There was a great mix of traditional skills, and crazy new twists on classic stunts! One of the highlights for me was Chris Broken and his chainsaw guitar! Going to events like inspires me to be better. If you’re not going to industry events to see how people are pushing boundaries within their art (and yours), you really should be!
On this episode we interview 6 time world hackysack champion Peter Irish. He tells us about how he came to be considered the one of the best hackysack players of all time and how that led to him combining that skill with juggling.
We learn about his practice regime, his visual art and how he appeared in one of Adam Sandler’s worst movies. A great conversation a few weeks before his first appearance at the festival.
The moisture festival podcast tries something they have never done before by interviewing two performers over zoom and who better to try it out with then the fabulous Coventry and Kaluza.
We learn about how clown college led to love and a career making people laugh. We also learn about the dynamics of working as a team and how they take things from their everyday life and add them to the show. A great conversation that we know you are gonna love
I’ve been playing with adding remote controls to things recently. The company that I get the remote controls for my Remote Control Chattering Teeth had send me the wrong ones a while ago, and instead of sending them back, I decided to keep them in case I needed them for another project.
Here’s the most recent thing that I’ve made:
The idea is that the bell is rung by the corded button. However I can also secretly ring the bell via the remote control.
Some ideas for routines to use this to add comedy to are:
Having someone ring it when a trick happens. This would probably be better for a juggling style trick.
When doing a timed trick, like an escape.
When someone does something. For example, you need a kid to stay standing on a spot, and you if they move someone is supposed to ring the bell.
Those are all routines that you could very easily add the bell into. It’s the sort of thing that can turn a 2 minute trick into a 5 minute trick. For an example of this style of trick, look into my Order Up routine from Vanish Magazine #43. It’s the Cube Libre magic trick, but I added a bell and I used a sound effect on my PA to make the ring, but it played really well.
When I’m out performing, I try to be aware of ways that I can help solve problems. Last week at the fair I was at, as I was walking across the fairgrounds before the fair opened, I noticed they had huge lines of kids outside the gate waiting to get in. There were just standing there, so I grabbed some props and went over and did a quick show for them.
This was simply me noticing a place where I could use my skills to help out. Doing this wasn’t in my contract and no one would have noticed if I didn’t do it, and I don’t know (or care) if anyone in administration noticed that I did do it. It was simply a way for me to use my skills to make some people smile. That’s why I got into performing, and it’s also how I know I still love what I do! -Louie
Working on the road at fairs allows me two work with all sorts of acts. Last week I worked with Scotty and Rich and Orion. They are all variety acts and with very different styles!
One of the great things is chatting ideas with these different acts. Everyone comes at it with a different background and preferences as to how a show should be done. Talking to other acts and getting feedback often will show you things in your show you didn’t see or thing of.
If you work with other acts, talk to them and use them to help you grow! -Louie
One of the tricks that I do in my show is the Hoop and Glass juggling stunt, I don’t know it’s official name. Last week on my facebook page I posted a gif that I made of pics by John Cornicello that he took at the Moisture Festival.
I had a several performers contact me asking me where to get the hoop. I called my “hoop guy” and had got some extra ones and making them available. You get a hoop and a (plastic) glass for $75 with USA shipping included!
If you’re unfamiliar with the Hoop and Glass juggling trick, it’s a classic juggling trick and it’s been in my show for over a decade! The trick is you balance a glass of water on a wooden hoop and then you shake it, spin it and throw it in the air…all without spilling any water.
What I love about this trick is that it plays really big, however the props since it’s a hoop and glass (which are hollow), they don’t take up much space in my case. It’s also a nice break from the magic in my show.
One of the great things about performing at fairs is you get to work with all sorts of acts. Not just various styles of acts, but act all from different points or their careers. Sometimes you’ll get a newer local act, and huge, international headliners and sometimes you’ll get an amazing act that’s retired, but lives in town and that’s the one gig a year they do…and everything in between.
When I’m at the fair, I try to watch everyone’s show. There’s so much to learn from the any act you watch.
I’ve written about this before, but I got reminded of why having a “high” show is important and why you need to keep all the action in your show (in most venues) above your belly button.
The importance of having some sort of music in the background (in most routines).
Why to keep backups of props that could break…because they will!
And finally to play every gig like it’s a sold out show…even if it’s raining and the bleachers are uncovered and virtually empty.
All four of these things are things that I already know, but it’s a good reminder to see them and having them moved to the front of my brain! -Louie
The Moisture Festival is joined over Zoom by the amazing comic daredevil David Aiken a.k.a the Checkerboard guy. David is a unique talent that has traveled the globe with his show and shares with us some amazing stories of his travels.
He also tells us about the origins of the checkerboard theme in his show, his love of unusual cars and we gain some unique insights on why someone would gravitate towards becoming a professional juggler. We also learn about David’s new passion of brewing beer and his goal of opening a nano brewery on Vancouver Island. It was great to catch up with one of the funniest and kindest people in the performing world. You are going to love it.