Saturday, 19 October 2013

What ever next?

Luke and I arrived back in Australia to the unusual experience of being in a real house. My family have played Tag-team and disappeared to Paris, giving us the wonderful opportunity of house-sitting.

It is a strange thing to be able to make toast and tea at the same time without blowing out a generator. Or to be able to go to the bathroom without having to put on boots for the outside world. Or even to be able to walk in the door without unhitching the house from the car and putting stabilisers down - maybe this is a healthy break from caravan life!

Here are some pictures of our casual training sessions at our favourite park. Luke is practicing his 7 ball juggling, and I am practicing an 8-hula-hoop split.

While at home, coincidentally, a circus rolled in to town.. 

Now most normal people might go to the show, tell their friends, and continue with their planned break from work. That really isn't our style - So we ditched the idea of a tour-free holiday and joined the circus.. We are still kind of having a break though as we are not performing in the show. We are working as front of house staff, ushering, and the occasional crew job.. That is still a break.. isn't it?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The European Juggling Convention

..So while we were in the area, we decided to check out the largest circus convergence in Europe - 9 days with 6000 other circus people, all playing, sharing, learning, teaching and having a ball.. Here is their official video.

Twice as nice

We gradually settled into life at the Glastonbury festival, and pretty soon our first show times were upon us. Our opening show was in the main circus big-top and was a crazy array of complex aerial rigging, carefully choreographed juggling routines and lots of work on stilts. It was pretty amazing to premier it in such a prestigious venue.

Our Aerial show, however, was not the only performance that we had for the festival. Each night we also lit up our venues with a fire spectacle piece.
I think in many ways, I actually had more fun with the fire show - The audiences were great for both, but we had a little more freedom to play with the fire, and that show was also entirely under UV lighting which made my hoops glow like radiant spirals. Such fun :)

There are a bunch more photos on Will-o'-the-Wisp Flame Arts site.


Friday, 4 October 2013

Double trouble - Glastonbury Part 1.

Luke and I bundled off the coach, excited, but hot and also tired. The flight from Australia had been long, closely followed by a tube trip, a second tube trip, a train journey and then a second train to Castle Cary.. (All prior to the already mentioned coach trip). We found our suitcases, ladder, hoops and assorted gear and looked up over the dusty expanse.

Glastonbury Arts Festival.

We pulled our 75kg of circus equipment up to a gate and asked the gate crew to radio for our artist transport to collect us.
Sadly for us, no such transport had been arranged and it was up to us to lug everything to the Theatre and Circus headquarters on the other side of the festival. I am not going to go into too much detail about this experience, except to point out that we were both extremely jet-lagged, had no water, and were pulling heavy gear across grass (which the wheels were not designed for) in heat that was above 35 degrees Celsius. It was an introduction to an event that I will never forget.

We met up with the organisers who were to tell us where our accommodation was. Having now not slept for about 35 hours, I was very much looking forward to crashing out.
Sadly, the accommodation was not ready.

So.. This was resolved, we rested up and then went to find our stage managers for our show times.  On all of our performance days we had been given slots that either crossed over with times when we were performing elsewhere, or where we had 10 minutes to finish one show, high tail it across to a second venue, pre-set and pre-dip, (All being fire equipment) and be on stage.. So basically this was all impossible.

 I have performed at a huge number of events, and never have I had an experience quite like this one.. 

More on Glastonbury soon..
 The big-top where we performed 6 out of 9 of our shows - with added high wire walker!

 The view from our second venue (Outdoor venue)


The persistent and annoying sound of a blowfly was my first clue that daylight was already here. I pulled a sheet over my head and tried to hit snooze on my flying alarm clock. The minutes passed and gradually my thoughts became more coherent. A whispering thought echoed through my mind - it is the very last show day of tour.

We have been in Parkes since Monday and it has been a long week. HIgh winds slowed Tent-up to almost double the time, we have been busy participating in the local Christmas parade and doing flier handouts on stilts. It is hard to believe that after 30 stands we are rounding up for our finale. What a year!

It is time for me to go and set my props for the last time, set out the seating, hang the backstage curtains and make sure that our sweet stand is clean and ready for customers.. That's right, it is almost SHOWTIME!