I will be posting QUOTES from important writers/photographers in the art/performance world since I can’t photograph shows for the time being. I might work on setting up some interviews using the internet! Stay safe!
Since its publication fifty years ago, this work has established itself as a classic. It casts the visual process in psychological terms and describes the creative way one’s eye organizes visual material according to specific psychological premises. In 1974 this book was revised and expanded, and since then it has continued to burnish Rudolf Arnheim’s reputation as a groundbreaking theoretician in the fields of art and psychology.
So. for starters we are now in ‘Lockdown’ in New York City. The next Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show will be broadcast to you on the internet. I will try and take some screenshots for those folks who won’t be able to watch. Here is last month’s show in pictures!
Bindlestiff’s co-founder and host for the show Keith Nelson takes the first slot in the show for his ‘Chinese yoyo’ routine.
Maks and Chelsea perform their hysterical antics.
In the spirit of vaudeville Keith takes his time winding the string on his top.
Keith gives an example of how ‘folks’ use to have longer attention spans and looks at the top.
Mariko Iwasa invites an audience member to be part of her performance ‘tea’ ceremony.
The volunteer clad in a Japanese kimono and waiting to sample the tea that Mariko is pouring.
Delaney Bayes performed a beautifully lyrical juggling routine with grace and finesse.
Keith threw a potato into the air and caught on a fork. Nice move!
Ellia Klein was amazing in her contortion act.
Mark Gindick came on stage with a ‘singer’ persona but it changed when Michael Bongar intruded.
And then he recruited an audience member that was blown away by Michael Bongar leaf blower!
Molly Siksin performed on the trapeze with skill and abandonment.
Cassandra Nemser was very vocal (she sang Opera) while escaping from her straightjacket.
Miss 360 performed a deLIGHTful hula hoop routine.
Cleo Carol Knopf sang an original song about her ‘hero’ Bernie Sanders!
Jean-Taé S. Francis performed a charming ‘rola-bola’ act.
Surprising the audience with his Spider-Man costume was aerialist Shawn E. Shawn.
~On April 6th, 2020 The Bindlestiff Open Stage Show will be Broadcast on the internet~
I hope you enjoy this new VERSION of the show! Stay tuned for more information.
The second day of The 6th Annual Southern Sideshow Hootenanny offered workshops during the day is a varied number of topics ranging from ‘Introduction to Contortion – A Twisted World’ taught by Sam Aquatic, and another one was ‘Learn to Juggle’ taught by Thom Wall. 8 workshops in total.
The evening’s performance began with a VIP show performed by ‘Lunatic Fringe Sideshow’ duet at 8:15 pm. Then at 9 pm ‘The ALL-STAR and LIVING LEGENDS SHOW’ began. The lineup was a total of 8 acts. One so different than the next!
Lunatic Fringe Sideshow duet performing with fire.
They also performed the sideshow classic ‘blockhead’ individually.
THE ALL-STAR AND LIVING LEGENDS SHOW
The emcee for the show was a sideshow legend Reggie Bugmuncher.
Juliette Electrique performed a seductive sword-swallowing routine.
Louie Foxx followed with a wonderful bubble-blowing act
Sansa Asylum performed her singing mind-reading act.
The evening had some worthy serious moments. The Rob Houston Lifetime Achievement Award and the Kathleen Kotcher Lifetime Achievement Award were announced.
Thom Wall performed some classic skills (beautifully) from the juggling world.
Sam Aquatic performed contortion with her snake.
Reggie Bügmüncher was the emcee and also performed the classic sideshow ‘eyehooks’ act
The final act of the night was knife throwing and whip cracking Jack Dagger.
There was a wonderful comic part of the act that involved an audience member.
The Sunday evening show was “TROUPE NIGHT” and those images will be posted in a few days.
Jezzibel performs the infamous ‘blockhead’ act with an ice pick.
Jezzibel performs a ‘spark’ spectacular finale.
Lunival Lousion performs a wonderful hula-hoop act.
Betsy Propane entertains the audience with her lovely voice while escaping from her straight jacket.
Jared Janssen charmingly performed juggled with ‘live food’.
Betsy Ritz caught a tongue on her mousetrap while kneeling on the floor.
Dante fooled the audience with his charming magic act.
Salem added a touch of the bizarre with the outfit and magical offerings.
Salem combined the ‘blockhead’ act with the seductive.
Chatty the Mime performed silently combining the chair with mimetic skills.
Nathan McScary dazed the audience with his single-handed knot tying tricks.
Emma D’Lemma performed many skills including walking on bottles.
Sweet Pepper Klopek has his tongue caught in a mousetrap set off by his partner
The Monsters of Schlock finish off the evening’s festivities. Sweet Pepper prepares to slam the cinderblock with a sledgehammer on his partner’s groin. But first a gentlemanly hand butt.
This is the first of 3 separate shows that I documented at The Southern Sideshow Hootenanny. Check back in the next few days for photographs of the other two shows. The All-Star and Living Legends Show (Sat night) – Troupe Night(Sunday show.)
I had a great time interviewing Stephon at the Southern Sideshow Hootenanny in New Orleans. His personal demeanor was charming and very informative for the interview. His characters are funny and certainly eccentric!
At eight years old Vince Bruce met early Wild West cowboy star and music hall performer, Tex McLeod who lived down the street from him in England. Inspired then to be a rope twirling cowboy like his hero, Vince practiced rope tricks under the tutelage of his inventor father. By the age of twelve, he had a regular Friday night spot at a local holiday resort.
As a teenager in the traveling circuses of Europe and later in cabaret clubs and theatre festivals around the world, Vince developed his natural style as an entertainer with unparalleled ability as a western arts virtuoso.
Vince first came to the States in 1983 as the half-time act for the Harlem Globetrotters and that same year won every award at the first convention of the International Trick & Fancy Ropers Association.
In 1991 he starred in the Broadway hit “The Will Rogers’ Follies” where he created the role of “The Roper,” portraying Will Rogers on the silver screen of Hollywood. The show ran two and a half years and received seven Tony’s.
While in New York, Vince met his wife Annie Dubats, a singer prominent in Manhattan’s downtown art and music scene. When working together, Annie graces Vince’s act by singing a few of her own songs and some country classics while on horseback.
Vince’s show is unique. I mean, how many British Cowboys do you know? He looks like the quintessential cowboy — tall and slim with a lined, character face. He’s a blast of energy when he comes on stage swinging a lasso in a big circle that spins wildly over the heads of a surprised audience, while the little bits of “business” that he puts into his roping routines make whatever he’s doing irresistibly entertaining.
There are very few people in history who have earned the title “ The Greatest”. Vince Bruce the greatest western performer to ever live is one of them. Vince is also known as the Wizard of Whips and Ropes performed in the most prestigious entertainment venues around the world including Broadway, Carnegie Hall and a regular performer at The Tiger Palast in Frankfurt, Germany. His western act including trick roping and whips but what set him apart was his unmatched skill level and artistry. He was a true artist! Most roping acts were based on technical skills. Rope spinners would perform their tricks with music playing in the background and often it was somewhat boring. Vince took the western act and showed the world how exciting it could be combining his skills with comedy and showmanship. His act was perfectly timed to the music and the audiences knew they were watching a virtuoso. Vince also included unicycle skills and performed the famous Bobby May trick in his act. The Bobby May trick involved throwing a lit match behind his back and catching it in his mouth followed by throwing a cigarette behind his back and catching it in his mouth and lighting it with the match, he would then cut the lit cigarette out of his mouth with his whip. This trick earned the respect from jugglers and circus legends and It made him more than a western act, he was a variety superstar. Vince’s act had such a high skill level that unless you understood roping you could never fathom that he was performing so many risky feats that a mistake could happen any second. To perform an act at this level requires exceptional confidence and focus and countess hours of daily practice. When talking to variety artists who do not understand roping I call Vince the Francis Brunn of ropers. Just like there will never be a juggler who can be compared to Francis, there will never be another roper who can be compared to Vince. They are both legends who took their art form to another level with original technical skill and artistry. They truly are kings of their disciplines and have inspired countless performers. I imagine every western performer alive today considers Vince Bruce their idol. Vince traveled the world performing in the most prestigious stage productions and circuses and then he created a unique rodeo act with his performing partner and wife Annie Dubats. Annie met Vince while he was starring in the Big Apple Circus in NYC. Annie had a career as a singer and grew up working with horses. They complimented each other and Annie made it possible for Vince to create the act he always dreamed of, spinning a big loop around two horses while standing on them and racing around the arena at a full gallop. Annie and Vince also created an original horse catching/roping act that had all but disappeared from the rodeo. Annie would sing on horseback, not an easy feat while Vince would perform Mexican style roping while seated and standing on his horse. Annie would then gallop past Vince’s horse and the timing had to be perfect as Vince would roll his loop out and catch Annie and her horse. This act would not have been possible without Annie. There is so much preparation that goes into training and maintaining an act like this. In the past, Vince could hop on a plane with his luggage but now there were two horses that had to be transported and cared for. Annie made it possible for Vince to maintain his skill level by sharing the responsibility of exercising, training and caring for their two horses Cochise and Comanche. Annie and Vince made a perfect team and to see them perform together with their horses was witnessing a lifelong dream come true.
We lost Vince to cancer in 2011. He had a great sense of humor and a big heart. Vince had a huge amount of love for the world and he was generous with it. He always gave encouragement to fellow ropers and would always offer help. It was hard not to love him back. I started my career as a rodeo trick rider and always thought trick roping was boring until the day I saw Vince perform. My mind was blown! I couldn’t believe what I just saw. I was actually angry that I could not imagine how beautiful and exciting a western act could be. I owe a great deal to Vince. It was because of him that I decided to create a roping act. I always enjoy my talks with Annie who I consider almost like a sister. Annie is one of the few people I know who understands the whole gamut of Show Business – Broadway, Circus, Stage productions, Rodeo, Wild West Shows. Horse Spectacles ……… Annie saw the world with Vince and has such a vast knowledge of not only Show business but what went into creating and maintaining Vince’s act. There are very few days that go by that I don’t wonder how Vince was able to accomplish the high skill level and artistry of his act and It truly boggles my mind. He was Superhuman, peerless and he will always be unmatched – The Greatest.
Well. The NY Clown Theater Festival has been going on for some time now! It is a wonderful event and one of the reasons why is because of the OPENING PARADE! Here is a glimpse at some of the images from the Parade that started off the 2012 Festival! It has been held at the charming BRICK THEATER in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
See you at the next NY Clown Theater Festival? Hope so…