Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

I know I shouldn’t talk about things too much right now, because everything is still so unclear.  What really matters is that I am having a good time out here, but basically, I’m working on developing a lot of possible projects around the world:

Asia

There are more exciting opportunities in Asia than I had expected.  It’s just so hard to get on a stage out here – we’ll need to find a way to do everything ourselves, and the challenges to bring modern circus to Taiwan and Tokyo are significant.  These two markets have no real modern theater and/or acrobatic momentum, so while these things are very cool and new, here, it’s a real gamble.

Still, it seems like the right time to take a change.  I just finished a nice, 6-month long contract at the World Expo where I made a bit of money and had a great time, and a nice contract in Taipei where I made a lot of contacts.  These contacts encourage me to expand into direction and production as well, two areas where I have a lot to learn, but have good people helping me out every step of the way.

Taiwan

The Rocker is really helping me a lot. He introduced me to all the producers and big names I met in Taiwan, the leaders of a Taiwanese dance company, all cool-seeming people, and he seems to think that working together we could get a project in mainland China next year.

He has me in for the next show he is directing, as assistant director or performer, we have yet to see, and when that might be is also up in the air.

Another option for Taiwan is to try to get funding to teach a physical acting workshop in Taipei anyways; it would be a source of income for me, and would give me a chance to go to Taiwan again, and soon.  That has been my mantra lately: “Have to get grants, have to get grants…” I would love to get grants that have me travelling all over the world but you need to get grants in order to get more grants.  But of course, if there was any way that the workshop could jeopardize the show, I will not even bother.

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Japan

Slowly, slowly, I am starting to get people interested over here in Japan.  I might be doing acrobatics in a music video for a pop star over here… it is good for me because I’m told that Japanese TV pays well and is hard to get into, but once you are in, you can do a lot of things.  TV in Japan could make a whole career, here.  Beyond those possibilities, though, Japan has nothing in terms of locally-made live shows.  When I ask producers and agents to see what opportunities there are for a foreign acrobat in Japan, people generally just stare at me blankly.  I mean, everyone says that they are interested, but that it is not easy to find work for a new thing like acrobatics!

It never stops to amaze me how long things take here.  I got an offer for a job ONE MONTH ago, and I still don’t even know what exactly the job is, how much it pays, and how long it lasts, or if I even have an official offer yet.  Next week will be my first meeting with the producers, and after that I may have the chance to sign in a week or two.  So I am waiting patiently, and hoping that it will all pay off next year if I can extend my working visa.

I am used to Europe and Montreal where a producer says, “I have a show in a week, can you do it?” here, it is always two weeks’ notice to set up a first meeting, then two weeks until you get a confirmation call, two weeks till you meet the client… by then I ‘m penniless and starving!

India?

The Rocker even mentioned the possibility of some shows in India (!?!) in the next couple of months.

Europe

While I’m waiting for things to move in Tokyo or Taipei I’m still looking for good opportunities to get back to Europe by expanding my network into Eastern Europe

Back to school?

Meeting so many people from so many countries at Expo makes me curious about the possibility of studying political science, but I am afraid that being over thirty soon will put me at a bit of a disadvantage.

The big challenge is to build up enough steam to become self-sufficient.  Right now, I’m barely earning subsistence pay, but the opportunities to travel the world and create shows for audiences from so many different cultures is something I could never give up.  So, in the meantime, I am writing and always trying to make myself better, to continually aim higher.  I see something and I want to achieve it.  If it looks impossible, if people say that I can’t do it, I want to do it more, to prove people wrong.  Become a producer and still write my own shows and direct and perform?  People tell me that it is impossible, but it is my new challenge, and we will see how I do.  After that, I will be looking for a new challenge.  I am not the kind of person who can it back and enjoy life, I need to take control and challenge myself and enjoy life.  that is what defines me; my ambition, and my drive.

Anyway, back to the painfully slooooooooooooooooow process of conducting business in Japan in order make a living performing over here.  The only way to survive is to keep a lot of irons in the fire and hope that it will all pay off in the end!

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