links!

http://www.illusiongenius.com/WTC.html
--
http://www.sorabji.com/exp/petit/01.jpg
http://www.sorabji.com/exp/petit/02.jpg
--
PBS Documentary - New York, Center of the World (With Quicktime Video Interview!)
--
http://www.dailycelebrations.com/080702.htm
--
Petit on Letterman
--

[ 12-09-2003: Message edited by: Jim ]</p>
__________________
Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-03, 07:50 PM   #13
Rex Boyd
Kansas Man in Exile
 
Rex Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Posts: 265
Post

I have heard two more radio programs here in the UK give glowing recommendations for Philippe's book. I know what I'm going to buy myself for Christmas.

Here's the book on Amazon UKTo Reach the Clouds

About the NYC documetary... I saw it as David Gadsden's house in Melbourne in about 1991. I think it was a few years old then. I don't know how to reach David these days but he used to have a really excellent collection of street and circus related videos.

Rex
__________________

www.rexboyd.co.uk
Rex Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-03, 05:20 AM   #14
Dom
Member
 
Dom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yamba, NSW, Australia
Posts: 62
New Zealand

Rex,

About the NYC docu. Daves copy was from mine (both missing the first 4 minutes). I still have it in the archives here (VHS PAL, 15 minutes).
Includes Tony Vera, Fred Anderson, Lee Ross (with makeup) and a host of
many others.

Dave Gadsden moved to Adelaide a few years after your last meeting to be
an administrator/teacher for CirKidz. I'm guessing he's still here (with
his collection).

Enjoy your Xmas reading!

Dom
__________________

www.dom.zip.com.au
Dom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-03, 10:34 AM   #15
Jim
Your Host
 
Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 1,094
Blog Entries: 6
Post

Rex, You're not talking about this documentary...
PBS Documentary - New York, Center of the World (With Quicktime Video Interview!)

That began filming before September 11, 2001 and then more footage was added after 9/11. It came out last year.

It was made by Ric Burns, brother of Ken Burns.
More info:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/newyork...ore/index.html


Jim
__________________
Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-03, 05:49 AM   #16
Dom
Member
 
Dom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yamba, NSW, Australia
Posts: 62
New Zealand

Jim,

No the one Rex mentioned was entirely made up of the whole
New York street scene (from best to pro's to plain wierd)
with a "seasons" theme. Phillipe was in the winter part and
they filmed him doing a show in the snow in Washington Square
park. I think it was made by Karen Goodman in the late 80's.

Dom
__________________

www.dom.zip.com.au
Dom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-03, 01:41 PM   #17
RiffRaff
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: FL
Posts: 93
Post

I saw a documentary on PBS in the 80's. (I only caught the end). The only performer I saw was Joey Joey on a giant uni in the fountain at WSP.
RiffRaff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-04, 04:25 AM   #18
Rex Boyd
Kansas Man in Exile
 
Rex Boyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Posts: 265
Post

I am finally now reading my copy of "To Reach the Clouds" which I can only say is a book that chronicles that absolute pinnacle of our profession. Every street performer should buy a copy.

I thought you all might be interested in this bit of info from book's jacket: "He has been arrested more than 500 times for street-juggling."

I would guess that total is more than the arrests of all the rest of us put together. I've been arrested once for street-juggling. Any others?

Rex
__________________

www.rexboyd.co.uk
Rex Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-04, 07:59 AM   #19
jugglermatt1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: A Coruna , Galicia , Spain
Posts: 155
Post

I was kind of arrested in Granada , after blocking off a street . The police found my juggling knives (which I wasnt using) and found greater offence with those . My knives are still in jail , but the police who were very nice , told me that I could still carry on performing , If I didnt block off the high street .Happy new year , Rex by the way , hope we bump into each other soon .
jugglermatt1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.