I met a russian clown/artist in new york last year. I went to his art opening in brooklyn and we made, amongst many cool things, this picture:
I was recently busking at sacre coeur (note the big crowd of suckers at the bottom of the picture who just wanted a peaceful evening overlooking paris from a gorgeous church but who instead got roped into seeing my show because they were too lazy to leave) and made this picture:
which I sent to him because it had the jumping orange theme going on. lo and behold, he tells me he's staying at his parents' house just outside of paris, that tomorrow is his dad's (another russian clown) birthday, and why don't I come on over and have some laughs.
I packed my stuff and hotfooted it to the train for a 45ish minute ride to parc disneyland, which is in the suburbs of paris. I've been thinking about going to parc disneyland since I got here (on and off (mostly off), not like it's been a pressing thought). not so much to go and see the features of the parc. but to see the differences between it and the disneyland in whose shadow I was raised. but I had not the motivation to actually haul my cookies all the way to the parc just for that reason. and I didn't want to spend a whole day there in any case. hence being picked up there and going in far enough to use their plumbing was perfect.
I've spent the last week here, feeling a bit like I'm in russia. the few times I've ventured forth into the world, I've been momentarily surprised when the people speak the french. everybody here speaks between broken and good-but-russian-accented english. my collective hostive is about the same with french. they all speak better russian than anything and mostly speak in russian. sometimes they translate for me, sometimes I just watch and follow the gestures and sounds of conversation. these are world class clowns (and the family thereof, who spend a lot of time with world class clowns) hence divining meaning without words isn't as hard as it otherwise would be. my friend was raised in this environment and is one of the more creative people I know. this kid will be raised in at least as cool an environment and ought to take over the world some day...
you saw her here first
I've felt so creative here... it's been amazing. I feel like this environment is tailored to foster creativity while providing an excellent life for those living it. we gave the jumping orange dot picture a second go...
the outtakes are quite amusing
though the main project has been a fire spinning video I've been trying to make for about a year and a half. no link yet.
while here, I met another russian. this one is a guy who runs a zen monastery/yoga center/steam bath house/martial arts camp/day spa in the south of russia. he invited me to go be a student/artist/performer there for free (waiving the normal 400 euro per day fee for guests). and what I've got to do to earn my keep is spin some fire every night. how cool is that? I've been wanting to go to russia since A) I missed the st petersburg 300 year anniversary a few years back B) joe went to russia with these self same clowns C) rocky IV.
life is like my feet are kicked up on the railing, watching the sunset, overlooking a beautiful river and trees.
except when it's more creative, exciting, and precarious...
ps - if you haven't heard of zbig rybczynski or seen his short film tango (his others are darn cool too, but tango's my favorite) and you do not have a pay-by-the-byte internet connection, check this out... it's downright flabbergasting. tango