So The Rocker was just named Artistic Director of the festival, we have actual dates, I am confirmed to go to Taiwan to support him at the end of June (which gives me a little more time to support the project in Japan), and that I will be in the show too, which makes me even more excited. On top of that, Cirque Human has agreed to be part of the festival. Loving this business shit. He’s finally the boss which is fun for a while… until all the shit hits!
It is a strange thing. When things start going well, you have to be quick enough to stay on top of all of it or you start to lose control of everything. I’m nervous, for example, that The Rocker signed a deal with an arts management firm to manage both the production of the show and also any possible Taiwan Tour. In other words, they are going to be doing roughly what Adco proposed to do for the Tokyo Tour; finding corporate sponsors in Taipei, etc. If there ends up being a huge connection between the business ends in Taiwan and Tokyo might they just take over everything from me? The Rocker understands and told me that it would be a good idea for me to connect with them to let them know what I’ve been working on in Japan:
I’ve been approaching the project from two different directions. The first is the “Big Business” direction as “New Project Coordinator” for The Rocker. I present the project to advertising and production contacts that I developed as Acrobatic Team Co-Manager at the Toyota Pavilion at the Universal Expo in Aichi, Japan in 2005. So far they have shown interest in bringing this project to their clients as an advertising campaign for companies that are interested in associating with the “Circus Brand” in advance of Cirque Du Soleil’s 2008 Tokyo permanent show. They see investing in the circus image and the associated “cool” early as a chance to get a head start now rather than play “catch-up” with Cirque-centered advertising monopoly later.
The other approach I have been taking I call the “grass-roots” approach, and is essentially taking on the role of a representative of The Rocker’s company as a small, internationally-minded, arts organization that is looking to produce a limited engagement but high-visibility show in Tokyo. I have been working with a partner who has an impressive network of politicians, artists, arts organizations, and philanthropists, and who is very enthusiastic about helping this project come to Tokyo. We are proceeding in a stepwise fashion, securing one part of the puzzle at a time. We are trying to get good quotes on theater rental, local publicity costs, and trying to attract smaller companies and investors with the project on out own.
Both approaches are moving forward steadily, and I have a guarded optimism about our chances of bringing the show here in 2007.
On your side, is there any interest in helping to bring The Rocker’s show to Tokyo? If so, what is the best way for us to pool our resources to work effectively and efficiently?
In any case, now that things are confirmed, casting and its associated drama is accelerating. For example, The Rocker told me that he just learned that a competing circus director will be working with the circus school to open a circus show on the same day as our festival. This is the same circus school that we were supposed to be working with for our show but The Rocker insisted on keeping first pick of their artists since, “HE WAS THERE FIRST!”.
The only question is if we can use the school’s rehearsal space or not. One of their graduates is very excited about working with us to develop a Chinese “rock” circus and shared a video of the student’s personal work that is very interesting. The Rocker also may be able to sign two straps artists who are former Cirque du Soleil artists. If that happens we’re increasing our chances of success in Tokyo.
Even more excited but I’m ever more aware of the risk of burnout. I am working harder than ever… somedays I crash so hard emotionally that I can barely open my eyes… other days, I am flying high… it is like a sick, sick drug. The only thing I can compare it to is the rush of being on stage!