Friday, February 19, 2016

Center Ring Rumors, Rants and Rackets: Wedding Bells in the Big Cage for Chipperfield-Frisco? ... NY Salutes More Circus Snobs ... Viet Big Top on the Ropes ... SF Circus School for Dabblers Outed ... Are Reviews Worth Reading? Ask Bette Davis ...

A Whip-Cracking Romance Across the Big Pond: Comes giggly gossip linking circus royalty Over There to the infamous elephant abuse YouTube Frisco line Over Here.   Tiger trainer, Felicia Frisco, who seems never to link herself to either Tim or Joe, said to be cooing and wooing with England’s revered Thomas Chipperfield.

Pipes Douglas McPherson from London Town, a Showbiz David exclusive (I think), a picture of tiger trainers Thomas and Felicia “cosying up  during her current visit to the UK has got their Facebook friends practically booking the church!”  Or, better yet, maybe a ring cage for two?  Lovely couple, I’ll grant them that.
Face Book Romance.   “Apparently,” speculates discretely delighted Douglas, before they finally met face to face last month at the UK Circus Reunion, they enjoyed “a long telephone friendship/romance.”  

Just one of those fast flings?  Hold that tiger!  An update from McPherson points to a thrill lingering on:   Now separated by the Atlantic once again, continuing Facebook posts by the two “suggest it’s the Real Thing”

Wonders our foreign correspondent, “which of these trainers will be the one who cracks the whip!”

Hanoi hosted a circus festival in 2012
Below: My Village Circus, 2009

Cracking on: Did you know of a major government funded circus in Vietnam?  News to me.  But now, reports  the Wall Street Journal, story fed my way by Ken Dickinson, government is cutting support by one third. and down to nothing come 2019.  Ouch!  Company director, part time clown named Ta Duy Anh, vowing to fight on, opting to reinvent the show around lines of Cirque du Soleil. Good luck on that.  Having watched a little Vietnamese TV lately, seems that this very non-Communistic-acting country looks closer in its cultural aspirations to the US than to any other Asian nation.

Snobbish: Second Annual American Circus Awards, produced by NOW and Big Apple Circus, again honored a small little elitist group of familiar people under the Big Apple tent.  Didn’t I read of some of those names being previously pedestalled? Maybe they take turns, rotating through the four main categories — Community Impact, Elevating Circus, Evolving Circus, Lifetime Achievement.  And why am I so not impressed?  Somebody should tell these Evolving Eggheads and Impact adjudicators that there are other circuses out there worth considering.  Has anybody heard the named Ringling? Cole?  Kelly Miller?

What Really for is the San Francisco Circus School?  Not very much, I have long suspected.  A most interesting interview on the website, The Widow Station, the work of the elusive Liz Arratoon,  circus writer and critic, previously with London's  The Stage. I enjoyed her sharp Monte Carlo Circus Festival critiques.  Having once or twice tried to reach Ms. Aarratoon, I was left wondering if my brain lacks a gene necessary for astral communication.  She is somewhere out there, cosmically I assume.

But out there, another Arratoon, Adrian, spoke to Montreal-born Monagasque Nicolas Jelmoni, who has enjoyed a career between circus and cabaret and theatre (Pippin).  He was asked by Adrian:  Why did you go to the San Francisco Circus Center rather than to somewhere in France?  I was ALL eyes! I sat up!

at the San Francisco Circus Center

Replied Nicholas, his parents pushed him there.  “It was really fun ... I’d never done circus and I was wondering whether I would like it or not.

Two years in San Francisco striving to stay focused among his dabbling peers, Nicholas  managed to get accepted into Montreal, and into a much more stimulating atmosphere.  Listen here, NOW!   “It was love at first sight.  I’m going to be great there ... It was different in San Francisco where I felt I was the only one who was trying to push and to get a lot better.” 

The only one?  I am not surprised.  

What do you think of real reviews?  Ask Bette!  On The Tonight Show, now running in replays, Johnny Carson had Bette Davis on, and he asked her what she thought of reviews.  Some Celebes will claim never to read them. Others will bash the critics .  So what did our outrageously egoistic movie star have to say? 

“You need the pros and you need the cons,” she answered, impressively.  And then she said something to the effect, "Lord knows, I have gotten more cons than pros.”  Good for her.  My friend Boyi Yuan, when once I told him of something I had created that, tested on a few others, got  feedback that wasn't very good, said, "That’s the best feedback.”  Right he was – the only way to learn and grow.  

End Ringers: Carson and Barnes will not be coming to California this year.  I know because I asked them, and I’m guessing they won’t be coming my way any time soon, not as long as they parade their elephants.  A pity ... The Tito Gaona flick, The Flight Fantastic, pulled a rather grudging review from the Hollywood Reporter. “Distracted by tangents that add little to its core story, the film will play best with hard-core circomaniacs and at performance-centric fests like this one.”  Once these things are subjected to a mainstream audience, their luster can fade fast.  I do hope to see the film, however.

Let’s hope for a Frisco-Chipperfield wedding over sawdust.  As if it will garner much attention.  Thomas has a spotless record in the big cage.  As for Felicia, little wonder that she appears to avoid naming relatives.  From what I gather, she is yet to make it — or break it — on You Tube. 


Catherine Carden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Showbiz David said...

When I come across a news story about a circus performer, almost inevitably they talk about circus relatives whose examples and careers they are following. Simple as that. Example: Wallenda.

thereallteentigermom93 said...

Sorry David I don't need to use my family name to make me something in this industry like many people who try and use the walenda name, why do I need to put in news stories who I am following when my father created a show unlike any other? If u have ever properly research or read articles when they ask how I started I state back to my grand father and mention I am 3 and 9 generation animal trainer not to mention on the Frisco side only my father and grandfather trained big cats, I don't need to go on spewing how great my family is or this or that, my focus is big cat conservation that is what my show is about and that is what it's been about, raising awareness on these big cats and making a difference for their wild cousins and allowing people to see how they are trained... Sorry but I don't need to boost my ego like some people in this industry, what I do is for these animals plight, but u kind of suck at research considering U never read those articles where it talks about my multigeneration animal training family and btw since u won't post me and nicks comments u spelled coziness wrong...

Showbiz David said...

Felicia, Thomas and Nikki: Responding to your comments on Facebook.

Felicia: You are wrong in your assumptions about the comments I print. I have no problem printing criticism of my writing, such as yours, but I will not post comments laced with profanity, or those that insult others, such as an offensive attack on you that came through by an Anonymous source. It was instantly rejected.

Nikki: You are right that I reviewed Vincenta Pages in a reckless manner with a cheap joke, and I later apologized publicly to Vincenta on my blog, and edited my coverage of her act to exclude the remark. If you pull up my review – type “boom a ring” in the search box – you will find my apology at the front of the review.

Thomas: I have given major positive coverage on my blog your wonderful backyard YouTubes of training sessions with the tigers. You have a parallel spirit over here in Ryan Holder, who invites the public to watch his own daily training sessions with the tigers. If there is to be a future for wild animal acts, it will take the sort of transparent sharing that you and Ryan are offering the public to reverse its deepening resistance.