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Mikefule
August 2nd 03, 08:57 AM
GILD wrote:
> *
> i still wish mikefule would write 'the complete unicycle guide' *


Thank you for the compliment, but...

I know more about writing than I know about unicycling. All I do is
'middle distance' cross country, easy MUni, and the most basic of
freestyle skills. I'm competent and experienced, but not highly
skilled.

The stuff I wrote about performance on that thread was extrapolated from
my experience of a Fool/dancer with a Morris team. My 'performances' on
the unicycle, such as they are, are much briefer and more improvised
than that. I use the unicycle as a prop, rather than doing a unicycling
show.

The main point, though, is that the public will be interested by a good
performance, rather than by a display of skills. Style over content,
every time, for a general audience.


--
Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall."
Confucius
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monociclos
August 2nd 03, 11:43 AM
Sure, some of u are skilled unicyclist, but i was wondering if any work
unicycling, doing exhibitions and that kind of things????

I know lots of people that are professional jugglers but no one
unicyclist, well.. some of them use a giraffe with clubs as a big end
but thats all!

If you are one of those or even if you have seen one, please.. telling
me the costumes to wear, music to uni with, tricks to do, any joke....
WOULD BE GREAT!!!


Anyway gonna do the performance... so i would tell you i how your
sugestions have work, also i can post pics and vids if u want!!!

You have 5 days to help me!!!

Thanks!

:D :D :D :D :D :D

( im from sapin so dont be afraid telling me your secrets!! i dont
represent any danger for you!!! dont you think???)
Any way you can always use the PM method!!!


--
monociclos - Buying a 24' Muni!!!!
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Memphis Mud
August 2nd 03, 01:38 PM
We have a clown in our club who showed us something he does that we now
do at parades and it always gets a good reaction. Ride around "out of
control". Flailing arms about. Leaning violently this way, that way,
front, back. Saying "whoooooa!" Do this rideing towards someone and
their eyes get real big. Be sure not to ACTUALLY be out of control.
Nothing ****es off an audience like making them bleed.


--
Memphis Mud - Student of GrandMaster 2T

Mantra: Avoid Hitting Tailbone...Avoid Hitting Tailbone...
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Memphis Mud
August 2nd 03, 01:53 PM
My doctor told my I had to lose 5 pounds quick!

So I cut my bicycle in 1/2.


--
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chirokid
August 2nd 03, 03:22 PM
Memphis Mud wrote:
> *My doctor told my I had to lose 5 pounds quick!
>
> So I cut my bicycle in 1/2. *


That is a good one M Mud. I will use that as my own.:) --chirokid--


--
chirokid

"Unicycling can make you proud then humble in very quick succession."
Mikefule

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joemarshall
August 2nd 03, 08:28 PM
I find people are much more impressed by me doing other things on the
unicycle than they are by me just riding. Juggling, poi and silly stuff
on a unicycle. There was a woman at glastonbury who did a whole act
based on the fact that she could unicycle in stilletos and put on makeup
whilst riding the unicycle and it got a much bigger crowd than some of
the more technical acts.

One thing that could go down well, would be to wear two or three layers
of clothes in contrasting colours. Have a tape recorder playing some
stripper music (I'm not sure where you're from so I don't know what
would be right in your country, here I think it's something called "the
stripper" but I can't remember who it's by). Then ride round shouting
that you're the amazing unicycling chippendale (or whatever male
strippers are called there) and that you're going to strip, live, in the
street, whilst riding your unicycle. Then proceed to seductively remove
your clothing, except you've got another layer underneath.

Have a whistle with you and blow that lots and shout a description of
what you're going to do while you're trying to get people's interest up.
Like if you're going to jump over something, ride around telling
everyone to watch for your death defying leap, try it a couple of times
and fail, then get people to clap you while you're going for the third
try (which you succeed). If you've got people's attention, take your
time and talk to them really loudly. Whatever you're doing, big it up,
if you're riding a giraffe, it's always 10 feet tall, if you're jumping
off something or gapping from one place to another, you're going to jump
5 feet down / 2 metres across.

Joe


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Mikefule
August 2nd 03, 11:17 PM
I may repeat myself a bit here, because it's easier to write than read,
edit, reconsider and rewrite...

There are two types of juggler: the juggler who demonstrates a series
of technical accomplishments; and the juggler who entertains the
crowd.

There is some overlap. However, a good entertainer can keep the crowd
going for 5 minutes with a simple three ball pattern and some amusing
patter. On the other hand, a good juggler can have the crowd walking
away with a vague impression that the juggler was quite clever.

Apply these principles to performing on your unicycle.

So, here's the show I wouldn't do, even if I could:
1) Produce unicycle. 5 seconds.
2) Sidemount to one footed. 5 seconds.
3) Idle briefly one footed, then reverse in a circle, one footed. 15
seconds.
4) Still stand to seat out in front. 5 seconds.
5) Two footed, ride figure eight, seat out in front. 15 seconds.
6) Transfer to seat out behind, continue figure eight. 20 seconds.
7) Drop seat and seat drag in circle, to still stand and jump dismount.
15 seconds.
8) Kick up mount to hopping. 10 seconds.
9) Wheel walk idle, then wheel walk off to applause. 15 seconds.

I make that some very clever technical skills, and with good
transitions, 95 seconds. I would be very impressed to see it - but I'm
a unicyclist. Joe Public wouldn't know what he'd seen. You'd be tired
- and you'd have a long time left to fill.

Here's a short set piece I might do when out with the Morris:

1) Produce unicycle. Stand expectantly. Milk applause. 15 - 20
seconds.
2) Indicate by gesture an intention to mount. 5 seconds.
3) Position unicycle for standard freemount. 5 seconds.
4) Freemount, passing right over the unicycle and landing 'surprised' in
front of it - without dropping it. 5 seconds.
5) Look surprised. Await applause. 10 seconds.
6) Repeat 3 - 5 inclusive. 20 seconds.
7) Position unicycle with exaggerated caution, ready to freemount: 5-10
seconds.
8) Freemount into jerky, exaggerated idle. Milk the applause. 15
seconds.
9) Relax into controlled idle. 5 seconds.
10) 'Lose control' and do large jerky idle. 5 seconds.
11) Catch audience's attention with gesture. Hold their attention. 10
seconds.
12) Pull foot up onto crown and idle one footed. Milk the applause. 10
seconds.
13) Explain, "This isn't as difficult as it looks. It's when you take
your foot off it gets difficult." As you're doing this, casually remove
foot from crown and idle with your foot hanging free. Replace foot on
crown. 10 seconds.

And so on. Already, we've used up a lot more time than in the first
'show' and - importantly - used up a lot fewer tricks.

Now, I'm not saying this is the perfect unicycle show, and I'm not
saying you should slavishly follow my sequence, my timings, or my
presentation. However, look what we're doing:

(Note; the following numbers do not correspond with the above
sequence!)

1) You're presenting the unicycle to the crowd.
2) You're giving them time to notice it's a unicycle, and to start to
react to it. They're starting to wonder what's going to happen. You're
building anticipation.

3) You're introducing the idea of you actually riding the thing.
4) You're giving them time to react to the idea. They're wondering,
"Can (s)he really ride it?"

5) You're building up the anticipation for the first 'trick' which is
simply getting onto the unicycle. This is a trivial thing for you, but
it is a skill that (almost) no one in the audience will ever possess.
6) You're getting the laugh with the failed mount - but without making
yourself look like a klutz. It will be obvious that you deliberately
failed, but the audience plays along with the 'amusing fiction' that you
couldn't do it.

7) You are using the clown's 'rule of three': once to make the joke;
once to establish the pattern; the third time to surprise. In this
case: fail; fail; succeed.

8) You are already well into the performance, and all you've done is
jump on the unicycle. This is a skill that took you hours to learn and
weeks to perfect. Why waste it in the first 1 second of the
performance?

9) The idle is the first 'clever skill' - not all unicyclists can idle.
If you can't idle, you will be very very limited in what you can
achieve as a performer. You will be restricted to zigzagging about
waving your arms. But just because the idle is a 'core skill', it
doesn't mean that your crowd will take it for granted. Make something
of it. Vary the rhythm and speed of the idle; introduce contrast.

10) You're causing humorous surprise when you control the idle, then
suddenly 'lose control'. You've got the crowd wondering... how good are
you?

11) You're giving the crowd time to see that you're about to do
something clever... building anticipation...
12) And the one footed idle is the first really clever skill... and
you've now established that you are, indeed, a skilled unicyclist.

Already, you're well into the show, the crowd is interested and laughing
WITH you, not irritated by your shouting and loud music, not intimidated
by the fear of being run over, and wanting to see what you'll do next.

Also, you've hardly used any floor space. Keeping it confined to a
small space minimises the risk of people encroaching on your 'stage' and
presenting an unforeseen hazard.

So the 'show' I've started to sketch out starts with simple stuff -
trivial stuff - it builds the anticipation, and uses your material
slowly as it builds to a conclusion.

Now what about if you have few or no freestyle skills, and you're a
trials person?

Apply the same principle: introduce; build expectation; give ideas time
to settle in peoples' minds; do the easy stuff first; don't squander
skills and energy iin the first minute or two; don't assume that the
stuff that would impress you as a unicyclist will impress them as humble
members of the public; keep the audience 'on side', willing you to
succeed, but laughing with you.

So if your best trick is to jump over a 2 foot barrier? (For example.)


The very last thing you want to do in your show is jump over a
2 foot barrier. What's left to do after you've done that?

So you can 'gap' 1.5 metres? Same principle: it's your best shot, so
keep it in your shot locker until the end.

If you can easily jump over a 2 foot bar, what can you find that's six
inches high? Maybe a model bus (Evel Knievel style!) or a row of Action
Man dolls.

Or can you recruit members of the crowd (preferably kids of about 8-10)
to help you. Spend a LONG time setting up the bar. Use a metre long
ruler/yardstick to measure the height.

Will you have a friend to do your announcements?

Traditional joke before a clever trick... "And now... can I have a roll
on the drum... and a sandwich on the piano..." (May not work in some
dialects of English?)

Build up the tricks. If you have one big trick you can usually but not
always do, leave it until last. Build up the expectation. Is there a
bit of equipment you'll need? Leave it on display. Let 'em wait to see
how you'll use it.

So that's enough on structuring a show.

More follows...


--
Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall."
Confucius
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Mikefule
August 2nd 03, 11:18 PM
Part two...

Presentation? You can do a lot of shouting, or you can keep it quiet.
Shouting is more obvious. It CAN alienate an audience. Quiet
presentation, lots of body language and eye contact, draws them in.

Gestures: big and slow. Hold poses for a second or two. Give people
time to respond.

To attract and hold attention: make eye contact with one person in the
front row. Lean slightly forward. Raise your right index finger, with
the back of your hand towards you, and raise your eyebrows at the same
time. Open your eyes wider. Hold the pose for a moment, then make a
small but positive inclination of the head towards the person with whom
you've made eye contact.

Now, keeping every part of your body and arm still, rotate your head
slowly and smoothly, scanning the audience for someone else 'friendly'.
Find about 2 friendlies, acknowledging them with a slight nod of the
head. (Eyebrows still up; eyes still wide.)

And from here, use open handed gestures to indicate the unicycle, or the
obstacle to be jumped, etc.

(All this is hard to describe. Practise in front of a mirror, and see
what works.)

A general rule is that you hold the crowd's attention better with clear,
precise, slow movements, and you get better results if you isolate parts
of your body. So hold everything still except your head and the arm
that's moving. Move your hands with a little bit of a flourish, but
not too much.

When you speak, speak no louder than is necessary for your target
audience to hear you clearly. Speak more slowly than you normally
would. Don't let the volume 'tail off' at the end of sentences.

Milking applause is easy. If the crowd's on your side, a direct request
for applause by word or gesture will usually produce the goods.

I prefer a slightly ironic, self deprecating style. It's less
intimidating for the crowd, and leaves the door open for a graceful
recovery if things go wrong. Present yourself as a noisy smart Alec and
you may get the wrong sort of applause if a trick or stunt goes wrong.

Working the crowd. A crowd is not a single entity for a street
performer. It is a group of individuals, and a group of sub groups.
Look for families, couples, school parties, groups of girls, pairs of
old ladies...

If there are only three people taking an interest in the performance,
those three are your audience. If there are ten watching, there may be
3 'sub audiences' of 3, 3 and 4 people. If the crowd naturally
subdivides into small sections, you can hawk the same few tricks and
gags around the crowd, using them several times, instead of simply
broadcasting your material to the world at large in one big wasteful
explosion of talent.

Remember, however good you are as a unicyclist, you only have so many
skills, so many tricks, so much energy; however complex those skills,
the crowd will tend to lump them all together as 'clever things on a
unicycle', so a whole series of Level 8 skills is no more entertaining
than a show made up of Level 2 and 3 skills, presented well.

Good luck.


--
Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall."
Confucius
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Bruce Dawson
August 3rd 03, 07:01 AM
I haven't done many shows, but I've done quite a few parades, and my
experience there matches what others have said. Gimmicks, patter, and
charisma are worth far more than technical skills.

We can't help you with patter and charisma, but we can give you some
pointers on gimmicks. But, patter and charisma are still critical - so
think about them.
Here's some examples:

I like juggling clubs on a unicycle in a parade. Audiences think it's
kind of cool. However, for maximum impact I always drop some clubs.
Preferably all of them. Then I ride around and pick them up (while on
the unicycle), one at a time. It's important to drop all three because
then there's lots of build up (if they don't start counting then I
sometimes hint that they should). On the third pick-up I always get a
huge round of applause. That never happens with just juggling.

Okay, picking up clubs while on the unicycle is actually hard for some.
Here's some other things that aren't. Riding out of control towards the
audience (previously suggested but it does work well). Sneaking up
behind people. Sitting in an empty chair, grabbing a drink, chatting
with the crowd. Picking up a child and riding around with them. Etc.

My new experimental parade trick is making balloon animals on the
unicycle. It just might be brilliant. We will see August 16th.

So, lots of possibilities, but you've got to find the gimmicks and
patter that work with your charisma.

Good luck.


--
Bruce Dawson
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tomblackwood
August 3rd 03, 08:46 AM
Bruce Dawson wrote:
> *My new experimental parade trick is making balloon animals on the
> unicycle. It just might be brilliant. We will see August 16th.
> *

Where will we see August 16th? The Issaquah Chapter of the Dawson Fan
Club wants to know.....


--
tomblackwood - Under-prepared Dork (UPD)

My other brake is my face!

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Mikefule
August 4th 03, 08:39 AM
I like the flower gag. If you dreamed that up yourself, then you are a
talented updreamer.

To soften the impact on the victim, you would need to offer her
something as a consolation. Consider this:

Assuming you are right handed, you offer her the flower with your right
hand. She takes the flower. You exit to the left keeping the flower
head, and leaving her with the stalk. As you exit left, you turn almost
full circle. You look surprised/whimsical and give the whole audience
chance to see what's happened with the flower.

Now you continue the turn until you're facing the victim again. You
produce some small but genuine token with your left hand, and thank her
quietly with a friendly wink and smile.

The advantages:

You get the laugh from the crowd.

You repair any damage to the victim's sensibilities.

You are seen to be courteous, which makes other members of the crowd
less nervous of you.

The disadvantage: it costs you in 'tokens' (smaller flowers, nice
chocolates, etc. This means you can only do it so many times.

It may be too expensive for a parade gag, but would be ideal as a one
off in a set piece show.

I love it.


--
Mikefule - Roland Hope School of Unicycling

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we
fall."
Confucius
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GILD
August 4th 03, 09:09 AM
daino149 wrote:
> *...and be made into a made-for-tv movie.
> Daniel *


starring?


--
GILD - THNK

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least
once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
-- Rene Descartes
'grrrr!!!' (http://tinyurl.com/hs0j)

JUST SAY 'KNOW'!

Namaste!
Dave
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joe
August 4th 03, 09:39 AM
Over the weekend there was a festival on in my town. I didnít know
anything about it, until my friend (Mark) and I both went down on our
unis to get some films for the cameras.

We couldnít find any street entertainment, but on the way home, we found
a clown in the back of his car. We stopped to talk to him. He was quite
old, and heís showed us some diabolo and stuff. He wasnít really good,
but he could do it.
He said that he knows heís not really good, but he is entertaining.

He said he was once working in a super market with this guy who was
really really good with a devil stick, and the crowd started booing him.
After the guy with the devil stick had finished, the clown came out with
a spinning plate, and was telling jokes and just messing around, and
having a good time....

He said that the other guy with the devil stick was too good, and not
enjoying it enough.

It donít matter how good you are, as long as you enjoy it!

Good Luck,


Joe,


--
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joe
August 4th 03, 09:39 AM
Over the weekend there was a festival on in my town. I didnít know
anything about it, until my friend (Mark) and I both went down on our
unis to get some films for the cameras.

We couldnít find any street entertainment, but on the way home, we found
a clown in the back of his car. We stopped to talk to him. He was quite
old, and heís showed us some diabolo and stuff. He wasnít really good,
but he could do it.
He said that he knows heís not really good, but he is entertaining.

He said he was once working in a super market with this guy who was
really really good with a devil stick, and the crowd started booing him.
After the guy with the devil stick had finished, the clown came out with
a spinning plate, and was telling jokes and just messing around, and
having a good time....

He said that the other guy with the devil stick was too good, and not
enjoying it enough.

It donít matter how good you are, as long as you enjoy it!

Good Luck,


Joe,


--
joe - Hockey Head

:cool: www.cool.unicyclist.com :cool:
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chirokid
August 4th 03, 03:04 PM
Mikefule wrote:
> *I like the flower gag. If you dreamed that up yourself, then you are
> a talented updreamer.
>
> --- Thanks Mike. It has been so long ago, it really don't remember If
> I dreamed it up or saw someone do it. But over time... ;)
>
> To soften the impact on the victim, you would need to offer her
> something as a consolation. Consider this:
>
> Assuming you are right handed, you offer her the flower with your
> right hand. She takes the flower. You exit to the left keeping the
> flower head, and leaving her with the stalk. As you exit left, you
> turn almost full circle. You look surprised/whimsical and give the
> whole audience chance to see what's happened with the flower.
>
> Now you continue the turn until you're facing the victim again. You
> produce some small but genuine token with your left hand, and thank
> her quietly with a friendly wink and smile.
>
> The advantages:
>
> You get the laugh from the crowd.
>
> You repair any damage to the victim's sensibilities.
>
> You are seen to be courteous, which makes other members of the crowd
> less nervous of you.
>
> The disadvantage: it costs you in 'tokens' (smaller flowers, nice
> chocolates, etc. This means you can only do it so many times.
>
> It may be too expensive for a parade gag, but would be ideal as a one
> off in a set piece show.
>
> I love it. *


You have resurrected this gimmick for me. Now, to come up with a nice
consolation prize for the ladies??? Hummmm! --chirokid--


--
chirokid

"Unicycling can make you proud then humble in very quick succession."
Mikefule

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GILD
August 4th 03, 03:37 PM
chirokid wrote:
> *Now, to come up with a nice consolation prize for the ladies???
> Hummmm! --chirokid-- *


if it's a big parade, beauty salon's may be willing to spring for (eg.)
manicure vouchers?

samples of beauty products eg scented soaps

'learn to ride a unicycle' vouchers;)

just throwing ideas out there...


--
GILD - THNK

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least
once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
-- Rene Descartes
'grrrr!!!' (http://tinyurl.com/hs0j)

JUST SAY 'KNOW'!

Namaste!
Dave
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chirokid
August 4th 03, 03:43 PM
GILD wrote:
> *
> if it's a big parade, beauty salon's may be willing to spring for
> (eg.) manicure vouchers?
> samples of beauty products eg scented soaps
> 'learn to ride a unicycle' vouchers;)
> *


Great Ideas GILD, keep throwing them. --chirokid--


--
chirokid

"Unicycling can make you proud then humble in very quick succession."
Mikefule

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GILD
January 7th 05, 01:50 PM
chirokid wrote:
> *I guess I'm too soft hearted. The crowd loved it, but it was at the
> expense of someone besides myself. I can still remember dreaming this
> gimmick up and being so excited to try it. Those ladies just had such
> sad looks on their faces, I just couldn't continue the act. Never
> have done it again. Only that one parade! --chirokid-- *
i was looking for Mikefule's performance breakdown to link to for
Tylercox when i found this discussion

have u ever used that flower-gag again?

while reading it now, i thought of a much cheaper way u might be able to
still use the gag
instead of presenting the flower to a lady, present it to a gentleman,
with the very clear suggestion that HE gives it to a lady
when he's then left with only the straw, u might not feel so bad because
the ladies won't have those sad looks on their faces?


--
GILD - Waffle-Tosser and Time-bider

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Mauldin
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'Dave' (http://tinyurl.com/ywxgb)
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johnfoss
January 7th 05, 08:59 PM
This was a great resurrected thread. Thanks for bringing it back! I must
have missed it the first time; it was probably during NAUCC.

Yes, to be a performer is not to simply do hard stuff. Especially in a
"street" situation. You need to establish a relationship with your
audience, and build on that. For a small and simple school performance,
the best approach is probably to show how fun it is, and approcach from
the point of view of "Look what *you* can learn how to do!" The worst
approach is to be something like "Look how clever I am; I can do this
and you can't." That will get you beat up after school.

With more lead time, you can do an "act." But this requires preparation,
choreography, music, etc. The demonstration format originally described
by Tyler is probably the best way to show unicycling in a school
environment with no act. I should know, the vast majority of my
performing experience is in schools (but with an act).

joe wrote:
> *He said that the other guy with the devil stick was too good, and not
> enjoying it enough.
>
> It donít matter how good you are, as long as you enjoy it!*
Too true. Or, more accurately, as long as *your audience* can see you
enjoy it. Ever notice how some performers have fairly lame skills, but
everybody still loves to see their shows? That's because they are good
performers. And on the other side of the coin, some of the best
practicioners of any skill are boring to watch, because they don't know
what to do with an audience.

I remember once watching a performance by an IJA champion. She (sorry,
that's a bit of a giveaway) was at a renaissance faire, and her act
included reading Shakespeare while juggling five clubs. It was the most
boring thing I've ever seen. The juggling skill was extremely high, but
she didn't know what to do with it.

So to be a "variety arts" performer is not so much about what tricks you
can do. Tricks are important, but they don't make the act. Watch other
performers. Learn how to work an audience.

Chirokid,
What a sad story you told about your flower trick, and the sad faces on
your female victims! Aww. And where Mikefule's suggestion was great,
here's another approach:

Remember some of the basics of a traditional clown character. If he
"plays a trick" on you, the laughs should be on everyone, not at a
victim. Or they should be at the clown. So how to remove the victim from
this situation? It's something we used to do in our school shows with a
spinning plate. You get the thing going, then offer it to a kid from the
audience. Then you walk away with the plate spinning on your finger,
while the kid is left holding a stick.

Big laughs, but then what? Not ha-ha at the kid, but you pretend you
don't know where it went!

So, I'd hand the flower to my victim with my left hand, extended out to
my left side. Then I look to the right, to the opposite side of the
street or whatever, as I lift up the flower and turn away. I circle all
the way around as a gesture to show off what a gentleman I think I am.
As I circle back to the woman, my head is still turned away from the
hand, which is still holding the flower up high.

Now I get another laugh as I react to the stem the woman is holding.
Everybody knows it's my fault, but I get to spend some time wondering
where the flower went. I can gesture at her with moves that say "Where
is it?" or "What happened?" I can look around her, at her feet, behind
her, all the while holding the flower up high in my left hand. I might
even look in her mouth "Did you eat it?"

Eventually I will notice I've still got the flower, with a big
double-take. Oh! The joke's on me. Though it was on her briefly, I have
transferred it back, so she's not left as the butt of my joke. Then I
can give her a token, or just head on down the street, as parades
generally keep moving. I can't give her the flower now, as it's no good
without a stem.

If there were more time, a typical clown might produce or make her a
balloon animal. I never learned that skill, as I was always surrounded
by others who could do it. Plus, I could never inflate those stupid
things with my own lung power!


--
johnfoss - Walkin' on the edge

John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
"jfoss" at "unicycling.com" -- www.unicycling.com

"Read the rules!" -- 'IUF Rulebook'
(http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/rulebook/) -- 'USA Rulebook'
(http://www.unicycling.org/usa/competition/)
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