performers.net forums  

Go Back   performers.net forums > BUSKING STUFF > FESTIVAL DISCUSSIONS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-22-02, 12:55 PM   #1
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Thumbs down IJA Festival in Reading

This is almost, but not really, a review of the final show: "The Cascade of Stars".

A star studded lineup to be sure. Something for everyone interested in the variety arts.

When he arrived in Reading, I asked Michael Davis, the director of the show, why his sudden interest in the IJA. I was asking a simple question, trying to figure out why the most celebrated and successful comic juggler in recent history was attending an IJA festival.

My reason for asking the question was predicated by the fact that, to my knowledge, he had only attended one convention in the past twenty years (SUNY, Purchase). You should also know that I have only missed one convention in the past 27 years, the year my son, Koleman, was born.

He was evasive, and presumably felt attacked by the question, so much so, that he actually wrote a poem that same night about this phantasmagorical confrontation. Then, acting unprofessionally, he jumped (uninvited) onstage during the midnight show and read this poem.

The final show, like his poem, had at itís core, images of illusion (magician Mark Mitton), abundance of attitude (Jason Garfield), godlike testimonials (Dana Tison), confusing images jumping through hoops (Mat Plendl), effectual creations (Michael Menes), and sharp stinging snaps floating helplessly in the the air (Vince Bruce).

Add to this several foreign elements (Rafael from Spain and Ryo Yabe from Japan) reaching new heights in what proficient enormity one can accomplish even though you live far away from the core of the IJA.

But despite itís misplaced information (mc, Scotty Meltzer) and infantile manipulations (didnít catch that little kidís name) it was still something to see.

My only thought at the end was why didnít the director/author put a little more time into content and construction and a little less time into being so self-congratulatory.

But it did answer my question as to why he was there.
__________________
butterflyman.com
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-02, 01:14 PM   #2
Jim
Your Host
 
Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 1,093
Blog Entries: 6
Piggy

I couldn't make it to the festival this year and I still haven't heard anyhting about it except for Robert's post below.

Anyone else care to share thoughts?

Jim

P.S. Robert, how about posting the poem?
__________________
Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-02, 02:18 PM   #3
Steven Ragatz
Senior Member
 
Steven Ragatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 493
Post

[quote]
When he arrived in Reading, I asked Michael Davis, the director of the show, why his sudden interest in the IJA. I was asking a simple question, trying to figure out why the most celebrated and successful comic juggler in recent history was attending an IJA festival. <hr></blockquote>

I had wondered the same thing as well. If you will remember, the last time he was at the festival was in Purchase (1983?), and his experience wasn't exactly a positive one. As the featured act in the big show, he came on last. But, the show had run so long that the theater's time allotment had expired and the house manager shut off the lights just as Michael started juggling three bowling balls...

I remember you (Robert) guiding everyone back into one of the gyms and picking up the ball (so to speak) to keep the "show" feeling rolling by throwing together an improptu show. But, alas by that time we had lost our headliner.

Hell, there were at least a dozen working jugglers in the crowd who could have replaced him since they were all doing his act anyway.

It sounds like the poor IJA fest had a similar experience to inviting Michael Moschen to Montreal. It seems that the IJA can't be both a recreational group and a professional organization and keep everyone happy.

None the less, what exactly is involved in "directing" a variety show like the one in question? I would assume that the acts had all been booked by the IJA, or does the director, Michael, have a hand in selecting the performers?

Steve

PS. For what it's worth, "imitation is the greatest form of flattery." Surely having poetry written about you must be better still! At least he didn't do it in song. I'm sure you're touched...
Steven Ragatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-02, 11:55 PM   #4
Jim
Your Host
 
Jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 1,093
Blog Entries: 6
Jester

[quote]Originally posted by Steven Ragatz:
<strong>

None the less, what exactly is involved in "directing" a variety show like the one in question? I would assume that the acts had all been booked by the IJA, or does the director, Michael, have a hand in selecting the performers?
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I know Michael picked the acts... or most of them anyway. We were talking a few months ago and he was inquiring about me and what I could do on stage and I couldn't think of anything I do that I'd want to do onstage at an IJA convention.

Those conventions are really weird. I am really intimidated to get on stage at an IJA event. (The renegade stage is different. and I've done that a few times.) I would think it would be quite a challenge to direct a public show... trying to entertain serious jugglers, other performers and the general public at the same time... all the while not offending the IJA. No thanks. I'm not up for that.

Compared to other festivals, how did Reading rank? The public show?

Jim
__________________
Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-02, 03:16 AM   #5
Butterfly Man
Refurbished Member
 
Butterfly Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Farthest point south in US
Posts: 1,606
Piggy

Mostly entertaining (but no women, wassup with that?) ... Ryo Yabe (from Sendai, Nippon) the 16 year old juniors winner (diabolo) shredded ... Max Plendl, the gay hula hoop artist was fabulous (what else?) ... Vince Bruce (despite missing the Bobby May cig trick) is the best thing to happen to ropes and whips since I last visited Andrew Conway's house ...the ping pong guy (whatshisname) is the best I've ever seen (7 feed) and Michael Davis closed the show with his old, fat and bald material ... I felt like he ended up with lard on his face ...come to think of it, he did.
__________________
butterflyman.com
Butterfly Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-02, 01:58 PM   #6
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Post

Hilby got a call from Davis too, so I'm guessing he did the casting for the public show. Performing for IJA? I've done regional. Its a dodgy proposition, really. If you don't have something they haven't seen, you have second thoughts. If you have something they've never seen, you definitely have second thoughts. And then there's the fee... zilch. That speaks of the IJA's regard for professional performers. The audience, however, is generous at a public show. Not so Renegade.
I did Renegade in Reading: killed 'em once, and died once. I'll focus on the good one, and give you this:

Top Ten List of things its perfectly normal to say to a juggling partner, but might get you in trouble with your partner partner:

10. How about a quick start?
9. Ever try a three way?
8. Is this a "Soft Handle"?
7. Do you have glow in the dark toys?
6. Yours are so big and round, wanna play with mine?
5. That was one GREAT FAKE.
4. Have you ever tried 7?
3. Are these your original knobs?
2. Slowly please, I hurt my wrist in solo practice.
1. More inside, please.

Murph was in fantastic form, and Michael was a real treat for us. My favorite by far, though, was the ping pong lads from London. Brilliant.
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-02, 09:57 PM   #7
Viveca
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: New York
Posts: 4
Post

Rod Laver was the name of the amazing English ping pong ball spitter. In the public show he was working with David Eriksson. In the solo competitions, Rod took bronze. I think he's the first person to perform eight.

The rest of the festival was terrific, and Ryo Yabe was glorious.
Viveca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-02, 02:39 AM   #8
Evan Young
Senior Member
 
Evan Young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic (PA)
Posts: 1,002
Send a message via AIM to Evan Young
Post

Yea, Rod has the world record for numbers with ping pong balls. I was one of his students at circomedia when he did it offfically; I thought it was really cool.
I also felt like he was the only teacher there who supported the direction my performing was going in, so I have a lot of respect for the guy. David is also really cool by the way.
__________________
--EvAN--

ka-pow!
www.globalevan.com
www.showoffshow.com
www.evanshotme.com
Evan Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-02, 01:20 PM   #9
Mr.Taxi Trix
Senior Member
 
Mr.Taxi Trix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: New York, NYish.
Posts: 1,273
Post

That performance, the flavor of it, gave me a glimse into what is possible beyond my normal waking hours. It interested me in Circomedia, in expanding, in my own blind spots, like magic on wheels. Brilliant is almost to dull a word for it.
Mr.Taxi Trix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-02, 04:40 PM   #10
Evan Young
Senior Member
 
Evan Young's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Mid Atlantic (PA)
Posts: 1,002
Send a message via AIM to Evan Young
Post

If that European contemporary circus style is somthing your interested in then you should definitly consider Circomdia or Circus Space. I love watching it, but performing it isn't really my cup of tea. Rod used to be a stand up comic, so he could appreaceate what I wanted to be doing, none of the other teachers liked it much though.
__________________
--EvAN--

ka-pow!
www.globalevan.com
www.showoffshow.com
www.evanshotme.com
Evan Young 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 04:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.