Alight Fingers Juggling and Circus Skills Workshops  

Balls To The Baltic - Latvia or Bust



Seriously, Is this Safe

Now in England when we do this sort of thing, we might organise a couple of shows in a day, although that would generally allow for a little more traveling. On checking the schedule, it turns out that they had arranged six. We had two more in the local Grammar school before lunch, one at an old people’s home afterwards, and then we were doing an 'open' show for everyone from the local area that evening. It turns out this was the revised schedule. Originally they'd organised nine shows. The extra ones had been put off until tomorrow when someone had actually realised that was ridiculous. This is what you get for agreeing to do something like this three days before it all kicks off. You have no say in the planning, and I found myself wondering again just what had I let myself in for.

The next stop, as I said was the local grammar school. Now we can hardly claim to be working with disadvantaged kids at this point, but I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't miss out on options like this simply because you're not causing all kinds of chaos during your formative years.

So we turned up at the grammar school and we caused all kinds of chaos. We started off doing a very informal show in the playground. A bit of balancing, a bit of juggling and a lot of mucking about. Then we had a more 'formal' show for about a hundred and fifty of the children. We were beginning to gel. I had a better idea where I could slot into what Jonathan was doing with the various props he uses, and he was starting to add heckles and lines to what I was doing.

Although I mess around when I’m doing these things, as I’ve said before, I’m not a clown as such. Clowning is a different kind of humour, and it was really good fun working, and for that matter traveling with Jonathan, because he often saw boundaries that could be pushed that ‘normal people’ wouldn’t think of pushing. I think there is something which for the sake of discussion I’ll call ‘clowns courage’. It’s being able to put yourself out on a limb, knowing you may be overstepping the mark, but that you realise nothing really bad is actually going to happen, and more to the point, it could just be funny.

It helped us work ways around the language barrier; through the wonder of interpretative ‘acting like idiots’ and fortunately we still had Horsch doing the translating for us where necessary which was a big help. Again we had the press come to talk to us after the show. Xantern hadn't struck me as a big town so far, but they sure had a lot of local papers. We also had a couple of teachers come to ask us just how dangerous certain parts of the act were. Now I'm not going to completely give the game away, but lets just say, we got away without being arrested on this occasion, and we’ll call it magic.

We headed back to Clive’s for lunch. We were late… again. We hadn't been late for a show yet, but we made up for it by being late to just about everything else. We sat down and had lunch with Clive and his kids, Aiden and Siobahn. Over the two days we were there Aiden and Siobahn kept us entertained with some serious clowning around. We managed to avoid a food fight over lunch (Fortunately I'm a juggler and not a clown or it could have been chaos - at least I occasionally catch what is thrown at me), and then we had a chance to relax for a little bit. Clive showed us round his garden, and discussed bits of archaeology, of which both he and Kirsten are professors at the local university. It was the perfect middle to the day which just allowed us to chill for a while.



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