Were doing it, we’re really doing it!
Live in Fairbanks! We come flying out of the bus like a rainbow full of sound with a downtown teaser show, THREE parades, workshops, and a full length theatre show to a nearly sold out crowd of over 300 people.
One of our hosts on the farm has lived in Fairbanks for 20 years, and he reports, “We have a lot of entertainment come through here, and that was the best show I’ve ever seen.” Woohoo! Now for the Chronology:
Thursday: Banjolele alarm clock goes off super early. Granola is eaten, truck loaded and it’s off to the bus. Drop stuff at theatre and prepare for parade and teaser show, (No pedestrian clothes in the parade!) We go downtown and spill off the bus in full marching band, costumed, juggling, stilting, playful glory onto a town square. We throw a 15-minute teaser show and finale by debuting our brand new 14-person club-passing trick, and nail it!
Then back to “Alaska Land” as the locals call it, which is sort of a miniature Alaska themed park that hosted our workshops and the big theatre. We parade through little gold towns and playgrounds towards the workshop zone. We spend two hours teaching juggling, mask making, acro-balance, poi spinning, contact juggling, hoola hooping, magic, ukulele, knitting, slack rope walking, and more…
Then we ride the train around the park with The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra taking up a whole train car. There might even have been juggling on the roof… The train conductor who worked there for 30 years said, “That’s the most exciting thing that ever happened here.”
So rumor had it that Fred Meyer was where all the people go, and we needed some more ticket sales, so… back on the bus! Into Freddie’s we go, to the shock and delight of shoppers we parade through the whole store, and boosted up ticket sales to boot. “Is a Chautauqua Parade on your list today?”
Then back to the theatre for the big show. Delusionist Joey Pipia was our MC, and a fabulous one as usual. The crowd was great, they gave us so much energy and we just gave it right back, one of those nights, ya know? There are too many highlights to name so here’s my favorite.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers were doing The Gamble. (Where audience members brings difficult objects to juggle). The Champ was Amiel, who happens to be getting married on Saturday. The objects? A burly tire iron, a full glass of water and a book titled, “The act of marriage.” And guess what? He nailed it FIRST try to earn a rousing standing ovation.
Friday: We went to a youth program building that feeds low-income children in the summer. They were 30 of the most wonderful kids I’ve ever spent time with. We gave a very special intimate show, followed by several hours teaching them everything we could, and lastly a shared meal. “Thanks for dinner by the way!” Their faces glowed with wonder, smiles and laughter from the moment we rolled in, to the moment we rolled out, many hours later.
Tomorrow we get to do some community farming and then head to the wedding. But now here I am, Friday night at 12:01 and the sun has just dipped behind the ridge, but it is still quite light. Midnight Sun Tour was a good name choice! Sorry for no photos this time, time-nical difficulties occurred, but more are on the way. Don’t forget to check out our website (www.chautauqua.org) and Facebook page too.
Thanks for staying tuned!
Sincerely, Blog Monkey Extraordinaire,
Eli “Dr. Bonkers” March