Language matters. If you trolled through the trails and toiled through the URL's -- to get to this lonely blog on Huff Post, you probably agree that language feeds you on an important level. From my vantage point as a dude in his 50's, the value language offers, in terms of a benchmark of descriptions, has diminished at a startling rate in my lifetime. Social networking sites and the advent of the demise of print periodicals has been a large contributing factor. Let's track this de-evolution of the power of the word. That word is "awesome."
Today's "awesome" is yesterday's "exceptional."
If I launch onto the site Facebook, I have a newsfeed. On this newsfeed is one event after another which is allegedly "Awesome."
A quilting-bee in Pacoima has equal "awesomeness" to the sudden and complete pulling out of the troops from Afghanistan.
Now let's go back to that old school word "exceptional." As a variety and cirque director, I assemble performers who are exceptional -- national treasures in their own countries. My current creation and the assemblage of such artists is Your Town Follies in North Hollywood, California. I want to expand to every town, because in every urban metropolis are silent, hidden national treasures who may perform globally to make a living. In my view, these folks are more than awesome. They are so much more than awesome, you cannot lump them together, each performer demands his and her own adjectives and descriptions:
The Sirens -- A cappella singers -- Lyrical surprise in a world of average expectations
Sebastian and Katia -- Duo hand-balance -- simpatico romance adagio -- a talented adoring couple sharing love through counterbalance, and mutual attraction
Kasey Wilson -- Tragically mortal suburban stripper -- Talented!
Scot Nery -- A mortally tragic pancake juggler - Loveable!
Joe Orrach and Jason Rodgers -- Timeless tap dance duo with nostalgic flow
Ed Alonzo -- Clown magician comedically tapping through carnage with a canon
Michael Carbonaro -- Shaving dream seamless visual splendor and illusion
Mat Plendl -- Hula-hoop reinvention from past-time hobby to present -- time radical entertainment
Just to mention a few...
These are exceptional artists at the top of their games in this country. They demand your attention and posses the unique mix of skill, here-and-now connection with the audience with a sprinkling of humor in an oh-so brief (under 7 minutes please) shared public happening. As the performer concludes his carefully constructed masterpiece, the audience craves more. These performers have a combined global arsenal of jobs on television and stage worldwide -- but have been currently aesthetically blacklisted here at home. During the days of Vaudeville money was the incentive to explore variety, but those days are gone (or are they?). Currently, such a league is particularly visible in the small country of Monaco where the royalty (Prince/King Albert) tracks, woos, and creates festivals around the stars of variety, circus and clown.
So you read this so far and you say --
"Quit tooting your own horn, Stefan Haves at www.stefanhaves.com."
The problem with my virtual variety arts orchestra is that it has been silent for too long in this country. My toot of horn is a solo in a forest where no one is present as a tree falls. I mix my metaphors -- but let's get to the root of my point without branching out!
Gone are the days when the great Johnny Carson happily introduced plate-spinners and other senseless, happy-making acts of entertainment to late night television. Being an avid magician, Johnny respected the art form. Johnny Carson was replaced by a cynical David Letterman and Johnny's child-like whimsy was overtaken by Dave's outsider adolescent persona needing to question all things requiring effort and spirit -- Ergo: stupid human tricks replaced the Tonight Show headliner circus stars.
Dave asked not how the juggler juggles 9 balls, but why! An ironically funny joke -- which will never receive the belly laugh of the child in all of us discovering the sense of "Awe." Dave would rather abort the journey of "Awe" and review and critique it. No thanks.
I want to dare to be corny, naive, and land in that sense of "Awe." I'll take yesterday's "Exceptional" over today's "Awesome'"any day! If you feel the same -- go to Your Town Follies at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, Ca. -- Saturday, September 18th, 2010.
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