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¶ Street performing
For reasons still somewhat unknown to me, I was invited to participate in a street performance today at the Farmers' Market in Union Square, Somerville. It was quite possibly the oddest thing I've done in a few months, and it was an absolute blast. There were four of us - myself on double staff, Amanda on poi, Alicia on hoop, and Marty the 60 year old clown on clown duty. I didn't really know what to make of Marty. On the one hand, I'm thinking that this is the most random assortment of street performers I've ever seen, and on the other hand I'm thinking holy crap this guy is way more than twice my age and still has the energy and spirit to actually put himself out here for a street performance.

At first, it was only myself, Amanda, and Alicia. We were completely unorganized and had barely been able to carve out some performing space on Union square, and were alternately spinning, hooping, and trying to engage the people that came by. The kids were fantastic. They'd wander over, attracted by the bright colors and flashy movements, and then ask questions like what is that and how do you do it and can you teach me. Marty showed up after a bit and then started organizing us, gathered a much larger crowd, and turned us into a motley assortment of impromptu performers.

I've never actually been a street performer before, and it's definitely not something I'm good at. Being on the performing side casts it in a whole different light for me; you never know what kind of audience you're going to get. The people come and go so quickly that if you're not able to capture someone's attention in the few seconds it takes for them to pass by, that's it, they're gone. Our audience would occasionally swell to 30-40 people, and as soon as we let up for a few seconds or a minute, it would quickly disintegrate to just a few people. The moments when no one is watching are intimidating, as you can't help but feel that people are just walking by and thinking "oh that's dumb". Overall, though, it was a load of fun and I'm glad I agreed to do it.

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