Blacksmithing in Italy

16 02 2010

This summer, one of the festivals I attended was the World Forging Championship in Stia, Italy — a small town up in the mountains near Florence. Here’s some photos taken by my friend Kate Dinneen. We’ll play the ‘can you spot the safety violations?’ game!

A pose!





Impromptu Stop in Iowa City and Other Circus Matters

31 05 2008

The Circus bus made a screeching, groaning halt in Iowa City, Iowa for two reasons. The first was the need for more used vegetable oil and the second was the fact that it was no longer going to drive properly, if at all.

As some of our troupe filtered vegetable oil, and some of our troupe made a trip to the auto mechanic the musicians decided to practice on the street next to the bus. This was a very fortunate decision. We attracted some local circus folk who pointed us in the direction of an awesome little park where – a few hours later we performed twice. We met some amazing people including book store owners, a man with a tiny kitten, jugglers, break dancers, hoopers, unicyclers and even some higher-up circus folk who were happy to give us some performing tips. We made a decent amount of money and some other unexpected loot including cupons for free icecream, a crystal and blessings from born again Christians.

For not being on our tour at all – Iowa City was still one of the best places we have stopped thus far, and it was a necessary Awesome Day after a string of difficult ones.

Just to give you a gist of what our tour on the whole has been like thus far: Filled with amazingly awesome people. Just about everyone we have interacted with has been beyond friendly and helpful. We have put ourselves in some tight spots, but so far someone has been there to help us out every time. Occasionaly it has felt as though this tour is more about 11 college-aged kids learning how to run a grease-bus across country tour instead of a Circus tour, but the past few days has really broken that down. We have performed four times in the past three days, and we are actually beginning to see a very teeny tiny small amount of money… which will probably need to go straight back into the bus.

One other amazing thing I like to call the Big Blue Bus Effect is this: It feels as though enormous quantities of people are encouraged to come and speak with us randomly on the street due to our giant blue bus. It makes us very accesible to the public at large, having a big blue bus certainly seems to be one wonderful conversation starter.

On a slightly more personal note I have decided to conquer club-juggling (I am well on my way!) club-passing, contact juggling and more acro-balance and hand-balancing all before the tour ends. Additionally, I have decided that I really love performing (despite how new I am to it) and I would like to continue to do so both for the rest of the summer and for years to come.

(Disappointments thus far: Not being able to stop at more book stores, not bringing books to read, not sending all the letters and post cards I have written, not taking any picutres yet and not writing enough in my journal. Thankfully, most of these things are easily changeable with a little effort on my part.)