I thought I’d nudge you in the direction of Circusphere because I don’t think enough people are aware of this useful resource.
Sam Veale is the go to person for juggling in adverts.
If you ever find yourself in the unlikely position of waiting to go in for audition for the role of juggler in an advert and Sam walks in, you can be fairly sure that going home early won’t be a mistake.
In this short 10 year anniversary video Sam reflects on a particularly cool project.
12 years ago when I went to study circus at university there was a reading week but no reading list, either required or recommended. I don’t know if there’s one now but I thought it would be an interesting challenge to come up with my own list.
The following consist of things I wish I’d been more aware of before taking my degree. My list would have given me things I lacked in 2005 (and perhaps still do).
Some entries provide a wider understanding of circus and related activities such as side-show and magic. I have not included books on the history of theatre or dance as they were included in the course syllabus. For some inextricable reason, the history of circus was not covered on the course. Others entries on the list are featured as an attempt to deepen the students’ knowledge of the creative process and the real world application of such a process.
The UK circus student reading list
- The Circus
- An Introduction to Contemporary Circus
- UK circus time line
- Tactile by Luke Wilson
- Everything on Sideshow, particularly this
- Philip Astley
- P.T. Barnum
- Cirque du Soleil
- Art & Artifice
- Panorama contemporain des arts du cirque
- Every trick in the book
- Celebrations of Curious Characters
- Strange feats & clever turns
- Everything is a Remix
- Steal like an artist
- Show your work
- How music works
- Intuition Pumps
If I’d consumed all this stuff I would be in a better position to take a degree in circus.
After sharing this article a couple of people suggested some additions…
Charlie Holland, author of one of the books on my list suggested the following…
“I normally did a couple of film lectures (at The Circus Space) and recommended ‘The Golden Age of the Circus‘ by Howard Loxton, as an accessible introduction, and ‘The New American Circus’, by Ernest Albrecht.
The UK circus timeline you link to was iirc derived in part and with my permission from my fuller version (with a couple of small errors I’ve never quite been arsed to correct!) at http://palaceofvariety.co.uk/page24.htm
For those interested in the development of circus acrobatics, I cannot over-recommend Strehly’s ‘L’Acrobatie et les Acrobates’ http://gallica.bnf.fr/m/ark:/12148/bpt6k882577q/f17.image – a book that really should be translated into English by someone, one day.”
I aspire to be a skeptical person, but try to step back from brink of cynicism. I struggle to make my mind up on how I feel about the concept of quotations. When I see a vague statement written in fake handwriting on a wall like, “Love is the string to my bow” I can’t help but feel disgusted. Can one really distill the complexities of life into a glib sentence?
Yet, when I come across an idea that has resonance with me I try and find a sentence that concisely sums it up and add it to a quotation note on my phone. Hoping that at some point I’ll read it back and find it useful. A shortcut to the memory of an idea.
At the front of my physical notebook I write a few quotes from my collection. I’ve just started a new notebook and have four quotes from Luke Wilson on the inside cover. I’m only now beginning to work out how I can use them to guide my work.
Perhaps the whole subject of quotations for me boils down to, “I like quotations but only when I’ve curated them.”?
“The technique should be a necessity of the performance.”
“The technique is the major tool that we have to communicate our intent.”
“Innovation is creating the right trick for the right moment.”
“Be aware of what you aim to do.”
I will do anything to impress you.
For those who like magic and politics:
Nice interview by Team Zero Safety with wire walker, Rick Wallenda.