Festival of Fools, Belfast, 29th April - 1st May 2016
"I gained so much from the programme and am really grateful to have had that opportunity. I learned a lot about street theatre and how it works in different ways. The diverse variety of of acts was great to see and opened my mind to what is possible on the streets under different settings. Some of the performers I spoke to told me a lot about the different settings they normally work in and I learned about how acts can manage to be so diverse. This is especially important for me as I want to be able to perform on lots of types of stages.
I learned a lot from Dado about passion for this art form. It is always at the forefront for me to bring smiles to my audiences faces, but he really touched me with his genuine love for entertaining people. I was particularly inspired by his hat line 'This is my hat, this is my heart and this is my art. My hat is for the money, my heart is what makes me do this for a living and my art if for you'. I thought his character was so strong throughout the whole show and I loved the content of silly clowning. He had a really odd contraption which was essentially bagpipes made out of a latex glove that he blew up on his head. Once again, like Dansko, no filter. I really enjoyed thinking about the process of making that and how the idea came about it the first place. His audience interaction was incredible with lots of totally unique moments, which I think is very important when watching a street show that is repeated many many times.
I was very inspired by the prop design of many of the artists. I love the masks in Boom, the design of lots of Danskos show (especially the doll of himself), the applause metre Dan Holtzman had, the costumes and props in Mimbre and costumes of many other acts. I also enjoyed watching the different styles of display and show layout. There was lots of different kinds varying from your big standard typical street show to full blown theatre acts.
I was hugely inspired by the skill level across the board, particularly the skills displayed by Les Dudes, Mimbre and Sorin Sirkus. The dedication to training is phenomenal and I was encouraged to train really hard this summer, especially in skipping and unicycle, inspired by Sorin Sirkus.
With regard to recommendations for future Delve programmes, I'm not quite sure. I really enjoyed chatting to the performers and would have like to do more of that as I'd love to know more about where they started etc. I think it's quite important to hear from artists that came from varying backgrounds because it can be a bit intimidating to hear that all your favourite artists have been training since they were 6. It makes me doubt my potential, so I like to hear about artists that have come from a similar background or know what routes they took to get where they are. That's not to say I don't want to talk to those that have always been training in their art form though. I think our dinner was great because we all got to chat about what we were inspired by and where we want to go. I thought this was a good focus group and I found it very beneficial. I think it'd be nice for future Delve programs to have a focus group at the start and the end of the festival maybe. It really drives home the inspiration when you talk about it like this, with pen in hand and similar heads all together discussing their careers..."