Sunday, March 28, 2010

And for my next trick...

The Kingsland Festival, which occurred last Saturday in Auckland, promised to have a street closed down so event goers could “enjoy bands, djs, pie eating competitions, stilt walkers, and other entertainers from 3pm – Late.”  On the surface it was a perfect plan for a Saturday night - much like one I might enjoy during a Chicago summer.

 I was excited to see how they were done in Auckland (although to be fair, multiple kiwis warned me that I would be disappointed).  Upon arriving I noticed that the street wasn’t in fact closed, but just had a few lanes blocked off. That’s fine, not what I expected, but not a problem.  We headed into the first bar and had a few drinks.  The bar was packed with people and the beer was good but since we came for the festival we decided to see what it had to offer.  We wandered down the street to find the heart of it, and on the way we stopped to watch a street performer. 

This particular street performer hailed from England and had been performing for 11 years.  We came towards the end of his act (although the last two “tricks” were stretched out to last about 10 minutes of the 30 minute show).  Just as we arrived he was getting ready to unveil one of the props he was about to use...”and now I unveil....[dramatic pause as he whips a cover off]...the orange juice!”

He then proceeded to balance the glass of orange juice on the inside of a pool triangle attached to a chain.  At this point I was hoping for a disappearing act, mainly his disappearance, but I would have settled for the OJ disappearing.  Instead, he explained, “I will now spin this orange juice around my head without dropping a single drop.”

And so it began...he demonstrated what any 13 year old should recognize as centrifugal force.  My mouth gaped open, but not in the amazed response he was looking for.  Was this a joke?  I turned to see what the rest of the audience was thinking as they watched a basic law of inertia demonstrated right before their eyes...the sad part is that half of them actually looked impressed. I closed my mouth and now had to hold my tongue as a fit of giggles started to erupt. The icing on the cake was when he made the trick “even tougher” by stepping on a chair while continuing to spin the OJ.  Seriously.  He's been doing this for 11 years.  What are you thinking, man?!? 

His final act was fitting his body through the inside of a tennis racket (the strings had been removed, of course) and then chopping a zucchini in half as it rested on a guy's stomach (pictured above).   Unfortunately it wasn't much better than the OJ trick, it only required him to dislocate his shoulder momentarily, which was quite disgusting to watch.

The rest of the festival wasn't much better. So the street performers were lacking actual talent, the street wasn’t in fact closed, and the masses of people that were expected were clearly scared into the bars and off of the streets.  But the night was still fun and I did learn one thing:  If I can’t find a job in marketing I can always become a street performer...

“And for my next trick I will pour this oil into this jug of water.  Just don't try this at home folks, I'm a trained professional and this is a very dangerous, highly skillful trick.  Watch as it magically separates when I wave my wand! ABRA CADABRA!!" [And the crowd goes wiiillldd!!]

1 comment:

  1. well good to know I will not be attending a street festival when I visit