Today we attempted to begin the turf war downtown. Unfortunately, we got a later start than I had planned, getting down there at around 9:00 AM. The main jackass musician was already there, all his amps and stuff set out. He sat in the middle of it all, reading a newspaper. Brian and I did some performing in other areas, but there weren’t that many people out that early. The new tip containers I bought worked nicely, however, along with the tip signs I put on ’em…now people just passing by sometimes tip. If the weather is nice on Saturday I will go down there early. If my juggling partners aren’t up in time, I will just go alone, and they can come join me soon enough..we have to get established there somehow before the musicians do.
Check out some juggling pictures here. They’re from a talent show at Harper’s office, and our fall trip to the Quad Cities Juggling Festival. There are some nice ones of the five ball endurance and the eight club passing endurance competitions. The pictures are big, but you can set the max display size to make ’em more friendly.
Last weekend Brian and I did an act for an anarchist talent show called Matches and Mayhem. We did our Jugglers of Death routine from Six Flags, and brought the house down. People went crazy… The act following us was interesting, too… This guy first ate fire, then stuck his face in boken glass and had someone stand on his head. Finally, he put needles through his cheeks, neck, chest, and penis. I guess the people hosting the show had not been expecting nudity, because they freaked out and made everyone leave the building immediately. In the rush to get outside, I ended up losing some shirts. Several people talked to us about doing other shows afterward, including one for pay at the Lincoln Lodge comedy club, so I guess it was worthwhile.
Two nights ago, Brian and I actually went to the Lincoln Lodge to check out the show, the stage setup, etc. It’s a small, restaurant/club type of environment, and the show consisted almost entirely of standup routines. The ceiling is oppressively low for juggling, but we could still put together a show for that place that would blow everyone away. We’ll see…the next season for that comedy show starts in September.
Well..I now have a new computer all my own. My parents bought it for my birthday. My new plan is to start learning silly things like html and stuff, and then I’ll be able to change this page myself instead of bugging my roommate to do it. Meanwhile, the weather folk say it’s supposed to rain tomorrow..but we’re still going out there; it’s the day before Mother’s Day…lots of shopping goin’ on.
There is about to be a turf war down on the Magnificent Mile, all because some punk musicians think they own the best street performing spot on Michigan Ave. Until yesterday, every fellow street performer I’d met was extremely nice, friendly, and had a “we’re in this together, we gotta stick together” attitude. There are rules of courtesy, like if someone stakes out a particular spot, you don’t start doing a show right next to them.
For instance… A couple of weeks ago I went out, set up, and started doing a show. This middle aged man was very enthusiastic, gave me some money, and tried to get people to stop and stuff. Chatting with him, I found out he’s a singer, and was waiting for me to finish so he could start performing there. I did a couple of shows, and then decided to move elsewhere and let him have the spot. (Way sooner than he expected me to move..)
Now, I’d noticed that recently a certain group of three musicians always had my favorite spot on Saturdays and Sundays, and they stayed there all day. They set up little amps, seats, microphones and everything, and then just stay there… So yesterday I decided to talk to them, and even grabbed some money to give ’em just like the other guy did for me. Three musicians: a singer/guitar player woman, a sunglasses wearing man, and a dark haired guy who didn’t say anything.
Me: Hey…do you guys know when you’re gonna be done out here?
Woman: Why, are you next?
Me: Well, I was sort of interested in using this space at some point… I’m not trying to rush you or anything, I’m just curious if you know when you’ll be done.
Sunglasses: Yeah…we just play until whenever…we stay until we stop.. And we come out here early so we don’t have to deal with this sh**. This is a big city, and there are lots of street corners out there.
Me: … ..of course.
Then I left, and didn’t give them the money I’d brought. I was pretty mad that they completely blew me off, and didn’t even give me an estimate…(“well, we usually stop sometime around ___, but it’s just whenever we get tired.”) So next week my juggling posse and I will go out very early, get the good spot, and see what happens. When I juggle in this spot I make literally five times as much money as I make anywhere else I’ve tried. Besides, especially starting early, I’ll get tired by midafternoon, so they’ll be able to have the spot from something like 3:00 on..which I think is more than fair, considering their attitude.
I tried posting this once and it didn’t work…hmmm..
Lost of stuff has gone on in the past few weeks..I’ll try to get to all of it.
Maybe a month ago Harper and I went to see Cannibal Corpse, the epitome of American death metal. They put on a great show, but the audience was incredibly violent…we’re talking people flying through the air, a mosh pit that sometimes engulfed the entire floor, etc. Harper and I hid in the relatively chilled out 21-and-over bar area. At the end of the show the drummer threw his sticks into the audience. A group of guys fought over one stick for so long, a spotlight started following them through the crowd, and as Harper and I left, three security guards were still trying to pry them apart. On the train home we ended up in a car with a group of scary looking guys who were all conversing in German. Here’s a great example of death metal bringing people together despite language barriers: we eventually figured out that we’d all come from the same concert, and flashed the rock’n’roll “devil” horns at each other when we left the train. Rock on.