Wednesday July 22nd, 2009. Walker, MN. 30 miles. Grass. Sunny.
Short jump to a small park on a lake. Yesterday we enjoyed excellent business and hope to repeat that today in Walker, where we've generally done well through the years.
Tuesday July 21st, 2009 Park Rapids, MN. 50 miles. Grass. Warmer.
First show on Monday in yesterday’s town was cancelled do to severe storms. Second show was okay. Today a big telephone presale should make for a very good day.
...For some time I’ve been trying NOT to write about another circus blog hosted by an entertainment critic focusing on circus and Broadway shows. For several years I’ve admired the way that this particular blogger tries to sort out fact from fiction, while keeping us all a little more honest. The blog writer once penned a well thought of biography of a giant in the circus world, and another book providing a glimpse behind the Iron Curtain at Soviet Era circus. I haven’t agreed with the writer’s artistic opinions – frankly I think he strives for a circus that is either 50 years out of date, or far too adult for children of all ages. And although he spent some time years ago working as a press agent for a circus, clearly he’s not in touch with the business end of today’s bigtop, and his solutions for "saving" the circus seem to run counter to most standard operating procedure. To "save" the circus first you must be convinced that circus is falling apart. At times however his blog has been both a breath of candor and of fresh air. Few bloggers are willing to discuss issues like circus salaries. David isn’t.
In the past months I’m afraid something has, changed. These days the blog focuses far too much on the failings of traditional circus, and on the failings (strictly as he sees them) of one show in particular. That might be all well and good, except that given a chance recently to actually see the show he so often targets – The Kelly Miller Circus – he chose not to take the short bus ride to the Jersey Shore. (It’s great when a critic praises something like the cat act on KM. But kudos based on youtube and the comments of others without seeing the act don’t do it justice. You can only imagine how remarkable it truly is. Kelly Miller is, I would say, the cream of the crop when it comes to traditional "mudshow" circus. And John North and Jim Royal and company have honestly tried to bring back quality and circus magic in an old fashioned way. If it doesn’t always work, credit for trying, and check back next year. And when it does work it’s magnificent.
There’s plenty that’s wrong with circus or with any other business or artform, and we sometimes take a long time learning our lesson when it comes to some specific issues. But taking pot shots at KM isn’t about those issues at all. It appears to be petty and seemingly unnecessary. I just don’t get it.
David, I know you can offer up something better because you've given us better in the past..