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Old 12-18-00, 10:47 AM   #1
Frisbee
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Post Good Performing Related Books...Your Favorites!!!

I am looking to compile a list on this board of performing related books that can be used as a nice resource for people.
Books that have helped you with:
Performing: Street,Film,T.V.,Stage etc...
Writing: comedy/shows etc...
Skills: Juggling,magic,puppetry etc...

or just any good reading material on the world of performing that you would like to pass on.

-Frisbee

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Old 12-19-00, 01:01 PM   #2
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My First input on this topic will be these:

No Strings Attached: the inside story of hensons creature shop.

Zen and the art of Stand up Comedy- Jay Sankey

The history of Clowns for beginners- Joe Lee (cartoon format on the history of clowns and where they came from back to the dawn of time...funny reading)

Creative Clowning: Various inputs

Get your show on the road- Keith Johnson

Jugglers little instruction book: Dan Holzman

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Old 12-19-00, 01:48 PM   #3
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GREAT TOPIC!

I recommend:
-Comedy Techniques for Entertainers by Bruce Johnson
-Step by Step Comedy Writing by Greg Dean
-Comedia Del Arte by John Rutlin
-Showmanship for Magicians, I will find out who wrote it.

These next three have just been recommended to be by a comedian friend.
-Funny Business by Sol Sax
-The Comic Toolbox by Jon Vorhaux
-Comedy Writing Secrets by Melvin Helitzer

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Robert Strong
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[This message has been edited by StrongEntertainment (edited 12-19-2000).]
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Old 12-19-00, 02:26 PM   #4
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If any of you haven't read "Passing the Hat" by Patricia Campbell, shame on you!

It was written in 1981, so at this point it's almost historical, but it gives an idea about many different types of street acts in America at that time. Robert Nelson, for one, is listed. Like I said, it's historical.

It's available at http://www.dube.com for 8 bucks.
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Old 12-19-00, 02:36 PM   #5
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On street performance I’ve gotten a hold of these…

“Street Magic: An Illustrated History of Wandering Magicians and Their Conjuring Acts” by Jeff Sheridan

“Drawing a Circle in the Square: The Street Performers of Washington Square Park” by S. Harrison-Pepper

“Underground Harmonies: Subway Musicians in NY” by S. Tanenbaum

“Taking it to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka” by Elam

“Street Theater and Other Outdoor Performances” by Bim Mason

“Radical Street Performance: An International Anthology” by Cohen-Cruz

“On the Streets: A Guide to New York City’s Buskers” by W. Boyle

“A History of Street Entertainment: The Buskers” by Cohen & Greenwood

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Old 12-20-00, 07:47 AM   #6
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Well done Karen, along with "Passing the Hat" you've got pretty much all that's in print (& in english, lots on street theatre in french).
Three Performaance Inspirational books..
- "The Tricks of the Trade", Dario Fo
- "On the High Wire", Phillipe Petit
- "Learned Pigs & FireProof Women", Ricky Jay

The definitive book on Busking will be written by Robert Nelson, The ButterFly Man when he gets around to it (and I for one hope he does)..

Dom - Sydney, Australia.
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Old 12-20-00, 04:20 PM   #7
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Ok, Ok ... I must admit I've done quite a bit of writing already on the subject ... and even have been offered a distribution spot & publication by Dubé ... but if you don't mind me asking, how would you like to see the "definitive" book on street performing approach the subject?
I mean Hotch has a book out, as does Rex and there's that magician guy too ... what, and how could I make mine better (in your opinion) ...this is not a question posed just to my friends ... all input would be well received.

P.S. Dom, a few years back (when we did the Wild One's, I think) I seem to remember a book about European street acts called "Le Provacateurs" or something like that on your shelf...it had stuff on legends like Leo Bassi and Jango Edwards ...any idea where to get a copy?
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Old 12-20-00, 09:42 PM   #8
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Steve Allen's "How to Be Funny"

Great BOOK! Period!
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Old 12-21-00, 05:15 AM   #9
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Robert, it was a chapter in Bim Mason's book, illustrating those performers who go beyond merely entertaining and become "provocateurs" (his terminology I guess). Shame Keano and your good self were'nt included as you both played with that energy. He used Chris Lynam and Leo Bassi. I don't recall Jango getting a mention. He's written a few books which were published in Germany and his clown theory is pretty insightful, although "Ich Liebe Mich", (I Love Myself) says it all..

As for the other street performer written books I don't think Rex has actually published a whole book (and if you have Rex, my apologies ol' mate, send me one please and well done!). Hotch's was self published meaning he bypassed the publisher process and did it all himself so I doubt you'll find it on Amazon.com. And the magicians I don't know of..

Of all the sparse literature on our art-form though, none has remotely gotten close to conveying the real incredible high/sensation/god-like state (fill in your own words..) or truly depicted the awesome characters that fill our world. Which is why I believe you could be the writer to break that boundary as you know these stars of the street better than most, you are one, you've experienced the mega-show feelings and prehaps most important of all, you write really well. As to how, that's another question..

(if any of the above seems like drug induced ramblings bear in mind that I've just done 3 12 hour shifts as a zombie (Complete with full facial prosthetics) on a US film shooting here with a 5 am call looming closer and closer..)

BTW Andy, yes steve allens book is great!
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Old 12-21-00, 06:28 AM   #10
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Dom , why don't you write a book, infact you could write a library on street performance,

Robert, by "that magicians book" do you mean "The Magic Life" by Ace Starry , I read it last year and found it useful, not as a manual of pitches or a performance instruction book but as an inspiring novel about an accountant that becomes a magician on the street, it's a bit American-cheesy but essentially it remenided me to look at street performing as a lifestyle not a job, just when I had forgotten.
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Old 12-21-00, 06:38 AM   #11
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BUTT MAN, I forgot to say, about your forth coming publication/s I would love for you to publish your poems and stories about your adventures, what ever format it doesn't matter just publish them.I wish I had more ideas than that but I don't think you need them, it's simple really, your life story told from your eyes......what a read!
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Old 12-21-00, 12:37 PM   #12
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Dom, AJ, et al,
I haven't been able to get the idea for a "definitive" book on street performing off my mind since Dom mentioned it... also, I haven't stopped writing for about four days now and Kumi is starting to think I've lost it completely... (little does she know that happened around '86 (when I peaked).

So here's what's up: two things 1) I am going to post in the who's who column a reply to my own "bio" which will tell the story of how I came into the world of street performing (a bit wordy and unedited) in a day or so ...please give me feedback on it and don't use it against me on a pitch or bar.
2) I talked to Dubé and he said Patty Campbell has a transcript from the days previous to when "Passing the Hat" came out...I haven't seen it but apparently it covers all the European acts from the 70's to 80's (no pictures though which is why it was never published) ... I could pick it up from there (with everyones help) if I do a bit of globe trotting to catch up with all the rapidly deteriorating acts of yor (myself included)... I will try to contact Patty (if she is still alive) and see what I can do about getting access... stay tuned...
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Old 12-21-00, 07:15 PM   #13
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A book that I read a few years ago called "The Great Farini-The High-Wire Life of William Hunt" was very inspiring. Farini lived from the mid 1800's till 1930. He started his career by crossing Niagra Falls on a high wire. From there, he pioneered many circus routines such as the human canonball and the missing link. He was a world traveller, an artist an inventor and to top it off, a Canadian! The man lived to be 80 years old and never stopped creating. I highly reccommend this book to other performers. I'm telling you, he was an inspiring man.

Peace,
Dan
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Old 12-23-00, 10:31 AM   #14
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Rob, AJ & all others folowing this thread..

I keep forgeting you guys are in the middle of winter with the elements keeping you in (although LA is probably nice in winter).
Meanwhile we are in "on" mode and in two days time it's all go..

Rob, you're off on this on. GREAT! Please keep at it..

AJ, wish I had the time let alone the literary expertise, all I write these days are emails, proposals, promo and html (usually never for me) when it's cool enough to sit in front of a screen. You've written a book I hear, tell all. Maybe you could write a chapter on the UK scene.

Remember Rob how you, William and I once had the same discussion, maybe that's an approach?

Gotta fly if I want to see a draw tomorrow.
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Old 12-23-00, 03:36 PM   #15
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What if...

Instead of one person taking on the whole job as a solo, what if a group of people got together to put together a new book on Street Performing.

I agree that Robert would be an ideal choice to head up the project, but I personally think that by having a team of writers involved that the book would have a more balanced perspective on the art form...

I'm reminded of the collaborations that happen in Edmonton for Late Night Madness, and how there is one director/producer with a vision which is realized by a team of performers...

Perhaps in the same way, Robert could direct the book but not feel the entire weight of the responsibility...

I recently did a similar thing with the redesign of the Super Star Peroformer Cards series with a 4 person design team. At times it did feel like there were too many cooks in the kitchen, but each member of the team really did help craft the final product which made it worth the additional hassles...

Dom would be an excellent choice to help represent the uniqueness that Oz lends to the world of Street Performing, and perhaps others from around the world could join in the process of breaking down the topic into suitable chapters -

The History
The concept of "The Pitch"
Gathering a crowd
The Legends in the Business
etc.

So that it becomes a guide to not only what the art form is currently, but principals that make the art form work in general. This might mean the writing doesn't date itself as soon as it's published...

Thoughts...?
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Old 12-23-00, 06:31 PM   #16
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Fellow followers (of this thread),

I concur with David. Whether or not someone drives the bus, this will (and should be) a collaborative effort. After all, how much can one person know on any subject?
I do have a slight advantage over the rest of you in the fact that I can fly around to the different parts of the globe at reasonable fees in order to research the project (Kumi sez it’s OK as long as I don’t make any $ ...damn Japs and their ethics).
So where to begin? I have a call into Dubé already re: Patty’s European transcripts ... when he responds, I’ll let you all know what gives. Aside from that, it seems we should go back and reassess our history (not just the ‘70’s). This would seem to be a logical starting point. Again, I have to agree with Checker, subdivisions of the subject matter are necessary in order to clarify our perspective. Besides David’s suggestions does anyone else see any obvious choices?
One more thing, (and this comes from yet another post by Checker but on a different thread) ... “it’s all about relationship”. I learned that to be true (a long time ago) in any kind of storytelling and remain a strong proponent of the philosophy. So, my last question is: Who tells the story and who are we telling it to?
A word of caution (mostly to myself), back seat drivers don’t always see the road with the same eyes ... proceed slowly and use caution.

Are you on the bus, or off the bus?

Sorry, I always wanted to say that,
Robert
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Old 12-23-00, 06:58 PM   #17
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Might it be an idea to take this discussion of a new book on street performing into it's own topic... The heading for this topic is "Good Performing Related Books" not "Good ideas for a Performing Related book... Not that it's a crime to get off topic, but I like where this discussion is going an I think it deserves it's own thread separate from a lot of other books about performance.
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Old 12-23-00, 08:17 PM   #18
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This is potentially exciting!
It would have to be coffee table sized.
It would need to include profiles of many many people.
I see no relationship between my rectum and the pen in my hand but some would call it anal--I'm a bit of a list freak and I've been doing semi-kind profiles for a few years.
There really are a lot of us.
multiply that by 3 as you go back 3 decades.
Or it could be a 'in their own words' thing with text relating to specific photoes.
Whos got the most photoes? Shelly?

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Old 12-23-00, 09:10 PM   #19
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Shelly would undoubtedly have a great collection of photos but they would all be from Edmonton and that would not really evoke our world. Pics that demonstrate a time and place would be better, showing people working the famous pitches and cities even some of the bizaare places people have performed.
Perhaps people could submit favourites (of themselves or others) for selection. It could be done via email, initially with small files then bigger files when a photo is accepted.
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Old 12-24-00, 01:27 AM   #20
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Admittedly it would only cover a decade but shellys stuff would for the most part be photoes sent to her from around rather than edmonton based pictures.
I don't think finding images will be a problem. I think the most difficult aspect will be getting a design and copy team together and deciding on a format and budget.
Still the first thing is for robert to tranverse the globe 3 or 4 times on Kumi's frequent flyer points, shaking all our hands, sitting us all down individually over a drink or something and playing anecdotal olympics.

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