My act is playful and connecting. I meet an audience, organization, community, or individual where they are at and create / craft an experience that is playful, enriching, informative, entertaining, and rich.
My acts often incorporate juggling, performance and teaching -- I have been a juggler since the age of 9 years old, training with the Rubber City Jugglers of Akron. However my toss juggling may or may not be featured in the larger juggling performance.
For my act extends to recitations of poetry, storytelling, public speaking, dancing, clowning, performing magic tricks, teaching subject matter, and more living art.
I am happy to craft for you a unique experience.
Price Range: negotiable
Gig Length: 10 - 180 minutes
What to Expect
My performances are unique works. I need to know who is asking me to do a thing before I know how I am going to cater to what they want. I have tricks, skills, set things I draw on, and often (like with so many of the art forms I practice), I go with the flow and improvise as I connect with whomever I am engaging. I am happy to solidify a plan in advance of a show if a more standard-looking performance is desired.
Things I have done in public:
Juggling: Currently, I can toss juggle up to six balls at one time, though I prefer to keep the numbers lower. I have very playful things I do with zero, one, two, three, four, five, and six, as well as all sorts of interaction with the audience.
My juggling can be silent or set to music. Often I enjoy doing it combined with speaking, poetry, dance.
My juggling can be a strolling thing [that is, where I walk around and juggle for people milling at events]. I love this because it not only goes over very well but I find the preparation to be pretty easy and the level of connection and interplay with the attendees to be wonderful. Lots of opportunities for discussion, sharing, entertainment.
I am a self-trained dancer. I love to move my body. This can be something that appears beautiful. Often it may appear funny, bizarre, peculiar (often because it may be in a comedic setting, sometimes because of my clothing, sometimes because I am a tall [6' 4"] deep-voiced, heavy-set balding dude). I often incorporate the dance with many other things -- juggling and magic, speaking, poetry, song.
I am a peace activist, and through my travels, relationships, life-journey, readings, contemplation, I have gleaned many useful insights, thoughts, stories that I so appreciate the opportunity to share. Many of these things relate simply to the art of juggling or the art of learning or the art of life. And as I practice this performance art, I can bring to bear some of these stories and insights in ways that I have found people often appreciate.
I am a character-creator and storyteller. The Amazing Moopman is a character / alter-ego who loves found objects (and loves finding objects). He pays careful attention to detail. He values the things that many people in our society devalue. His face is a scrap-piece of metal, or it's painted, or it's just me drawing from the insights I have learned in appreciating the little things. Often these things end up in magic tricks, or being juggled, or in stories.
I am a gift-giver. On Moopman's world, Santa has gone missing and so he has gone traveling to our planet looking for Santa. In his searches, he found a Santa's hat on the side of the road, and so decided to take up the mantle and help Santa out while he is a no show. So I (The Moopman) give gifts and encourage giving gifts. And I encourage that we train and recruit more givers of gifts because the jolly old elf is nowhere to be found, and giving everyone gifts on Christmas is a huge undertaking.
Gifts that I enjoy making, teaching how to make, and giving away include: juggling balls, homemade postcards, small bundles of my mother's tiny graphic art works, various found objects, books, golf balls, donuts, and other things.
So in short: expect the unexpected. :-)
My name is Michael Clark. Native son of Akron, I grew up playing with magic tricks, diving deep into the art of toss juggling, and dreaming of a more beautiful world.
My life's goal these days is to help manifest this more beautiful world. Part of that work is through spreading play, learning, skillfulness, joy, dance... and so on.
I have many big dreams, for instance -- I want to live in a world where juggling is a skill as common as literacy. I think it is just as valuable a skill, if not more so in many contexts. And so I teach jugging and create and give away juggling supplies to help grow a more juggling-filled world.
I also want to live in a world where people value and pursue learning and excellence. To this end, I actively engage in learning new art forms and deepen my craft. Besides juggling, I am a magician, a poet, a dancer, a speaker.
I came to my brand of social engagement and art activism in a very circuitous route. I went to university for an accelerated interdisciplinary science degree. I still enjoy pursuing this kind of learning, and sharing through conversation and tutoring. Learning how to teach and learning how to learn extend to all subject matters.
I then went on to volunteer for many years. At the St. Bernard Project, I helped rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I volunteered on organic farms, in ecovillages, in cities, finding my voice and my clear vision.
I have since returned to Akron, Ohio (residing in Cuyahoga Falls) and have become increasingly engaged in the life of the community. I would love for my public performance to help grow a more vibrant community, and by extension, world.
Additional Booking Notes
I carry what I need with me generally and I can conform to what is available. I enjoy having tools to play with -- so if there are microphones, sound systems / capacity to play music, musical instruments, lights, etc. I may incorporate them, but I can cope without in most situations. If you want me to do something for a very large crowd I might want to have access to a microphone for instance.
I often travel by bicycle. This requires advance prep to pack my bike and travel. I mention it because on the rare occasion bikes break down and I might need to call for a ride if I am not able to rapidly fix the bike. This is rarely an issue, but I want to be upfront about potential issues.
Past Booked Events
|November 25, 2017 • 9:00pm - 9:30pm||The Electric Pressure Cooker #32|
|October 14, 2017 • 12:00pm - 3:30pm||De Bord's Halloween Festival|
|October 13, 2017 • 8:30pm - 9:00pm||Friday Night Open Mic @ Aqueduct|
|September 04, 2017 • 10:00am - 1:00pm||Barberton Labor Day Parade|
Influences & Inspiration
The Simpsons, Amanda Palmer, Andrew W.K., Saul Williams, Ethan Hughes, Martin Prechtel, Neil Gaiman, the works of Alan Moore [V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Swamp Thing], movies [The Dark Knight, The Crow, The Mask ...], books [STARGIRL, Nonviolent Communication, The Art of Asking, The Art of Learning, Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire].
Stage performers / acts:
David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, The Brothers Karamazov, The Marx Brothers, The Amazing Jonathan, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, Amanda Palmer, Andrew W.K., Harry Houdini.
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