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Old 11-13-02, 01:41 PM   #1
Mr.Taxi Trix
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Day One.


I am driven to the airport, well, he's in the passanger seat, by Mr. Martin Ewen, who, more than the sublime joy of my company, wants to bask in the use of my truck for a month. We arrive at Bradley International without incident, on time in spite of late nights at Motionfest.

At check in, the United Airlines rep pulls Singapore down onto her screen. Lifts an eyebrow. Does a "hmm". Reads aloud to me: "Singapore reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone with the appearance of a ... ... hippy. "

Pause.


Her: "If they refuse, it is at the carrier's expense. I would catch an earful from corporate if that happened. I'm going to let my supervisor make this descision."

Me: "What descision?"

Her: "Wether or not to let you on the plane."

Me: "The plane I'm holding a ticket for?"

Her: "That same one, yes."

Me: (pulling a quick Motionfest lesson from up my sleeve) "My lawyer will be fascinated with this one."


And so, they deliberated. the thought crossed my mischief mind that there could be some real juice in getting refused, but I truly wanted to go to Singapore. I ducked into the men's and changed shirts. Chicken. Path of least resistance. Shimmered through, I walked, tiny black cloud over my head.

Chicago, enter Hilby, Master Lee, Peter Panic, Brendan, and Bob, and it was off to a quick 17 hour flight. I was blessed to find four empty seats, and knew no more.

Singapore. We linger at baggage for roughly 3 days as Master Lee gets the once over in customs. Always thought he looks suspicious myself. Through an obvious oversight, he's allowed through.

Late night party in Kelly's room found me tired but content, loving seing all the faces of this strange family of ours. Desperately tired, massively glad to be not in a plane, elated at my roomate.
It was time to call it a day. Fairly sprinted to my room.

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Old 11-13-02, 05:47 PM   #2
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Have a wonderful time, and please tell Mike (Hilby) hello from me.
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Old 11-13-02, 11:14 PM   #3
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Hilby has a first name? nooo....
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Old 11-14-02, 01:03 PM   #4
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Day Two, prelude...

I dream I am in the back of a moving car, and my rubber chicken comes to life. Really. He is emphatically happy and, like a puppy, eager to chew. I let him nosh on my finger, unable to stand in the way of such joy. As he slowly makes a reddened throb of my gnawed didget, I begin to wonder if such indulgence is wise. The car cruises
on.

I wake, do a double take at the dream beside me, and express gratitude. Time for a glass elevator ride down to the dining room of the Gallary Hotel, our boutique, art deco digs for the duration here. Breakfast is lavish and free, many of us rely on it heavily, skipping other meals in favor of it. Java's good too.

A couple of hours practice with Hilby, and its off to town for lunch with Jewels, where we find a cool curved sword which she buys, knowing it will draw gasps as she swallows it. The girls in the shop are blown away, and want to know all about the festival, and when they can see her. At no point do they ask me, "And you, tall New York stranger, what wild wonder do you bring our secluded city?" Alas, poor ego, I phewed his smell.

Naptime comes and goes, with much jet lag to be addressed. My sleep is free from chewing chicken images, and Phil calls. Time to hit the city, and we do. With the Silly People and Mat and Paul, two musicians from Australia, I go to Orchard Street, where there are blocks and blocks of full on, unapologetic materialism. Its Times Square without the theaters. Someone approaches Paul to talk about his tatoo.


Stop! We see street performers. Locals, the only legal type (just ask Andrew Elliot) and impeccably skilled. As a woman lies on her back, manipulating 5 rugs after juggling a table with her feet, we gape. Their skills are so good. Their delivery is so bad. Silent, serious, they rely on music and a voiceover pitch. They perform to 20 on a street of thousands. I am filled with gratitude.

Gratitude to Marko, who showed me that making them have fun watching it is the skill. Philippe, who proved to me that you can get more out of an unopened box than its contents. To Dario, who ignited my heart with wonder. And Eddie, who showed me so clearly how being quiet can actually shout. (Not that I do it.)

&lt;Editors note... run-on sentance approaching... draw a breath.&gt;

And on the wings of that, once we were able to pry the others out of HMV and I was able to recover my bag, forgotten at a cafe complete with passport, money, tix home, and credit cards, once we were able to guide the cabbie back to the hotel, nearly losing it all in a hairy left and certainly losing a bit of cash in a presumed tip, it was a footless float to the bed and again, unchickened sleep.


*

[ 11-15-2002: Message edited by: Mr.Taxi Trix ]</p>
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Old 11-15-02, 09:18 PM   #5
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Day Three:

In a bizarre Lunatique Motionfest callback, my socks take life in my dreams. With little baby shoes on, they cavort about my hotel room, mindless and happy. I wake in the same state. Why should today be any different.

Its a day off for some of us, and the virtues of being a plain old uni fire show come to the fore. Performers who were cast ship off at 1pm to rehearse and wait wait wait, pulling their three minutes at around ten. No great stories of the gig, a sizzling affair in a seventeen star spot, shimmering with swish.
Overlooked for the Presidential Ball, I go to Chinatown with Master Lee, The Sillys, Brendan, Joan, Tim, and (recently divorced from Hawaii Two Oh) Mike.
We find an ornate temple, and its riddled with juxtaposition. Lose the shoes, and walk in, and hey, if you're taking that camera, lay three bucks on us. Gods are everywhere, in every color, more gods than you can shake a stick of incense at. To walk in is to quickly slow down the city street pace. In that regard, the temple works flawlessly. New addition since I was here four years ago are corporate sponsorship banners along the walls. Really. There is a clear sign "please, no tourists beyond this point" which various performers ignore as only we can. An ancient man sweeps the floor with a broom that makes him look young. Birds light on the impeccable lawn. Brendan talks to one.
Electronics everywhere, a computer mall, literally, and Little India with its endless bizarre. I buy a buddah taking a bath. Never seen one before. A swim on the rooftop pool, (from Kim Potter: This would be a great place if you were a sniper who liked to swim.) evening passes, and Hilby joins us for a jaunt to the night zoo. Many a laugh in the tram ride, with impressions of the animals winning my heart from these yummy, playful clown folk.
Tigers, Hippos, and Bears, oh my, and tomorrow, its off to work.

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Old 11-15-02, 10:25 PM   #6
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Karl, thanks for sharing, I look forward to reading more, tell brendan I say hello. larry
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Old 11-16-02, 10:03 AM   #7
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I fly in a dream, only to discover its on united, and the chicken terriaki meal sucks.

Today the action began. A morning practice session on a stone and concrete floor at the base of giant escalators with Hilby and Phil culminated in a comment. Says Phil: "If I get any more buff, I'm going to have to start buying men's clothes."

Its good on the pitch, and my overly verbal material translates well enough. Master Lee's salad was still green. Jewels goes over gangbusters with her mix of attitude and demure sweetness. Pyromancer flat out blows me away with a ritual turned show. Its applause all around, and time to sleep.
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Old 11-17-02, 10:40 AM   #8
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Day Five:

Wake with the taste of fuel in my mouth, remember that I'm not Pyromancer, and it goes away. Man, he must drink like a gallon a year of that stuff by osmosis alone. I brush my teeth quickly.

An impromptu writing workshop with Master Lee, Jewels, and Ronnie fills the morning hours with creativity and ideas, which form the bones of the reason festivals rock. The deeper cuts I am taking at my character get reviewed and enhanced, and I'm able to contribute to the shows of others. Its an answer to the heat.

My pitch tonight is the "Esplenade", which has ten rows of tiered seating, and contains a capacity crowd. Ronnie warms them up with a Genie act, bellydancing into torches on a slack rope. Add a mischief smile that can't go wrong, and its just the right temperature. Mike Wood kills 'em with a race for a dollar bit and the Once Hawaii Catapult Flaming Cabbage Cap Catch. They are just that happy, and I roll into the show you always want: receptive, intelligent, ready to go with you. Add to it the right kid volunteer, and all of a sudden, I'm breathing right. Ahh.
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Old 11-17-02, 02:25 PM   #9
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How could I ever expect you wake up with me in your mind...

Just had a converstation about my actual oil consumption. I estimated, that I may have actually ingested about a litre of oil over the years. Not too much, compared to the thousands that came and went. There's only a very small fraction that manages to stay, if the oil at all comes close to my body. But I may be far away from the truth with my bold estimation.

It's great fun to do a fireshow at over 35 degrees C. with an air humidity of almost 100%. It is very interesting to see how many sweat channels the human skin has per every square inch and how quick each
of them can produce an impressive amount of liquid.

The audience are pretty responsive, but being the lucky bastard I am, I hardly use language anyway, so who cares about a barrier? No sweat baby.

But maybe it's time to sleep...

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Old 11-17-02, 06:40 PM   #10
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Saw Pyromancer last night pretty impressive, tribal fire act mixed with Cirque-ish clowning. I wonder about the fuel intake, i.e. Tony Vera and others.
Had a very good writing session with Taxi Trix, Jewels and Rani. AN hour and a half for each act. Not as intense as 8 hours with the butterfly, but he doesn't have long to live. I think he's on fire for the first time since the big pitch at Pier 39. Feel old like I'm talking about Hendrix at Woodstock.
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Old 11-18-02, 09:16 AM   #11
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Today it rained, it rained and it rained. It took a while before the actual decision to cancel all performances -at least at three spots as far as I know - was made, but after all it was.

Funny moment of the day: walking into a rainy pitch, hearing Lucky perform, but not seeing him, while he sees me as he tries to get me in his audience of exclusively other performers and festival volunteers. All the other people stayed in because of the rain.
Shortly after I found him and joined the audience, the show got cancelled, to Lucky's relief.
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Old 11-18-02, 11:19 AM   #12
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A round of applause to the singapore rain.. what little relief that it brings to a day of heat sweat and satay.

Sounds Great!

Taxi - I like the way you write , you have a zest for words that conjour all the images, sights and smells that I remmember of my adventures in Singapore. The temple in China town is quite a sight though I was told about a temple/museum on the top of the hill behind Clark Quay.. I have never been up there though apparently both the temple - something about the history of singaporer - and the view are amazing. Check it out it is bound to kill some of the hours between dreaming about your odd rellationship with your rubber chicken and naps? Oh about those dreams who ever is sharing your roon perhaps should sleep with one eye open...?

Pyro Dave - The show is sounding good! maybe there is something in the whole sweat factor? You know the Fire and Water ellements of the ritual? thinking about oil consumption if you could get Water Blowing to look as good as fire blowing it may bring some welcome relief to what could be a rather volitile situation with the singsing heat!!

Phil - You make me laugh man!... Youd have to get pretty buff before you start buying mens clothes!!

So Singapore is pretty damn close to Australia! Is anyone coming down this way for the summer?

Love and Laughter <img src="graemlins/haha.gif" border="0" alt="[ha ha]" />

Toby.

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Old 11-18-02, 12:47 PM   #13
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Yes I am heading down there after this. I will be landing in Perth on the 26th why can I live at your house?
Just kidding...Sort of. My $.02 this is the most beautiful city I have been in ever. Everywhere you look is something cool to look at. I am having breakfast with an orangutang tomorrow morning!? What the hell?
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Old 11-18-02, 06:08 PM   #14
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Day Five:

I dream of three monkeys dancing around my pitch. I know them as see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil, so I decide not to post my observations on early production snafus here, and give them time to sort it out.

Today is a visit to the hospice terminal ward, and I go with some measure of confidence, as I've worked Holland America. (If you don't know it, this is a cruise line for old people and their parents.)

A codger corners me and tells me story after story of his days of youth and dubious small conquests. He scratches his head, and I start in fear that he might peel back a rug.

A second, thin with contempt and under a raincloud of intellect, walks me round with a bad word for my juggling and praise for my acting. He regales me with insulting insight until he falls face first into his bedpan. Good thing he had a leather flight helmet on.

A third, catlike, hushes me time after time, waving her arms about and mumbling about stopping the flames. Singapore isn't so different from home, after all.
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Old 11-18-02, 08:54 PM   #15
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Hey Taxi, as you are describng your second day five, just how many you plan to have around here? ;-)

Tobi Gone Mad, you don't really think I want to spit out water, do you? It hurts. I don't mind the sweat as such, but it is a sticky pain around the ass that I cannot get my leather pants dry. I'll probably end up throwing away a smelly pair again when I get back, just as I did after Halifax.

Lots of temples here. The Chinese one is weird, indeed and the Hindu one is great, too. The food markets that are around Little India and Chinatown are very impressive to wander around, from veggies to live stock, it's all there. I wish I could cook my own meal. But the food here is good and cheap, if you avoid the groce and expensive touristy places. Little India is a messy relief, an oasis of relative dirtyness in a sea of sterility. Finally some real humans.

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Old 11-18-02, 10:46 PM   #16
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When I say five, in that sense, I mean six. Glad you're awake.

Hiya Toby. Thanks for the kind words. I'll have a look for that temple, it sounds worth a search.

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Old 11-19-02, 06:04 AM   #17
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Hey Pyro

A tip with sweat I learnt off some puppeteers - Sanitary Napkins - Sounds wiered yes but if you get those self adhiesive ones, as thin as possible so they are not too bulky and wear them under your clothes or around your belt line or anywhere under your costume that you are really sweating they will soak it all up. When I was in Singapore and those hot days in Halifax I would put one under my helmut to stop the sweat melting my face paint into my eyes. You move around a lot more than me so I dont know if it would work for you but its just an idea hey!!?

Oh and see if while you wondering around chinatown you can find those people that sell real snakeoil.. Yeah you can watch as they kill chickens with the bite of a snake and claim the medical benifits of the snakes poison its quite out there!


<img src="graemlins/haha.gif" border="0" alt="[ha ha]" />

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Old 11-20-02, 01:16 AM   #18
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Day Seven

I wake from a dream that I am a passanger in a car driving very fast backwards, and the cops have just started to give chase.

Many of us blurr over to the zoo for breakfast with the Oranguitangs. (No idea how to spell it.) We have a delicious breakfast not unlike the one we could have had at the hotel for free, but we are surrounded by lush rainforest, and promise. At 9:30, she arives, our raison d'etre, in a golf cart, with a baby oranguitang at her breast. (Being the patient folk we are, we lean over the balcony to watch her backstage entrance.) Shirley Sunflower is disconcerted, and asks the zookeeper if the lady isn't upset this morning. Derek looks at her (the oranguitang's) apparent downcast expression and pipes in "Oh, now I feel guilty". he is being funny, though the truth of it leers at me. I'm taking myself too lightly to go with it, though, so it's a pretty fun time, watching the two of them. The baby can really nosh on that fruit. Its good company, and many a laugh, well-needed after all of last night's persistent grey-inducing rain.

Its still rainy in the evening, but Master Lee manages his goal to hold a croud and kill 'em for half an hour without doing a thing. Brendan also pulls off a good one, as does Scott Free, and Al poles up for the honey of the night. My first show lucks through and draws well. The second is hell on wheels, and is its own shining example of farce. Alakazaam and Brendan join me for the finale: me on a twelve foot uni (ok, ten) passing fire to Al standing on my upturned case, with Brendan standing in the middle on Master Lee's case, making the number of performers roughly equal to the number of audience members. Kinda fun, if you like that sort of thing.

Late poker ruled the night. I was upstairs with my sublime roomate and just stretching out on the bed getting ready to wheel down with coins in hand, when all of a sudden, it was six am. Apparently, the game went till four, with Phil sillying the rest of them into second place, and Kim pulling 2 pots out of the blue at the last minute to come out ten ahead.


*

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Old 11-20-02, 09:45 PM   #19
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That was simply the most amazing thing I have ever seen. (Old Local Guy)

Jealous at home,

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Old 11-20-02, 10:57 PM   #20
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[quote]Originally posted by Scot Free:
<strong>I am having a great time and apart from a number of smooth production suggestions that could be made there is one gripe I need to make. The audiences seem a little hard to get going and I might even venture to say apathetic. I have figured out why. The people here in Singapore have not only seen the stuff we do they are better at doing it. For example Brandon and I did a skateboarding workshop on monday. As we were teaching Kelly M to skate, two kids actually walked out of the mall with skateboards under their arms. We roped them in and with in minutes they showed us up with mind-blowing neo-newschool flippy type tricks. I heard similar stories from other performers like John Higby who was schooled in the art of the yo-yo by a 6 year old. After one of Master Leeís shows some kidís 80 year old granny broke 4 flaming boards with her pinky finger. The biggest embaresment of them all was poor Karlís humiliating experience on the main pitch at prime time. Taxi has spent most of his adult life developing this show and.....well a picture is worth a thousand words.......
click here

P.s you need quicktime to view this-

[ 11-20-2002: Message edited by: Scot Free ]</strong><hr></blockquote>
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