Sunday, September 20, 2020
Monday, August 3, 2020
So check this out,
I'm looking to produce locally a cover of this instrumental as the opening part of a show I'm working on.
I've made inquiries towards a keyboardist, [but might be looking for others if he's not available.]
and I've made inquiries of a sound engineer, [But might be looking at others if he's not available]
Additionally you'll notice there's layers of maniacal laughter involved in the piece.
That's where you come in....
download 'Audacity' [ free, easy audio recording software]
or use what you already have and please record and email me a soundfile of your best evil laughter.
I'll probably distort it beyond recognition but everybody who sends me a file will be included in the credits and in the recording somewhere.
and I'll record the show and send you a copy.
I need your help. Thanks.
Sadly, the keyboardist Dave Greenfield died of Covid on may 3rd this year. I'm hoping he's appreciate you turning your sadness into maniacal laughter.
My Post below is the preamble, a voice over monologue as I’m filmed putting on my makeup and stilts.
There is potential to emphasise by cutting from voice over to speaking to camera for dramatic punctuation.
Parts can be sped up and slowed down however the prime editing criterion is that the length of the preparation footage matches/equals the length of the monologue.
Then intro music, 'Waltz in Black' By the stranglers.
[PRODUCTION NOTE-I’ve started inquiries to have NZ musicians produce a cover of this music to sidestep potential copywrite issues]
[Martin/Lurk enters bare stage, 11 ft white face clown and moves towards abnormally tall mic stand mid centre stage front]
[Grabs mic off stand and begins pacing]
Who the fuck do I think I am?
That’s what some of you are thinking.
You people put yourselves abstractly in other peoples shoes to ask questions. I like that.
Others of you who don’t do that sort of thing automatically are simply asking.
What the fuck is this? And that’s fair enough too.
I can answer both questions at once.
I’m the last clown standing.
Which is a bit of a stretch, I’m guessing Leo Bassi’s still holed up somewhere being an isolated madcap asshole, and Jonathan Freddes who’s the last ancient Ringling Clown is still dodging plague and gaining successive blackbelts at 70 something in Mississippi and there are others alive and I could continue to namedrop like it was an olympic sport
And also I’m not nearly so well known, except to clowns.
I’m pretty secure in the fact that most international clowns know me.
Heard of me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m well liked generally.
I’m like Clown wasabi.
I kept to the streets mainly but I did my share of international festivals and mad private events and a smattering of circuses and international corporate bollocks but I’m the last standing
Here……..[moves] and here, etc etc.
And I’m not sure but I have a suspicion collectively our days are numbered simply because as a species we have less and less to laugh about.
are finite. Who knew? Notice how comedies getting darker generally?
There’s less and less yucks that can be mined from the human condition.
Our ability to laugh at ourselves is receding into a collapsing bubble of diminishing returns.
And probably making a sound similar to a fart cushion while doing so. Don’t worry, that’s the only fart joke you’ll get from me.
The sound of humanity disappearing up it’s own ass. [Makes fart noise] Moving right along.
Clowns were the mostly insipid fluffy little canaries in the coalmine, Circus based, street theatre festivals, before their ultimate accolade became a residency in Vegas . I suspect Vegas is in the process of drying up and blowing away. Always was a bit of allegorical shitstain in my opinion. I’ve worked there. I’ll get back to Vegas later in the show. But Vegas is a city, in a country, in a western world, in a global interconnected system that’s convulsing in case you hadn’t noticed.
The only Clowns built to survive this convulsion were more like Crows
or Ravens to begin with, dark brooding slightly unsafe instruments of
Performers who gained your trust by being untrustworthy towards everything but their audience.
You ever been in a restaurant and some violinist or rose seller is going from table to table.
You know that dread you feel, like your whole nights been ruined as you feel them heading your way?
The clowns I liked used people like aztec sacrifices. It takes great skill to choose who to pick on.
I have picked on tens of thousands of people. I’m not proud, but I’m not embarrassed or ashamed either.
It’s a serious business and I know what needs to be done. I engineered laughs.
Check this out……
[STAGE NOTE, I need to workshop whether for pacing purposes I go straight to this gag or build it using the rule of threes via my one ball juggling anticlimax gag followed by my magic pen gag leading into this bit]
[Pulls out LED Yo Yo, shows it to the crowd, milks reaction, teases anticipated big trick, engages Yoyo but even though he’s on stilts the string is impossibly long and the Yoyo shatters on the stage. Lurk freezes in shock, the tricks ruined. He turns himself so his back faces the audience and frantically begins pulling up the string of the broken Yoyo in small increments. He glances over his shoulder intermittently. When he has fully collected the string there is a little further surreptitious furtive movement before he turns to face the audience with the fingers of both hands supporting a woven doily triumphantly.]
Saturday, August 1, 2020
'amusing in an odd way; whimsically humorous; waggish, jocular or witty, full of roguish good humor.’
I’m additionally a white faced pantomime on stilts. I don’t speak and
thus have worked many cultures who’s spoken and written languages were
unknown to me.
I had no problem communicating.
That worked for almost thirty years until around 2010.
Since then the idea of distracting the already distracted has lost it's romantic appeal. Ecosystems are crashing, parts of the world that didn't used to be are now uninhabitable and migration's already started. Water tables are more or less empty in Africa and southern Europe and the Americas. Globally fish are over 50% depleted and non renewable as of 2016, the worlds convulsing and collapsing systematically in real time as I write and playing my worlds tiniest violin on the deck of humanities Titanic, or even worse, on a cruise ship or whatever real estate development and multi-corp sponsor facade masking as community event I could whore myself out to for yucks ...well I used to think the majority of dumb fucks and their kids about to inherit a barren wasteland before their middle age was darkly amusing. Now I'm more inclined to see clowns as the cruel mother tereasas with serpentine eyes pacing the terminal ward of humanity living off whatever hope the hopeless still radiate.
I’ve had a change of heart. It took a
near terminal cancer and two years of recuperation and a global pandemic
to reorientate the kind of dark optimism that was my professional
I’ve decided Clowns can still be useful.
Salman Rushdie in midnights children wrote something that resonated with me as a clown.
I’m paraphrasing but he wrote about Indian street magicians and he said.
“Their hold on reality was so fundamental and strong that they could bend and shape it to their will.”
All performance incapsulates this ambition and street theatre is its most fundamental form.
A public space is bent and shaped and moments are spun from straw into metaphysical gold in that ideally a group of strangers are given focus and access to a joy that is larger than the sum of it’s parts and also practically there’s a transaction borne of collective gratitude that empowers the performer. The performer also benefits in a rare and singular way in that their life actually makes sense for a select period of time. The best of the best [not to be confused with the most commercially successful ] [and this is all just my thoughts and opinion] achieve a kind of profound peace whilst dancing round inside their absurd creations.
This is the ideal or the bedrock of the situation as I’ve always seen it. I’ve studied and inhabited and experimented within this conceptual membrane for as long as I could and also studied others in the convergence of Clown and Street theatre artists/engineers.
It’s not enough to simply be a boilerplate narcissist, it’s helpful to know that metaphor and psychology exist in applicable realworld units. As a mime I lacked the luxury of the word being made flesh and dealt primarily with metaphor, psychology, the interpretation of the moment and timing.
It worked for me. Suicidal people in my audiences would puncture their isolated hells to let me know I’d made them laugh. I guess that makes me a generous psychopath given I victimised people for a living.
I look for the bedrock in other performers, I think the essential nature of people who manipulate others for a living is important. I identified mainly and not surprisingly with robust nihilistic contrarians who created incandescent joy because someone had to and life held no meaning otherwise.
I’m fifty fucking seven now. I’ve spent the two years isolated in a room with the luxury of the state paying my rent getting used to the fact I’ve had my stomach removed and just thinking generally.
The difference between being insane and being a clown really comes down to whether you can orchestrate laughter.
As such I’ve been unemployed the last couple of years and while I once wrote of Performer and Clown Anthony Livingspace.
"Figuratively, if you were to imagine the outskirts of society and from
there walk a day and a half, then have on hand a very powerful set of
binoculars, you may, in the distance make out what looks to be a putrid
Tony lives just on the other side of that but returns to do shows for the folk.”
I feel myself I have ventured so far away from what constitutes 2020 collective reality that it and I no longer have enough in common to form a collective bond.
I choose to find that liberating because, and I’ve been there before, the alternative is simply to keep to myself and with patience wait to die.
During this period of isolation the world convulsed and itself shrank and isolated.
I got a head start by chance.
Another wise clown once told me that our main responsibility as Clowns is to keep ourselves entertained.
So I’ve decided to once again entertain myself and others and create something larger than myself, an ambitious vehicle, to do it as we all navigate the new global cultural turbulences in search of new sources of bread, [not my business] and circuses, [the wider definition of which being my paddling pool of choice, my business]
Friday, May 15, 2020
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Monday, April 6, 2020
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.
"Get in your bus and fuck off!"
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.
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 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
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.
Just watch those flaming bags cos they're everywhere.
Saturday, February 8, 2020
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.
WHO ARE YOU?
NZ’r Martin Ewen.
International Clown soloist
WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF YOU?
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.
WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU’RE SO SPECIAL?
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.