5/12/14 – Non-Rules


The Non-Rules



When creating an act you have a lot of freedom especially as you get more comfortable on an apparatus and move away from simply stringing tricks together. As you are forging your act you want to ask yourself what you are trying to communicate, evaluate how well you are communicating that message. Be careful here, never loose sense of your audience and remember that as an artist it isn’t your job to create art for yourself. The entire goal is to create something other people can enjoy. So ask yourself who your audience is, is this a piece to be performed ambiently at a wedding, or it is a solo moment at a corporate event. Is it part of a larger circus show, is it for a late night cabaret? Each of these different events necessitates a different kind of act that can fit the atmosphere and mindset of the guests. So even though there are “no rules” as to what you create, there are lots of guidelines that will help keep your creations and your audience’s expectations from colliding in an unpleasant way.


One more non-rule I would love to talk a little about is beginnings and ending, they are important business. Beginnings and endings are inherently more powerful and memorable moments so use that structural strength to your advantage. The first time an audience sees you is extremely important. The audience is going to judge the shit out of you (that’s just what we human do, snap judgments) so make sure you make a strong first impression. Fortunately revealing yourself in a giant metal wheel is usually pretty striking, so you got that going for you. Spend a significant amount of time figuring out where exactly you want yourself to be when things start, that first image will set the tone for everything else you do. Lastly, finish strong! It is so upsetting to go through this whole act, watching and sharing this moment with a performer, then to have a lackluster ending is just criminal. A poopy ending will leave your audience feeling just that, and will make your act fall flat. Sometimes things can sound much better in your head than they are in reality, so make sure you get reliable feedback from someone who’s eye you trust, and video is never a bad idea. So there you go, a couple of non-rules to help you on your creative journey. Have fun!



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