2010 Chautauqua Picture Round-Up

After a trip, there's a whole list of things to do. Go through the mail, do a load (or 8*) of laundry, deal with e-mails and calls you've been putting off, etc. And then there's the pictures. It's both a burden and a pleasure, at least for me. Luckily I've got the blog as an outlet for sharing them, giving me more incentive to get them dealt with. Anyway, I hope they put a smile on your face.

Wednesday July 14 2010File under: circus, pics

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Overheard at OCF 2010

The midnight show's not at midnight. It's at 10:00. Every is SO OLD now.
Cry randomly but in a cute way.*
I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you. You look different without pants.*
How long do I have to keep my fake butt?
Ew, poop sauna*
Boyfriends? Boyfriends are for home.

How do you describe in 200 words or less something that is almost indescribable? That's kind of how I feel about making a post about the Oregon Country Fair. (Here is my attempt from a couple years ago.) I could talk of it's magic, heat, crowdedness, shows, music, talent, dust, nature, extreme hippiness, and food. Pictures sure would help, but anytime I tried a shot, it didn't even come close to doing the scene justice. So instead, I selected a random smattering of quotes I overheard (or were directly told) to share with you. I hope you enjoy! (Oh, and a tech note*)
Tuesday July 13 2010File under: misc

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Oregon Coast

Alas, 2010's New Old Time Chautauqua is over. But instead of returning to the real world, I've opted to let the fun and magic continue, albeit in a slightly different form. I'm currently enjoying all that the Oregon Coast has to offer, and believe me, it has lots.

The past 2 nights have been spent at Nehalem Falls campground, a small county park up Nehalem River that is exactly what we were looking for (after being hugely disappointed by the commercialness of Oregon State Park campgrounds).

During the day, entertainment has been found in the form of playing on the beach, exploring the quaint little towns, and visiting the Tillamook cheese factory....twice*. On the possible agenda for the rest of the time is sea lion caves, more beach time, and maybe, just maybe, another visit to the cheese factory.

This little vacay to the coast has been just what I needed to buffer re-entry into the real world. Back to back vacations is really the way to go. Dare I try back to back to back? Stay tuned to see.
Thursday July 8 2010File under: travel, USA

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Subtleties of the Show

I watch a lot of vaudeville/circus acts in a given year–Cirque du Soleil, Vaudevillingham, etc. In most cases, they are new to me, if not in content, at least in arrangement. Traveling with the circus, I get to see more than a few shows. While the content varies some from show to show, there are also a lot of repeated acts.

Don't get me wrong, seeing repeat acts isn't a bad thing. In fact, it lends a new light on the whole performance process. Seeing the subtle difference in timing on jokes, order of tricks, combined with other variables (weather (for outdoor shows), sound set-ups, etc.) make for each show being different enough that it stays interesting.

Yep, I saw the Flying Karamazov perform in at least 7 shows, and from each one I saw something new, understood a joke in a new way, or learned which jokes are improvised, etc. Not only did I not get burned out, I would welcome watching them, or any of our other performers, do their act 10 more times. Knowing that no two performances is quite the same makes me that much more excited to go out and see some more. Who knows, maybe I'll even get out on the stage myself someday.
Monday July 5 2010File under: circus

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Solar Living Institute

Chautauqua is currently camped* at the ever so lovely Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA. Talk about an amazing piece of property—a pond, carousel, solar panels everywhere, solar ovens, gardens, straw bale structures, outdoor kitchen, and so much more. Besides hosting random bands of roving circus folk, they teach classes and have a store full of alternative products. Not a bad place to spend 5 or 6 nights*

We did a show here a couple nights ago on an outdoor stage (set up on straw bales: totally awesome). The attendance was good and very energetic. Tonight is the Ben Show, a show by Chautauquans for Chautauquans. Much mockery, drunken antics, and lewdness is expected. It won't fit in so well with the gorgeous setting, but luckily it will be after business hours so the public won't be subjected to the ridiculousness.

Have I mentioned that running with the circus is pretty awesome? Because it is.
Wednesday June 30 2010File under: circus

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Crowdsourcing Chautauqua

I've mentioned my blogging catch-22 before: when I'm doing something really worthy of blogging, I barely have time to make good posts, but when I've got time, I often don't have anything exciting going on to blog about. Well, I'm decidedly in the former situation these days—life is exciting but blog posts are few and not so good*. Anyway, since I've been busy (mostly in the "kitchen"), I thought I would point to a few place online where others are publishing their experiences, photos, stories, etc. about this shared adventure that we call Chautauqua.
  • Facebook photos by our tour photographer. I don't think you have to be a member to join.
  • A Collective Blog which is meant to be both a conglomeration of news articles and other outside information related to tour and a place for new content.
  • NOTC*'s website: This isn't updated realtime, but has good general information about our group, etc.

Anyhoo, I hope to get a [good] post or two up in the near future, but in the meantime, explore these other sites if you are interested in getting a fuller picture of this adventure that I'm on.
Tuesday June 29 2010File under: circus

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World Juggling Day 2010

Last Saturday was World Juggling Day, a holiday* to "help spread the fun of juggling and to bring jugglers together all over the world". The idea is to celebrate by, well, juggling.

Outside of a juggling festival, Chautauqua is about the highest concentration of jugglers I've ever been around. Eighty percent of the band juggles, many of the truck drivers juggle, and lord knows the cook juggles. So in a brief moment before we packed up the trucks to head to our big show, I ran around camp announcing a big group juggle. This is what came out. I'd say we did World Juggling Day proud.
Friday June 25 2010File under: juggling, circus

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Redwood Vaudeville Tour

Are you in Northern California? Do you live in a little town that doesn't see a lot of entertainment? If so, the New Old Time Chautauqua might be coming to your town. Come enjoy a vaudeville show filled with energy, juggling, music, acrobatics, comedy, and lots of last minute improvisation. (For example, the power went out due to a truck hitting a power line here in Pt. Reyes Station, CA. Luckily, the Dance Palace here has a little solar backup system so we at least had lights.)

But on the other side of the stage, it is more than shows. There is camping, parades, workshops, swimming*, and all sorts of intangibles. And then there are the stories. After just one year, I've got my fair share. The people that have been here for all 29 years have that many more.

Yep, Chautauqua: the Redwood Tour. Such an experience I can't even put together a cohesive blog post.
Wednesday June 23 2010File under: travel, circus

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Quote For Monday - Volunteerism



"We don't work for free for nothing!"

This is the sign that I've set up in the kitchen. I'm tempted to call it my kitchen, because I have very little time outside of it, but we are a community here. But it isn't just a kitchen sign. It applies all around. To the performers, the [amazing] band, the logistics people—everyone is doing this on a volunteer basis. What we get out of it is an amazing experience and great satisfaction when we see the excitement and joy we bring to our audiences*

What am I talking about? Why the circus, of course. I've run away with the circus again, this time on a tour of northern California. The New Old Time Chautauqua is the same group that I toured some islands with last summer. This year, I'm the goto guy in the kitchen (as opposed to last year where I just did breakfasts (which later evolved into co-managing the kitchen)). But more on that later.

For now, I had better get back to the kitchen. Those beans aren't going to soak themselves, you know.
Monday June 21 2010File under: quote

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Familiar Giant


Familiar giant (remember?) with a familiar goober in front.

Friday June 18 2010File under: travel, USA

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