Charlie Chaplin once said that busking (Street performing) was the most honest form of entertainment in the world. You perform a show and then the audience gets to decide what it was worth, if anything.
The idea of making ones living by collecting retroactive admission appeals to only the rarest of individuals. In order to succeed in this lifestyle as well as being incredibly talented in their field of endeavor one must also be brave, emotionally tough as nails, resilient, adaptable, confident, funny, engaging, charming, sharp-witted, quick-footed, and barking mad. I believe with all my heart that Martin Ewen must be just such an individual.
I was first aware of Martin Ewen about 10 years ago. I found him holding court with Butterfly man, Taxi Tricks, and a handful of other full frontal, hard core, world weary, street performers, over on performers-dot-net. Unlike most mimes who only want to regale you with stories of harrowing escapes from invisible boxes, Martin A.K.A. 'Lurk' would unload on a nearly infinite number of topics with clarity, humor, tremendous intellect, acerbic sarcasm, and whimsy. Literately, I was smitten. In my opinion, whips can only aspire to be as sharp as Martin Ewen.
Martin could often use hyperbole and superlatives to paint prose so blindingly purple it should not be read without wearing the proper safety equipment. But, unlike the high school student who produces prose of this ilk that made you want to pull your eyes out with a writing implement, Martin produces a shade so lovely you would paint your house with it.
So when the legendary Nick Nicholas told us all about Martin's new book in this thread I immediately procured a copy and put it at the very pinnacle of my vacation reading list.
Well, last week while I was in the wilds of Maine with my family eating Lobstah' and sailing the bounding Atlantic I pulled up Panto Demascus on my protectively weather sheathed Amazon Kindle Reader and fell into the outrageous alphabetical memoir of the tall man with the white face and the tanker's helmet. A clown who is not only unafraid of the 'C-word' but makes it respectable. A misanthropic mime who drinks like a fish and talks like an "untethered fire-hose". To use the word brilliant to describe this short tome would not be an overstatement. I loved it, the best $2.99 I have spent in a long time. If you have ever wondered what it must be like to travel the world with nothing but the props in your kit and the clothes on your back and still manage to have a great time - you need to read this book.