On the penultimate evening performance in St. Paul a Tornado Warning is issued moments before the High Wire set up and everyone, audience, performers and house staff are shuffled into a nearby parking garage.
Suddenly we’re all just people seeking shelter from the oncoming whirlwind. The rest of the show is cancelled and patrons are offered free tickets to our last performances on Sunday.
Meaning my total show count for Cirque now stands at One Hundred Twenty-seven and a half.
127 standing O’s.
A whole bunch of people standing and slapping their hands together on Cirque's 25th.
If there is a Heaven, and St. Peter really is guarding those pearly gates, I imagine the scene will go something like this:
So Mr. Campbell. I have a question. How many standing ovations have you received in your lifetime?
Oh gee. I don’t know-
More than fifty?
Sorry buddy. You already had your heaven. You’re going to Actor Purgatory. No wings for you. You’re going to be in the wings- for eternity.
So I’m going to do my level best to enjoy my small part of every one of those standing O’s.
Heaven? I’m soaking in it.
Rehearsing with the brilliant Jimmy Slonina
Bouncing around the country from Minnesota to California to Colorado last week was kind of like living poetry. I saw the inside of a lot of airports, saw CalShakes production of Beckett’s Happy Days, went sailing on Valhalla and most importantly got to spend some good time with my lady.
If I had to write a poem about the week off it would sound a little something like this:
On the wings of a Tornado.
From pressurized cabins
To the endless hallways of bad carpeting.
From vast Freon-infused naugahydes
To a road called Snake.
Clown in town with the top down.
A room full of 2.
Squinting into midnights of headlight glaze for deer boundings.
Cleaving Neptune amongst the Daggerboards and Cutter Rigs.
Jibing on a dime.
Dangling on a thought held in the crosshairs of Samuel Beckett’s scalpel.
Plucked from the bay by Time and other baggage handlers.
Airlifted to altitude.
Plopped akimbo on a trap door,
Clown nose to the grindstone.