Sunday, May 3, 2020

Dott Cotton

One Clown in forging ahead creatively in circumstances of poverty and uncertainty and it warms my heart.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Nothing's Going to Change My World

Narrative Life

Life is a string of moments and as social apes we are predestined pattern recognition units.
The most powerful patterns are narratives, scientific, sociopolitical and personal.
We spend every waking moment of our life asserting and or recompiling our own narratives.
And our societies exist on the scaffolding of collectively held interwoven multi textural narratives.

Sometimes, online I come across ‘news’ ‘information’ reports of pre ported reality and my initial response is to be triggered almost instinctively into feeling strongly, sometimes the elements of a narrative are arranged in such a way that the emotion on the surface that’s triggered is so immediate that further thought seems excess to requirements. I feel angry or outraged or strongly in some way that I am right, that my feeling is undeniably true and because I feel this way and thinking any further would dilute this feeling I’ve learnt that this is an instance, and we all have them, when the power of the narrative uses me and the emotions associated are byproducts of that construct.

Facebook is a wonderful illustration wherein propaganda of all sorts bounces around giving people self important goosebumps. Nothing actually happens other than narratives pay their toll of injecting self righteous flushes of piousness as they multiply throughout the network. Trump, Syria, Oil spills,..placating little squirts of artificial narrative feed into our own, lubricated by cats and sentiment and people falling off skateboards while we stare at screens convinced we are authors of our destinies. when it just as well could be argued that the ultimate sentimentality is to believe we are much more than amplifiers of mostly synthetic and deliberately fostered narratives that serve not ourselves but those who restrict our human experience as the cost of their desires.

Elvis Costello, Gods Comic

Monday, April 6, 2020

Remember Richard Miller.

In these times of adversity remember Richard Miller.

Richard Miller had no arms or legs and grew up and got his very own bus!

People would shower him with cash whenever he attempted to sing about Jesus.

"Take our money Richard" they'd say,

"Get in your bus and fuck off!"

There’s a couple of things I learnt early in my adult life via a curiosity about the human condition and an interest in mythology and theatre.
One is that ritual has always quantified chaos, that’s its function.
Another is that the oldest ritual is the preparing and offering of food.
Another is that the oldest communal narrative is ‘the heros journey’ and every human places themselves centerstage within this narrative.

Having a virus reducing everyone to a victim rather than a hero kinda fucks with our self identity as a species and also having our oldest ritual becoming our greatest weakness erodes the application of our humanity.

But there are ways to be kind and sterile at the same time which need to become our new instinctives. Without elasticity we're fucked. Without kindness we are beyond fucked.
— with photo by dino morrow.

I made a thing

The Auckland Royal Easter Show...A reading.

One potential NZ future.

Here's one potential NZ future.
We are presently engaged in not a mitigation strategy but a unique and ambitious strategy of eradication.
Under lockdown to prevent spread we are attempting to identify all carriers, via testing around known clusters and also the symptomatic.
It might work. It might not, asymptomatics might create clusters that multiply too quickly to be contained. But at the moment we are poised between success and failure. Our daily newly identified infected are not growing explosively.
If this fails we’ll switch to mitigation and be like every other model.
If it succeeds it’s going to be really interesting.
We’ll be an isolated country without the virus, the only one.
Public gatherings will not be dangerous, concerts, movies, daily life etc.
It will be like that one thing NZ had, always being slightly behind the rest of the world [in our minds and in our general culture] will be our jewel.
Tourism will be surreal. There may have to be two week initial compulsory quarantine options involving being shepherded between exclusive isolated places, perhaps staffed by some of the couple of hundred recovered who have it is presumed some degree of immunity before inclusion into NZ public life is allowed.
How exclusive would that make us as a destination!
It’s not nearly over and it’s not decided as to whether success or failure of this current strategy will prevail.
It’s so very balanced between success or failure at this point. Holding out with 89 new cases one day, 71 the next, 82 the next.
Will it bend up or down?
So much in the balance.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

We're grieving the old normal.

Yep, there will be a new normal and to some degree the world has changed irrevocably and people will need assistance coping with the unknown being, if not an ok thing, at least a manageable thing and at very best an opportunity to reimagine what personally and potentially collectively the important elements of the near future could be.

At the moment, driven by our need for information we're marinating in toxic media, I know I am. We may as well be shitting in paper bags and putting it outside our own front doors and lighting it on fire for all the good it does us.

My limited and unqualified experience as someone who's never really trusted my own mind and examines it constantly and certainly never trusted the ridiculous death cult we call a civilisation with it's built in expiry date given it's fallacy of infinite growth founded on finite resources and someone who examines anthropology and other ologies for clues and someone who's trusted the best in people to the degree that I spent 30 years internationally being comically despondent in public and lived off the coins generated by people who could identify and appreciated the opportunity to laugh at the same time, as that person, that Martin, my only practical advice is that if you can, earth yourself. Plant something you can eat. Also share something. The more you can celebrate eating something you fashioned and the more you can offer anyone something, anything. Find a street person and give them the smallest thing you can spare on your now rare trip to the supermarket for example.I don't know but I suspect creating some relationship with dirt is probably mentally healthy and being kind is always empowering.

Just watch those flaming bags cos they're everywhere.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Letter to Wellington City council

I would like to arrange if convenient a short sit-down meeting to discuss a potential solo street theatre project that I’m looking at producing over a month long period later in the summer/autumn.
NZ’r Martin Ewen.
International Clown soloist
I last spent time performing in NZ in the first decade of the Christchurch and Auckland and intermittent Wellington Street theatre festivals, [so 1995-2005ish] I performed the Ch-ch festival 6 times in it’s first 10 years as part of a commitment I had to help develop viable street theatre options within NZ and also as an informal ambassador within my international communities of, clown and street theatre and circus
I was working internationally and based in Perth Australia the early 90’s as I had a wonderful relationship with their City Council which involved annual performance commissions of street and other site specific productions and a principle role in a multi-media marketing campaign they produced with a 'See You in the City.’ Promotion that ran over a number of years.
I then became an American resident and for 15 years, up until a year and a half ago was based in Hawaii while still working widely internationally.
I have only recently returned to NZ after more than a decade away.
I have performed and studied, produced, taught and written about street theatre and clown for over 30 years.
I have successfully completed a two day Cirque du Soleil audition in NY that started with 58 people and finished with me being the only clown that entered the potential employment pool out of only 8 people that made it through.
I have a deep respect of the art form of street theatre in it’s widest applications and in it’s cultural viability.
I’ve done the mandatory 10 000 shows to attain mastery of my chosen craft.
Link to a couple of books below.
Well this is where it gets interesting and I’ll try to keep it short.
Just under 2 years ago in Hawaii I was diagnosed, [misdiagnosed as it happens] with inoperable stage 4 cancer of the esophagus and given less than a year to live. My green card was coming up for renewal at the time but I thought the best idea was to come back to NZ and give my parents some closure. NZ health services were quickly involved and after exploratory surgery, chemo and then a further huge operation and a few months in hospital I was pronounced cancer and 2/3rds of my stomach free.
Less than a year ago I was still self feeding via a tube. I’ve spent the last year recuperating in isolation, I’ve had a new lightweight pair of stilts made and spent the last 6 months staring at then at the end of my bed trying to work out how best to proceed with the rest of my life.
I specialise in a strong character based, slow audience build structured improvisational type of performance.
It’s pantomime and I use no amplification.
I like developing new pitches using the dynamics of a self made stage area, some kind of pedestrian flow and an audience catchment area at a distance my audience finds comfortable to observe me and to my mind there’s an area at one of the entrances to Civic square that very well suits the experiment I’d like to embark on.
My costume arrives via courier tomorrow and I’d like the opportunity to meet with someone from your dept/division to discuss the viability of working for no more than an hour a day, 3 or 4 days a week, at lunchtimes to experiment with growing an audience over an initial month.
As I do that thing I’m best at where I eat time and space as a comic function.
My ph number is -----------
or you could simply reply to this email.
Martin Ewen