Monday, June 25, 2007

Glasters in memory and on television...

Well, I will have to come back to add links and such.

My online community/study group just produced edition number 11 of our online magazine - carrying on though we lost our beloved teacher earlier this year. And I do mean 'teacher' (favourite writer) not guru or some bullshit.

I intend to graduate on the day I complete three years with this amazing gang of 'penfriends' by meeting up with a few of Belgium and The Netherlands.

Before that, I get a reunion with the Jabba The Hutt crew at a Star Wars 30 year anniversary gig in London...where the main puppeteers and sculptor get to meet up (and meet some other folks, too). They seem to think my family name is 'Philpot'. (sigh)

And just today, The Observer newspaper apparently gave a good review to those of us who have starved and struggled and all that, to get Circus recognised not as a dying medium, but as something perfectly suited to a culture burned out by virtual events who still love the sweat and involvement of a live gig. Nofit State Circus.

Speaking of which, I type this while watching Glastonbury on the tv (and, yes, it We should have known this particular year at Glasters might rain a can see Tim Adam, the tentmaster already beginning to worry about storm ropes...looks like a wet and muddy one)...I have been to either 2 out of three, or 1 out of three of the Festivals, both as a solo comedy juggler, and (often) as part of the NoFit State circus crew (either doing our show, or simply providing a tent/venue). I have done glorious sunny ones (selling juggling equipment in swimming trunks for the Oddballs) and muddy ones. I lived in the back of that van, and got on with Grommet (Lurch's lovely dog) really wellI used to finish with the circus and go to my second job (running the best pirate tequila stall with Rachel) but as it got more corporate they squeezed such enterprise out... First they banned the motorbikes, then they banned the dogs, then they banned the Travellers. Then they put up a fence, then they had to repel boarders. And if you think I resent 'them' I actually understand all their decisions. Still sad, though...
We did the Alice show, and crewed our tent as a cabaret venue 20 hours a day, too
My dog had to leave the room this evening when I cranked up The Who "Won't Get Fooled Again"

I ain't gonna do nostalgia though.

I almost never got to the big stage - a mile or three from where I work...bear in mind that the place is about half the size of Cardiff. On tv they don't seem to show the Cabaret/Circus/Theatre area. Bill Bailey apparently turned up (for instance) on the 2000 seater cabaret tent (where I used to spend a lot of time, watching everybody from Jerry Sadowitz (who may have actually managed to offend everyone) to The Bastard Son of Tommy Cooper. Also 'people from the telly and radio' - or Tony Allen (still one of my favourite stand-ups). They set off the fireworks during one of his sets, and half the tent stood up and left. He called the rest of us to the front and did an intimate when the others came back they had to sit at the back. heh. Glasters ain't an easy gig, and some stars die the death, while some other people rise to the occasion, and feel totally at home. I loved seeing John Martyn there, although he didn't make the 11 a.m. gig at the Jazz World stage. I dragged myself out of the pit to stand there saying "he won't get here for 11am" but then he stormed a 23:00 set in one of those small tents in the Avalon field. I usually go to the Acoustic Stage, the Jazz World Stage, the Avalon stages and the main Cabaret Tent...and then Green Field, and Avalon Field...ah sheeit don't get me started...I wanna jump in a vehicle and get there even for Sunday morning and the clean up regime...

But here I sit, with the dog, watching the wonderful Beth Ditto in the studio and on stage...from the comfort of my home base (all thanks to the Fabulous Julie!). I just got an email from Aaron (Hi Aaron, see you soon!) who Julie gave a hitch lift to a protest site about the Oil pipeline they are running through Wales (not just the Middle East, I assure you) - and it sounds like he'll come to crash next weekend...we started doing jobs (late in life) but we still like the 'roots life' kids...gotta keep shouting about things that offend you.

Like I say, I may come back and tidy up, but someone has to hold the line, and I trust the next generation. First The Who sang "My Generation" (we have all passed 60) and then they sang "The Kids Are Alright" and that's still true.

I just wish the tv people would show the rest of the festival - the comedy, the circus, the theatre, the guys who use to sell me Space Cake, the sculptors, the massage crew, the homeopaths, the drummers, the firestarters, the clowns, the spontaneous moments of kindness and generosity, etc. I had the most fun one year when the circus took a wheelbarrow to collect firewood, and we gave people lifts with their luggage, I wheeled our new boy up to the top field to see the stone circle, and he then took me on a wild ride back down the main drag in the same wheelbarrow! A really wild ride!

And while I am doing a media check, I noticed that Empire magazine decided to make collectors' editions by having 30 different covers, for the most popular Star Wars characters ever...and we (the Jabba team) came in at number 11 - although they seem to think my first name is 'Tony' (sigh). Perhaps I deserve a free copy for that...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Away with the Fairies

I only wish I had time to play with the magic tricks I have now got, as I did as a kid!Well, I managed to abandon this blog for three months!

I find so many inert blogs that I have always tried to keep mine moving, but recent changes have squeezed this one out.

First of all, I got a job as content manager for an Arts Council Circus Arts Forum, which takes up an hour or so a day. Circus Arts Forum

Yound Dog investigating waterfallThen, Julie went and bought a dog, a Labradoodle called Dandy, who takes up a good hour or two most days

I also find myself on the Board of Trustees for NoFit State Circus, and that doesn’t just mean popping in a couple of times a year, but has involved quite a NoFit Stateflurry of meetings to deal with the rapid changes in the business – caused by success, let me point out!

Finally, I have been trying to wrap up the three years study I have done at the Maybe Logic AcademyMaybe Logic Academy. I also maintain their blog called Only Maybe. Long may it thrive, but I feel I have to take a sabbatical (at least) and possibly even ‘graduate’. I started on July 23rd 2004 (first of the Dog Days) so I hope to meet up with some fellow students this July 23rd (in a little trip to Belgium and Holland), then take a break to write (maybe).

I also have plans to finally meet up with all the Jabba crew at once, at Celebration Europe. Celebration EuropeI’ve met them all one by one, but this could be our only chance for a complete get-together.

Somewhere in here I seem to have neglected this blog (!)

Actually, I also haven’t got down to see my daughter and grand-daughter this year, which I regret, but dogs add to the complications of travel (for non-drivers like me). And the 'boy wonder' continues to wander, but we have loose connections via web interfaces...
The PKD bearded days
I missed Jay’s “Will You Still Need Me” party through sheer shortage of time and sleep. Sorry Jay!
A last rummage in the Stacks, before they move them and sell off the best stuff (sigh)

I have changed from the Philip K Dick beard and short hair of a couple of years ago, to the clean-shaven long-hair of today.Enthusiasm
Penarth Beach
Julie gives the dogs a lift to the beach
And I'd enjoy having enough time to actually pursue my magic hobby - I started a magic blog to put interesting links together, but practicing magic is time-intensive and I don't have any time...quite when I can finish writing a book I don't know!

I think of myself as a lazy person, but I find myself on a treadmill...
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