Back to Gong Show Gold ---first act on week before last's parade, a perfect wonder. Fellow doing hand stands on stacked blocks, then contorting while a little doggie named Scooby jumps aboard his back and does sit ups and cute posturing. Pure joy! (Pardon my barbaric enthusiasm, PETA) Now, for the big surprise: Fellow turned out to be upon closer examination — a mass of well defined muscle plus accumulated age had initially fooled me --- yeah, isn’t that Christian Atayde, once of the Big Apple Circus? It is! A bow wow wow to these two great ring stars. They won the judges, though I think they were aced out by another act when tie scores were thrown to an audience vote.
Smirkus will work us: Covington connected, Don sent me the link to a Lane Talburt interview with Welsey Williams, last week’s Gong Show dazzler. Fine insight into Wesley's winning personality and his early self-directed career. He advanced to and got plenty of help from Circus Smirkus, and he talks up how they teach the kids to do extra duty (Cherie pie), this meant to ground them in the realities of a life under many American tops. Hooray for that, Smirkus! You impress me, you do. Hard to imagine some other certain circus schools (I’m not mentioning names) deigning to dip a student’s artful ambitions into the sawdust under the sawdust.
Comes yet another circus loaded with brain power, by way of a write-up reprinted in Circus Report: Shanna Kennedy, founder of Philly’s School of Circus Arts, waxing obtusely about circus needing to connect audiences with deeper themes — and when have we heard THAT before? Kennedy high on a recent visitor to the city, Montreal-based Barcode Circus offering “Sweet and Ink.” Its theme is described “a surrealistic and dreamlike exploration of contemporary society’s relationship to memory and time.” Oooooookay. Kennedy adds her own push for more such big top broccoli: “Where circus becomes more powerful to modern audiences is when we can find points of connection and communication ... There can be all kinds of emotion that happens in a really good circus performance. Just ‘wow” isn’t enough for us.”
Maybe not enough for you. But for the average sucker out there like myself who jumps to the magic of great acts, like what Christian and Scooby give us, that kind of “wow” is meaningful connection enough. Here, I'm quoting from the website, Decider:
"Christian and Scooby seemed like just another pair of contestants on The Gong Show, but they proved to be all the joy, talent, and amazement our hearts always needed.
Yes, all we ever needed.