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Old 11-10-02, 09:08 PM   #1
dave walbridge
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Post MotionFest -- Brilliant!

Just finished four days at MotionFest East -- Huge. Tired to the bone from workshops, forums, shows, networking and a zillion news ideas about performing. ( If you don't know , MotionFest is a twice yearly convention just for people who perform.)

Tons and tons and tons of talent -- Fred Garbo, Gene Anderson, Scotty Meltzer, Laura Hertz, Steve Ragatz, todd Strong and Mr. Robert Nelson. Plus about a dozen others I've forgotten. Not only did they come and teach and chat but also performed in the public show. Got talent? Huge!

I feel like I learned not just about my show, but about, growth as an artist and marketing, working with agents and tons of ideas. Plus hanging out with people who work, live and think like me...cool.

Too tired for more, just go, you'll understand why sleep is only an option.

dave

Ps Second year of attending, and I'll be back for more.
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Old 11-11-02, 01:36 AM   #2
Mr.Taxi Trix
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I agree. Just got home. Many thanks to Michael "Has anyone seen my truck?" Rosman and everyone who helped put together this festival. I'll be returning.


Performerpalooza

The sound of understanding being born
midwifed to us through laughter and perspective.
Horizons grow as blinders peel back, silent,
as we play forth with concepts in performance
playing, about circus arts presenting
playing with each others bag of life tricks
playing show and tell with our souls.
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Old 11-12-02, 04:33 AM   #3
Brian R Wilson
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Sleep is such an option at Motionfest. Although I couldn't make it this year, I remember how sleep becomes an option. You can always sleep on Tuesday.

One of my favorite Motionfest memories was the late night joke table. Sitting around the table, drinking $1 beers, eating the food found under the table, telling dirty jokes. Oddly enough it wasn't the dirtiest joke of the night that made us laugh the most, but a dirty joke with a circus twist.

I can't recommend Motionfest enough. (I'm even looking into the possiblity of a Canadian version....)
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Old 11-12-02, 01:13 PM   #4
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Come on, Folks... Post more MotionFest Gossip/Stories/Reviews... A lot of us couldn't make it and we want news.

Jim
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Old 11-12-02, 01:48 PM   #5
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Motionfest was a blast on the East Coast...I only had experienced motionfest west...I think that Motionfest East was fantastic...so much talent and finally I was able to meet so many east coast performers I had only heard their names or seen their posts on Performers.net.

Classes were amazing, Fred Garbo was cool...it was fun playing with inflatables...Tom Dougherety is perhaps one of the funniest most talented clowns I have ever met.

I can not recomend motionfest enough...it has skyrocketed my career...Last year at motionfest west I saw and learned some amazing skills and buisness tools...and since then I auditioned and have become a permanant member of Lunatique Fantastique...a Bay area found object puppet company and we were at Motionfest East teaching and performing...Wicked!

I cant wait to see what effect this motionfest will have on my career.

It was cool to see some old friendly faces from Boston as well...Peter Panic, Jenny, Rami...etc.

-Frisbee
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Old 11-12-02, 02:30 PM   #6
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Jim et. al.,

Jim - I was disappointed that you were not there! With all of the traffic on P.net, I wanted to finally get to meet you and talk computer shop. Maybe next time.

I went to the first MotionFest in 2000, and as before, I return from the event both inspired as well as overwhelmed. On one hand, just basking in the raw creative energy at the festival is a wonderful reminder about the joy of performing, but on the other hand, after watching so many talented routines, it's easy to become discouraged. After a while, good or bad, I get tired of watching ANYTHING! The acts were like rich deserts - eating one at a time and they are delicious, but try to eat them all in one sitting, and your taste becomes dulled and you wakeup the next morning with a hangover.

The daily schedule of the event starts with a warm-up session at 8:XX, starting each day with a different instructor. The warm-ups are geared towards those of us who are, politely put, not terribly athletic, so everyone benefits. It is easy to see the enthusiasm of the evening activities because fewer and fewer people showed up for the AM stretching as the days progressed. Staying up until 3:00AM talking show talk can take the wind out of an 8:00 stretch!

There were "intensive" workshops each morning until lunch. These one day classes were taught by the festival's main instructors, and with four days of intensives to choose from, everyone was able to get a smorgasbord-style sampling. One can't expect too much from a single class, but I think that it is an invaluable opportunity to check out an individual instructor, if for no other reason than to get a feel for their personality style in hopes of further study with them on their home turf.

The afternoon sessions included "non-intensive" workshops, which typically lasted about an hour. These seemed to be more lecture based, with subjects ranging from performance to business topics. The business meetings were particularly well attended, and everyone jumped at the chance to ask the invited attorneys, tax accountants, agents, and lawyers questions. Not even counting all of the performing information that was going around, or even the networking opportunities, it was easy to see that many people were given some tax advice that could essentially pay for their tuition. The performing non-intensive workshops were equally strong. The marketing workshop was a critique session of existing promotional pieces, so everyone got a clear picture of "good" and "bad". The comedy writing workshop was extremely well organized and conceptualized, filled with nothing but useful stuff, even if you don't write comedy.

I wasn't able to attend many of the sessions myself, but any one of the sessions that I sat in on could have provided a key piece of information that could change the course of a career.

After dinner were more workshops followed by the evening critique sessions.

The critique sessions provided a wonderful opportunity to get up and try stuff out. Unlike the Renegade stage environment at the juggling festivals, the critique sessions had a light, yet professional attitude about them. In spite of being a good time for everyone, we all knew that we were there to give to the person who was willing to present their material on stage, our support. In spite of the inevitable nervousness, when you stepped out onto the critique stage, you knew that you were in good hands. The comments were all applicable and the environment warm and nurturing. The quality of the acts ranged from material that had never been tried before to routines which were obviously cornerstones in the person's regular set. Everyone, amateur to pro, sat and humbly accepted the observations of their peers in a very constructive way.

To give you an indication of the professionalism, over the course maybe forty acts, ranging from rough to refined, there was not ONE unsolicited heckle from the house to the performer. An audience filled with vibrant comedy smart-mouths, in many respects "professional hecklers", and not a single comment was thrown out with the intention of interrupting the routine. Bravo.

I think that the critique sessions are the most valuable chance that can't be missed at MotionFest. After you present your five minute routine, you field comments from the house for five more minutes. In the mean time, everyone in the audience writes down comments on a slip of paper which you receive for evaluation. It's the shotgun method of writing and proofing your act. Out of one hundred observations and ideas, you are guaranteed to find a couple that are true gems. Wouldn't it be great if we all were able to find a couple of perfect moments for five minutes of work! It's like having a whole suite of writers working for you for free. And it doesn't stop there! Then everyone continues to give you feed back as they run into you in the hallway for the rest of the festival! Definitely a can't-loose scenario.

If there are any negative things about the event it would be the accessibility to quality food and the size of the theater stage. But, given the price of the event, and the content that is literally spoon fed to the attendees, it is almost rude of me to even mention these as shortcomings. After all, what conference for ANY discipline can boast such an intensive schedule, for four days, hotel included, at $500.00??? Throughout the weekend, the organizers kept asking us for ideas about things that they should change. I can only say that their request has left me in an unusual, and unfamiliar state: speechless.

Steven Ragatz

[ 11-12-2002: Message edited by: Steven Ragatz ]</p>
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Old 11-12-02, 09:49 PM   #7
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Thanks Steven. I guess that just about sums it up. Looks like we have a new library article, too! Sorry I missed you. I've been to the two MFs you missed and you went to the other ones I missed. Someday our paths will cross.

Anyone else have any highlights?

Jim
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Old 11-13-02, 11:55 AM   #8
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Well,

Guess I'll mention here tht Steve's lecture rocked the house. It was 45-50 minutes, intelligently timed at an overwhelm junction when a shorter class was welcomed heartily. He gave pure gold, speaking of imposing movement rules to access creativity in practice sesions. Like much of motionfest, this had me look into a world I do not often view. I was able to see some of Steve's method, and there was no fluff. A couple of pertinent stories to illustrate points, and bang, back to content. Nice addition to a whiz-bang faculty.

[ 11-13-2002: Message edited by: Mr.Taxi Trix ]</p>
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Old 11-13-02, 03:06 PM   #9
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Michael here...been lurking. A highlight for me was seeing Spencer Humm in the video shoot show. Grave digger is a funny man.

Another highlight was Harley Newman's upside straight jacket escape while hanging upside down from a cherry picker in the hotel's parking lot with the rope on fire.

Other highlights: having the hotel find the rabbit in the parking lot, and each time someone was able to find either my truck or my car in the lot as well.


just some ramdon things that come to me now.

best regards,
Michael

sign up to get info for MotionFest Reno (Feb 2003) by going to www.MotionFest.com
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Old 11-13-02, 08:07 PM   #10
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As a young man I wanted to become a martial artist, but, unfortunately, I wasn’t a martial and I definitely was not an artist. So I figured I’d just become a bullshit artist and learn to juggle.

I tried to learn a lot of different things but due to a lack of flexibility and a natural aversion to discipline, I wasn’t very successful.

How often I dreamed of becoming centered, attaining greatness and getting laid more often.

So I attended Motionfests I, 2, 3 & 4.

With their help, I have now become proficient in the arts of Kung Fool, Tai Kwan D'oh, and Gentile Jitsu.

I have become a master of Tai Cheap and am well on my way to getting my blackbelt in aggravation.

Many thanks to all the instructors for their arcane tutelage.

They have taught me a valuable lesson:

Don't be happy until someone loses an eye.

See you in Reno,

Robert
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Old 11-14-02, 01:17 AM   #11
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Things that stand out in my foggy memories as I slowly regain consciousness:

Amanda Huotari's clown affair with a piece of chocolate.

Robert Nelson's assumption challenging talk on how he approaches directing--it was like watching a butterfly begin to shake off his cocoon.

Tom Dougherty's performance and the concept of "promise" from his
workshop (for me there's usually one thing at Motionfest that rephrases a way of looking at performing that captures my imagination. When Tom put a creme-filled donut on a table and then a hammer next to it, the promise idea started my mind spinning, looking at my own acts for what I'm promising my audience and what I choose to do with those promises).

On a tired Sunday morning, Fred Garbo giving insight into his process for creating his inflatable routines.

Don Rieder's movement work that opened me up to a greater use of body shape and space tied to breath. I did a gig yesterday where I was able to directly apply these techniques with much improvement.

Liebe Wetzel/Lunatique Fantastique--every object in my house is now a creative spark plug, especially for those sluggish days--like today!

Once again, Spencer's gravedigger; Steven's deceptively simple, immensely practical workshop; the focused feedback; Robert Strong's marketing seminar; and the people.

Amazingly enough there's much more I could highlight. See for yourself next time. Personally I see Motionfest as a necessity in my professional life.

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Old 11-14-02, 08:29 AM   #12
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My personal highlight of the festival was Amanda's act as well. I knew Amanda because we had taken workshops together at the Celebration Barn several years ago. She was very outgoing, dynamic, and (sigh) only thirteen at the time! Imagine my surprise to have my image of the thirteen year old child-Amanda be shattered by her presence now! Wowza! She's a heartbreaker who just goes to show that in spite of any amount of hard work, some people just have pure talent. If I didn't love her act so much, I'd have to hate her. Best of show, hands down.

Other inspiring acts included Jenny, the burlesque hula hoop babe, Drew and his musical mayhem, Stephen Volts and his upside-down puppet (weird, but very funny!) and Brad, who did a sword walking act. I found that the acts that I liked the most were not necessarily the most polished. I was drawn to those routines that had a touch of the bizarre mixed in with a strong character. Good stuff all around - way too much to list without accidentally leaving someone important out.

Steven Ragatz
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Old 11-14-02, 02:26 PM   #13
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In addition to soaking up all the show-expanding, body enhancing, mind-bending workshops, I find it refreshing to hang around in a room where none of us are freaks. Even though it sometimes conflicted with workshopping, I was tickled to have gotten some "face-time" with a few people, some of it enforced by the confines of an automobile.... that being nifty, too, because I hung with folks in the car that I wouldn't have had reason to otherwise. So sign me up, remind me to clean the junk out of the jalopy, and pile in again. And excuse me for using the word nifty in a sentence. -Cybele
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Old 11-17-02, 10:09 AM   #14
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Motionfest!! A phenomenal gathering, and one which sent me home last Sunday chock full o' ideas and drive. This was the most incredible experience of my performing life.

Steven Ragatz'workshop provided practical angles of approach to show-creation which have proved immediately useful. Scott Meltzer's insights on comedy writing have already helped me tighten some existing shows, and begin new ones.

The most important element though - the critique sessions. As much as I learned while watching (transfixed) as a host of high-powerd talent displayed itself nightly, the chance to perform for this group and get their critique was invaluable. A learning experience bar with no equal!

I very much hope to join the fun in Reno!!

All the best!

Chris Davis
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Old 11-19-02, 03:00 AM   #15
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A personal highlight for me was meeting Jeff Gordon, former clown with the Big Apple Circus. I auditioned for Ringling Bros. Clown College in 1996 and when my acceptance letter came in the mail it was accompanied by a book, "Acrobats of the Soul."

The author, a Mr Jenkins, generously heralds his favourite clowns and performers as geniuses of a new era of theatre. He mentions the Flying Karmazov Bros., Spalding Grey, Penn & Teller, and Bill Irwin to name a few. He also mentions the clowns of Big Apple: Gordoon, Grandma, & Mr Stubbs.

I met many of the people written up in this book while at clown college, and asked them to autograph it. I always thought it would be neat to have the signatures of EVERYONE featured in this book, so when I was introduced to Jeff my first thought was "Holy shit! Where's my book?!??!!" I had lent it to Mike Rosman about two years ago and it's probably buried in his office somewhere. I doubt he's even looked at the pictures.

I quickly accepted the fact that I would not get Jeff's autograph, but instead listened to his stories. And what stories they were... he told me of clown college in '71... he told me stories about famous clowns telling stories of the old days... he told me about hardships and laughter, about flowers growing in sewage.

He also told me how he played Bobo the bad mime in a mary-kate and ashley film. How at the end, when he's finally caught, the detective looks at him and asks:

"Why'd ya do it, Bobo??!!?"

That phrase was stuck in my for 3 of the 4 motionfest days.


etienne


p.s. Motionfest-- it's worth it.
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