Clown for a New Day

Clown for a New Day
Dagwood might make it in today's emasculated circus

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Monte Carlo Flash: And the Winning Bidder for "Inside the Changing Circus" ... Is! ... German Circus Fan ... Rolf Lehmann!

There's my book, standing proud (as it appears to my unbiased eyes, of course) on display in Monaco a trio of weeks ago during the Silent Auction event of the Monte Carlo Circus Festival.

The photo was made available to me, thanks to the Federation's executive director, Laura van er Meer. She's the one who invited me to send along a signed copy for participation.

So my great dream of Guy Lalibetre, Cirque du Soleil's billionaire owner, snatching the book up for a cool $1 million -- with yours truly pledging a penny for every thousand bucks he put on the table -- was not to be.

Who knows, my letter to the Cirque king may still be in mystic transit somewhere up within the creative catacombs of Montreal. When several years ago I wrote to Laliberte, three times, for an interview, they, not he, got back to me nearly one year later, offering the chance to interview not Laliberte but the Director of Creation. Then I submitted some sample questions, which evidently ruffled their collassol confidence. And they pulled out. Are people in the highest places the most afraid of answering questions? I've heard of such mortals being interviewed in the presence of their PR operatives, who could at any time advise (in essence order them) not to answer particular questions. Incredible.

But, my little book did itself respectfully proud, it did! I'm told it had a taker, winning bid going to Germany's Rolf Lehmann, one of the founders of the German Circus Friends Association, a translator and a private collector. Said Sandy at BearManor Media, "I'm glad just the right person was the winning bidder." Good point.

The price? Well, it was far far from the $1 million I was banking on from Guy. Okay, going clean, it's like this, folks: If I told you the actual price, I would risk spoiling any mutual fantasies we may share.

I am pleased that it was adopted by a foreigner, because I would like to believe that Inside the Changing Circus may have lasting world-wide appeal. For example, it is doing very well in Canada on Amazon. It hit the number 7 spot about a week ago among a hundred circus titles.

As for Sandy's remark, "the right person," indeed, for I appreciate a significant boyhood connection to the German circus scene. You see, among a handful of thrilling circus stars who turned me into an instant fan (yes, believe it or not, I too am a circus fan), two are German icons — juggler Francis Brunn and the Wallendas. Only in recent years, did I learn that Brunn was not French but German, which I had all along, for some lazy reason, believed!

In the book’s preface, I acknowledge how they may have turned me into a picky circus critic: “When you are exposed to such mesmerizing artistry at so young and impressionable an age, you grow up haunted with an attitude of grand entitlement.”

Thanks and Cheers, Mr. Lehmann!


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