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Showing posts from March, 2010
Well, the excitement of my final day is behind me and I enjoyed a relaxing day of downtime today.

How was my plan executed after my blog on Sunday? I leapt into the day with full force arriving hours early to formulate my plan for the attack upon the two shows. "Chaos should be pre-planned to maximize implementation." I warned the questioning eyes scoping the paper I was sketching upon.

I had two shows and many "open spots" to inject improvisation and/or "quotes" or references. I wanted to use every opportunity.
The first show, a matinee with 50% of the venue filled, was a lower than lackluster family audience which I ignored (rightfully so judging by their attitude or lack thereof) in order to WILL them through my version of KOOZA. I hit my marks and had a great time offering my co-workers a "who's who" of references from the beginning of the show. Some references even preceded our soft opening in April 2007 and took the one person in the au…

Kooza standoff! The final chapter.

Usually I write my blog about the previous day. This time...all eyes are ahead.
Today is my final day with my show KOOZA and sleeping was restless last night. I awoke early thinking of promises I made to people and seeing them through at the last minute.

I have more to follow up on, so I will make this blog brief as well, but here's my plan for the day.

I have coined the term, "Satisfactory Sunday" to denote, as an artist, pulling all of the energy that's left from a 9-10 show week and harnessing it UP to a satisfactory level for the last two shows of the week. As artists of Cirque du Soleil, we are not only skilled to a world class level, but expected to put out the most energy we can on a consistent basis. Again and again. Past the point of exhaustion and beyond a normal performers comfort zone. This has made me stronger and inspires me for the future...but NOT the point I am making now.

Today I will not be doing a "Satisfactory" job. I will do a "Sa…

My final "Date Night" with KOOZA!

Well yesterday marked my final "Date Night" performance with KOOZA. I spent the day with a strengthening performance choice. Last month I did the pre-show with only the help of a ticket. Let me explain. The "Obnoxious American Tourist" character has five different props. What I found over the last few years since creating this character in 2007 (2006 really cause most of the work was done in my audition in March 2006).

More props = More material easily utilized in creating a scene.

Less props = More need to improvise and actually create with less.

Doing the pre-show with only a ticket requires more effort than a cell phone and camera to distract and use to get out of situations etc.

Yesterday I did both pre-shows using zero props improvising all material. Result? I was more engaged with the audience around me and the other performers because I couldn't hide in the props. (My co-hort Jimmy pointed this out.)
Other goals I've had in the past during pre-show?

1) …

Michael's "All American Day!"

After our success in showing our Swedish friend Tijuana, "How could we follow it up?" we thought to ourselves. What else could we offer to show the experience of America? Granted Michael has been on tour throughout the U.S on and off since 2007,but sometimes touring life leaves details of real life out of the mix.

"Guns!" we gleefully exclaimed. There are few guns in Sweden and arms of the pistol/handgun variety are often banned because they are not used in hunting for food.

With that we told Michael we would take him on an "All American Adventure" the following day and he immediately got excited about what we may have in store for him. We met up at high noon and hopped onto our trusty white steed (in this case a rental Dodge Caliber). Reading the wind and tracing tracks, as our ancestors may have in the old west, we made our way to Walmart an American treasure of infamous reputation like that of and Wild Bill Hickock. Rushing to the hunting and fishing s…

Tijuana, Mexico 2010

I haven't been to Tijuana since 1998. Today I went with my girl and Michael the pickpocket from KOOZA. I remember walking over the border and having food and beers and buying leather beer holsters and seeing how dirty everything was.

Today our goal was relaxation and the joy of introducing an entertainer from Sweden to a California classic: TJ.
Now Monday is not the "party day" for twenty somethings to guzzle tequila and hit the strip clubs and the whole beheading on the Texas border has people skittish. But really. What has ever happened in Tijuana? More Mexican drug wars happen in Arizona than in Mexico!

Everyone will be happy to know TJ is the same. Monday was quiet.
It's hard to NOT look like you don't know where you're going when you are the only backpack wearing Caucasians on the streets and every street vendor is beguiling you with sunglasses and pictures of Homer Simpson as Scarface.

The first thing our Swedish friend noticed was how "interactive&…

"Tweet with Cirque du Soleil, beware of the Clowns"

(This is a repost from Twittamentary.com the Twitter site dedicated to the upcoming film about Twitter.)


People come to see my show with Cirque du Soleil, "KOOZA" and they Tweet before,during, at intermission, and afterwards. I am one of the three clowns in the show and we often read what people are Tweeting about the show for a laugh. The show is phenomenal so most comments are positive. We also use audience members in our act and our volunteers sometimes tweet their experience or post pictures on Twitter.
It's weird, to me, randomly picking a person out of 2,500 people and when you've sent them back to their seats and the show has finished, reading their Tweets or knowing their names! (I'm still adjusting to this- I like the anonymity..)
Recently someone who was watching the show put up on Twitter how incredible it was during the show. We read it and saw his other Tweets were entertaining and passed it around.
This guy has a small group of friends, (under 30 follow…

"Skill of the day"

Lately, I have been choosing one skill a day to work on or try to learn. You Tube is very helpful for this practice.
This can be as simple as learning to tie a strange knot (which I know sounds like a barrel of fun) or twirling a hat which can always be used to attract the victim of your love. (Note the word,"hat" not "cat". Twirling a cat may attract the wrong KIND of person. Practice with discretion.)

Origami roses are useful. Or making Alexander Hamilton appear to be smiling or frowning on a $20 bill (as taught to me by Portugese Magician and Balloon Artist, Sebastian Ricou). A friend from my high school recently told me she still remembers the bouquet of balloon flowers I made her for her birthday almost twenty years ago.

These little skills are flourishes to add to any situation for quirky fun or used in theatrical productions to add a nuance to any scene or character.

FACT: The reason people enjoy great actors like Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando are the choices t…

Business instead of pleasure.

Image
(Picture above is Guy Laliberte, Cirque du Soleil owner not the President of Cirque.)

Missed blogging the last couple days due to work. Between rehearsals and visits from Cirque du Soleil management types like the President of Cirque today, little time for blogging and any internet presence. We have also been training my replacement to go into the show this weekend so relaxation and privileges like blogging will have to wait.

FYI: The annual President's meeting went well and sushi was served in the kitchen. It was delicious.

The only relaxation I seem to get now a days seems to come from the brief minutes during the show when I can read Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" on my Kindle. A great read and cinematically written. His writing keeps improving with each book. Very nice.

It was nice having a check in from Cirque owner, Guy Laliberte, now that he has returned from space and is watching his shows closely. We had great show tonight with an audience volunteer who looked …

"High Art". A fresh canvas.

Wielding the fiery energy of the wand, I will begin painting upon a fresh canvas with a residency in union with Pendulum Dance Theater in Portland, Oregon. I will be at the helm of all things story and character oriented crafting the through line of this wonderfully diverse show, "High Art: A Surreal Portrait of the Soul"

http://www.pendulumdancetheatre.org

Pendulum's multidisciplinary work has been revered for the last decade within the Portland artistic performance arena.

In association with the Portland Art Museum: http://portlandartmuseum.org the show, "High Art: A Surreal Portrait of the Soul" http://www.pendulumdancetheatre.org/perf. with incredible composer Sasha Lazard http://www.sashalazard.com/index. and world renowned drummer Ya'el http://www.drumaddict.net/about.html will conspire with us to manifest an intense offering into the nuanced depths of the soul.

So many talents swirled together in this intense creation it promises to astonish while act…

San Diego weather.

I have new appreciation for warm clothes and resting at times in a chair.
San Diego, California has given this wonderful gift. (Realistically "San Diego" is probably only responsible for one of these gifts the other is a heavy work schedule and natural mortality)

I used to look out the window and see the sun shining bright and think to myself, "Hey, what a great day to wear a short sleeved shirt and shorts! It IS a beach community." Oh how wrong I was. Soon cold breezes scraped against my body while my friend the sun is hiding like a wussy behind the clouds sniggering at my discomfort and ill prepared bodily protection in the form of textiles used to keep my flesh that much further from elements that conspire to turn my mind against myself.

Not anymore! Trust, suitably broken.
I layer myself like a yeti senior citizen and get mocked by local school children as they pass.
But mine will be the last laugh. For they know not that this is a DEAD END STREET!

Wear a sweate…
Meth Tweekers Should not work at Rental Car companies.


END OF POST FOR DAY, DUE TO CRAZY LADY EXHAUSTION

Twanks! ( A tribute to Twitter)

Simplicity.

The greatest comedy or variety acts have one thing in common: simplicity. This simplicity makes it so that you can't remember what was so funny about that Bill Cosby sketch about going to the dentist, but you know it was hysterical. You can watch a great stand-up comedian and laugh your eyes out of your head ,but you rarely can quote the act let alone deliver what was funny about the joke in retelling it. Leave this to the professionals!

Anyone can put on a rainbow wig, but that wig will not make people laugh. ( In some cases it will get injured.)
David Shiner said that he didn't want "clowns" for the creation of Kooza, he wanted funny people and they can learn to do make-up. Even within the show we clowns look the least like "CLOWNS" and the rest of the acrobatic troupe have more clown make-up qualities.

Simplicity. Less make-up more content.
In most cases you CAN"T describe what a great act was about. And when you try...you fail.
Simplicity is so simpl…

What's next, Christian?

Now that most of the morning was spent sending back virtual drinks sent to me on Facebook...I have to start to make a real dent in the day.

So let's get this clear...I have 17 days left at "KOOZA". (I'm not counting down the shows because I'm not in a hurry to leave, I want to appreciate my time and each show is "one more precious jewel"...to harass,annoy, and entertain people in the San Diego area.)

But what's the next step for you,Christian?

Number One: I will be freelancing from my newly purchased (Dec.2008) home in Pittsburgh,PA booking private engagements and working "smarter". Less hours of falling on the floor screaming and more hours enjoying my family and the lack of exhausting physical performance.

Number Two: I am being hired by some great eclectic companies to do some Creative Director work in charge of stories and character development. (More on these when appropro.)

Number Three: I'm working towards doing more European gigs …

A breath of fresh air!

I am cleaning up superfluous web garbage I have been collecting for years as I move on to the next level of my career.
It feels good to cleanse and move forward!

This blog will now focus on all of the crazy fun things as I transition from my life on tour in Cirque du Soleil's "KOOZA" as the last original clown of the trio to my new prospects in Pennsylvania and worldwide. Exciting times to be in the entertainment industry.

Join me for the "touching conclusion" of my time with my creative baby, "KOOZA".

Cheers!