There’s a new theatrical circus called “Stand Up Eight”.
I’ve proudly written about them before, and I’m currently in the last steps of wrapping up their documentary. Since being financed by Dragon, W. Brett Wilson, I’ve had the honour of participating in the show through the making of their posters, graphics, logo, promo videos and the many incarnations of their behind-the-scenes documentary.
As an animator, it’s been an opportunity to stretch my wings and play with other mediums. I’ve discovered that I like it!
I’ve just watched the “Where Are They Now” episode of Dragon’s Den, which once again, focuses a lot on The Angels and “Stand Up Eight” circus. Not only is it exciting to be involved with these CBC stars, but now I also get to say that a whole few seconds of my documentary work has been aired on CBC! (Because in the end, we all know this is all about ME! …Isn’t it??)
You can watch the entire episode on the Dragon’s Den site:
My latest piece, from St. John New Brunswick.
Once again, I’ve had a precious time with old and new friends during fest time.
…I could make money anywhere. But I couldn’t meet these people anywhere. This is why I love festivals.
My latest piece is one I plan to recreate when I do this year’s Toronto Festival. It’ll be my first repeat.
This is my fan art response to one of my favourite documentaries, Peter Lynch’s “Project Grizzly”, the story of Troy Hurtubise and his bear-proof suit.
I saw the suit for myself in an ‘inspired by’ art exhibit last year and knew I needed to have a turn in making my own homage. The suit has evolved into a stove robot with a butterfly net, riding a robotic fish, and the bear has developed some circus skills, but otherwise, I’d say it’s pretty accurate depiction of the film.
Not many of the folks coming off the cruise ship in St. John knew of the film, but I’m pretty certain the response in downtown Toronto will be different. Regardless, the chalk piece was enjoyed by all. …Well, at least the ones who hated it didn’t tell me.
Click on the image to make it larger.
I’ve just come home from a visit to Kalamazoo and nobody at home believes me. I may as well have said I was going to Timbuktu or Lake Titicaca.
Kalamazoo happens to be the home base of a new, innovative circus and Kalamazoo should be proud.
Allison Williams of the world renown Aerial Angels is writer and director of STAND UP EIGHT, a theatrical circus show that brings you closer to the performers and sometimes right up onto the stage, along side them.
After a great deal of development and investment Allison and the Angel’s co-Artistic Director Zay Weaver got one final and dramatic boost into production when they appeared on the CBC’s reality show, The Dragon’s Den. They received a generous investment from W. Brett Wilson, Canada’s cutest blue-eyed zillionaire, with soft spot for entertainers.
(If you’ve seen CBC ads for either The Dragon’s Den or for CBC programming itself, chances are you’ve seen Allison and Zay. They were by far the coolest looking entrepreneurs to appear on the show, eating fire and tumbling from silks, and having the most teeth grittingly tense discussions of any I’ve ever seen aired on that program, ending in a few tears and some accusations of arrogance. The Aerial Angels, in my opinion have single-handedly provided the CBC with a season’s worth of promotional ads.)
I went to Kalamazoo with my video camera in tow, to film the process of this new show and its first few performances.
What does it take to start a theatrical circus show and get it rolling?
What sorts of people invest their talents and personal lives into it?
This documentary will introduce you to them.
Along with other creative projects working their way out, I hope to spend my summer piecing together a masterpiece that captures what I see developing down in Kalamazoo Michigan, and quickly spreading across the globe.
Art. Passion. Drive. Skill.
…Lots and lots of kittens.
(It’ll make sense.)
As a peculiar little side note: My aspiration to break out into documentary (as I am primarily an animation filmmaker) was what originally brought me to the world of variety performance. I had desired to make a film about the life of circus/sideshow/street performers many years ago. Realizing I knew little about either documentary or the lives of variety performers, I dropped that story to experiment in actually performing as a comic fire eater for a while. Allison Williams taught me how to light my tongue ablaze in the back alley of a street festival one summer in Toronto.
After a few years and some short edits of performance related video footage, I have now come full-circle with an inside scoop of the variety life and some documenting experience. I couldn’t have worked it out better if I had tried. …and I did try. Funny, that.
I’ve just finished the first promo video for Stand Up Eight Circus.
Filming and editing by Rachel Peters.
Second camera man, Dragon Alexander.
Stand Up Eight in 90 Seconds! For the busy business person who just doesn’t have time for 4 and-a-half minutes.