What’s green, has a single feather on its head and can’t juggle?
As Director of Talent for dolphin creative, I scout for new acts to give our clients the best possible choice from world class performers. Most recently this meant flying through Storm Dennis from Gatwick in the UK to Amsterdam to visit STRTFSVTL. It is a giant showcase of street performers that takes place in several event spaces inside a repurposed industrial facility. Over 100 acts from all different disciplines from all over Europe had gathered to perform in front of bookers, agents, industry professionals and School children that get brought in by the bus load.
Over two days we watched upwards of thirty shows from Shakespeare in Dutch by two men older than my retired father, an incredible father and son trampoline routine and a clown performing with 100 green buckets. We also saw countless walkabout acts and stilt walkers. Some of whom will provide a complete parade on unicycles. There were also lots of living statues and people showing off instillations from full size spinning cars to a small world photo booth.
Out of all those possible Dolphin Creative shows how did I pick which ones would actually go on the roster?
Once we’ve considered the practical elements, (we are not going to ship your van halfway around the world no matter how good you think you are) we stop watching the show and start watching the audience, how does everyone else seem to be enjoying it? Are they laughing or are they leaving? Are the kids on the edges of their seats or are they playing on their phones? Do they look good? Are they clean with good costumes and props? Do we feel like they are in control?
IF they met all of our criteria we went to speak to them. The real difference between Dolphin Creative performers and performers from other companies is that our performers have all actually been (or are) street performers. They have done shows where at the end they have held out a hat to take contributions from the public. They have gone to spaces where there is no festival, no stage, no gig and pulled together an audience from members of the public walking by. This way we know that we are only providing the best most skilled performers that will be able to handle the situation no matter what.
Which is why out of over 100 acts and shows from Amsterdam, you’ll only see 3 at a Dolphin Creative festival.
And no, the green feather man that couldn’t juggle won’t be one of them.
By the way, the photo attached isn’t one of the acts we saw. This guy is Reuben Dot Dot Dot. He already works for us. And Cirque Du Soleil.