On a fateful day in India, January the 12th of 2019, the sun blasted down upon the dry, dusty earth, heating the steel train tracks and the speeding compartments above to a boil – an appropriate temperature to get simmering the eager ingredients of the Indian PWB tour which had only just been thrown in the pot together. Those delectable ingredients are: Dan our fearless leader and double diabolo monkey, Erika the high-flying acrobatic chicken with a side of salad, Matt the dog-whispering devil stick shaman, Gina the indomitable clown and tooting trumpeter, Chaka the Chief and triple staff extraordinaire, Iain the dexterous juggling primate and our favorite Ma’ away from home, Ashlee the hero-princess of poi and bringer of infinite smiles, and myself, Logan, resident giant juggling bird of paradise and hoarder of all ice creams. So with all the zeal of a newly formed group of adventurers we hastened toward our first home in India, Kudle Beach in the village of Gokarna. What a fantastic home it was! Our passion for the discovery of the local culture and cuisine was noticeable immediately and equal only to the determination to develop friendships and share our myriad circus skills with one another.
We worked hard every day to become as mentally and physically fit as required in order to tackle the strenuous work ahead of us. The mornings brought yoga classes, group games, flexibility and strength training sessions. Afternoons floated by, filled with rehearsals under the tropical sun and a dutiful efficiency. Evenings rewarded our efforts with the exploration of tasty delicacies, westerly ocean sunsets, and the pursuit of our diverse whimsies. Adjusting quickly to the climate and setting, we found our individual routines, whether they be an early morning swim, well-timed juggle breaks, or an epic shower after a long day’s work! Focus fell naturally on the development of the group dynamic; intentions were set to develop workshop skills and the upcoming debut of our first show.
Amid the increasing strain of show development, two unsung heroes reared their faces to assist us on our tireless journey. The first is known as Dave Ford, present entertainer, improv player and past PWB veteran from years ago. With his appearance came a plethora of perfectly timed acting, improvisation, character, and show development workshops. His engaging presence and committed enthusiasm in assisting our cause was palpable, tipping the scales of success in our favour as we watched our skills and capacity for expression grow exponentially. The second hero that crossed our path is called Shubhra Gupta, also know as our wonderful new friend and ultimate guide to all things India. Her presence helped immensely with our easing into the foreign culture in innumerable ways. The universe around us then came together in one of those serendipitous and rare ways, bringing the revelation that she could gift the fruits of her career – costume design – to our cause, that we might further suspend the disbelief of the already infinitely imaginative children that awaited the spectacle of our upcoming circus.
And so with the injection of such wonderful help, our fiercely determined adventurers played, explored and worked until they found theirselves losing their humanity and becoming the wild creatures of their skillfully crafted jungle story. This fantastic parable would have our heroes adventure deep into the savage jungle with the help of its many strange inhabitants to seek a circusy treasure guarded by a terrible monster. With its unexpected defeat would come the jubilant celebration of all things good and playful! Finally the last day of bootcamp came and with it the busking and frantic flyering about town to advertise the beach-born opening of our terrific jungle tale. Despite the sand, wind, and a last minute injury leading to the subsequent, temporary loss of our infamous flying chicken, we boldly took the stage. With courage and a proclivity toward improvisation, we enraptured the imaginations of hundreds of lucky on-looking adventurers and brought them on our journey with us into the unknown jungle. We were destined inevitably to breach the veil of triumph in a cacophony of applause as the sun fell softly into the ocean like feather at the close of our final scene…and so the adventure had finally, truly begun.
Logan “Kaa!” Goethe