Mexico March 2011

Tuesday March 29th, 2011.
Audrey in NYC with a cold. 
Gaby in South of Mexico at a conference.

Wednesday the beginning of our 4 day week of inspiration and relaxation!

We met with the wonderful Andres Aguilar at this great coffee shop/Joe's Pub-esc place that i hope to do a show in next January! 

Just a beautiful site on the way out of to the bus station!
Andres and I talked most of the morning and the bus trip about the Doctors of Laughter or Risaterapia.   A program similar to Big Apple Circus in NYC.   I was amazing and they really focus on building communities and have lots of systems and policies in place to allow a lot of freedom.  I didn't get the opportunity to join them this time but hope to next visit!  Andres and Ana Cecilia founded this program-wow! 

It's true the bus just stops at the side of the highway to let you out.   There are dogs everywhere.  Andres says most houses have them as 'guards' but if you pretend to pic up a rock they run- they seemed friendly.   

These two picked us up!   Ana Ceci and Nina! 

Now brace yourself circus people, these next set of photos may inspire jealous and envy but know they worked very hard to create this Cirkus space that is still in progress!  Also know they have requested visitors and they mean it!

 This is a corner workshop in the double size space for prop and equipment building!

Here is the camper that we stayed in.  You are seeing about 1/4th of the performance/workshop/training space here.   

  This is the living space next door.   Imagine growing up here!   This part of their living space next door.   The bedroom is currently in the tent.  They are working on building the second floor this summer.   
Here is the tile work in the show...seem familiar anyone? 

4 beautiful people and in the background part of the living space.  The large double doors on the right may because a performance space with a thrust stage.  I can't wait to go back over the years to see how everything turns out.  

 We went into the village for dinner. MMM...

The second evening we headed out for a trip to the canyon where they plan to offer family adventures complete with surprise elves.   I love seeing the countryside from the back of a pick up.  You can take the girl out of Missouri....

Gaby shows me the turkeys that are related to the troublesome Thomas from our kids show.   Here we see real 'free range' chickens there are no fences.   Ana Ceci was telling us about the woman who they buy eggs from said every day involves an Easter Egg hunt.   

The sky.. and although we were there for sunset the camera could not capture it!  

This is looking up from our climb into the top of canyon.   See Gaby and Andres way up there? Before they were married they had spent a lot of time camping there and didn't know how to get into the canyon and one day saw an older couple look like they went off the front of the cliff and not return. The next day they followed them.  

In the rainy season this entire area is green and there is a river.  You can see the rows where crops have been planted!  Breath taking! 

Friday after a sad 'see you down the road'.  We went to the beautiful city..

Monday March 14th @ Cirko De Mente.  After much discussion and planning we held our conference about the Festival de Clown y Teatro de Mexico 2012!  Here I am relaxing waiting for my translator! 

And on Tuesday we did a radio interview about it as well with Cocadonga who chatted with us in English and Spanish about the festival, she even played some NY music for me.  (I wasn't hip enough to know it though...don't tell anyone.)

Sunday March 13th, 2011

One may think they could update this daily...however life is pretty exciting here and we are working and moving so much... here is what we have been up to this week:

My workshop began and finished this week.  We focused on developing material through improvisation which is the way my company with Lynn Berg has always worked.  It was a lot of fun and I think here as in NYC many workshops are offered on how to become a clown but not how to make material once you have found it.  For me clown so relies on an audience that you have to get out there and present to actually fully 'find' your clown.   A great group of clowns and bouffons...Gaby translating.  I had a blast!!  I only have this shot that was in focus.   I also have a workshop on Clown Duos and Trios on March 21-23 check out the workshop page for more info!

Pepper and Chula hit the stage!!! Super fun audience ready to play.  Our piece went well and we got a lot of interesting feedback that will help us along the way for our show! 

As we entered the space all this fun.  This became a dance floor post show...  :) 

  Before the show with Sanit one of the two organizers.. this is a backdrop behind them..

Gaby's neighborhood is really wonderful..  

Here she is looking out the window on my first venture out alone, sans translator!
Flautas at the market!   So good... seriously I don't think I will ever be able to eat 'Mexican' in the states the same way.  So good!!! 
                                                                      and look at these salads to buy... and the amazing fresh produce.   Come se dice WOW?!  
And when I see the little buddha watching me I know I am almost home..

More of the things you can buy on the street here: 

Lots carts selling....?

This has a whistle that sounds like those plastic ribbed instruments you whip around and it makes a whistle.  They are very old and sell a kind of sweet potato.
This guy stands in front of your car at stoplights... 

Here are just some beautiful things I have been seeing along the way...

Yep.. artists own this van

I went to sit in on a rehearsal of The Trashumantes who are in process for their first show.  I met their director Ser Tlacua on Facebook.   We also did a video interview.   

They have been working together for about 6 months and are doing some solid musical clown work .. their latest show opens the day I leave so it was great to see them.

This is the courtyard of the complex their rehearsal space was in.  The former first pasta factory in Mexico. See my favorite trees again to the left? I found out they are from Argentina. 


Here is the office...meeting, chatting and pizza and beer space. Raul the composer and musical director is kneeling below. 

unday March 6th, 2011

They shut down the main road downtown Mexico City so we hoped on Gaby's bike. ;)  

And picked up the community bikes.  They cost around $25 a year and are all over the city you can use them for an hour and then switch.  

Marta, Gaby, and Abril

The cuatro Muejeres rode for several hours through downtown. Marta is a documentary film maker originally from Madrid and Abril is a costume designer-but today we were just women on bikes having fun.   

I don't think I have seen trees with purple flowers before but they are everywhere and so nice to look at!
Bugambilia Tree

This is in the house of the president downtown in the square.

This crowd...think Chinatown in NYC only it seems to be whoever makes the most noise gets the most customers.  This crowd went on for as far as you could see and I was told this is nothing what it is like on a weekday! 

This little guy was so adorable, he has clown make-up and is bouffon on the bottom half.  He looked right at us and as I moved the camera up ran away.  I wanted to see if he was going to do a little show..he appeared to be alone and about 4.    So much to see and most of these photos were taken as I was riding by in a large crowd of bikes and or cars.  

We ended the afternoon with a great Mexican seafood meal. Half way through the electricity went out so we ate in semi-darkness. Later we decided with how hungry we were and how good the food was maybe it was better not to have seen the style in which we devoured the food!   Can you see the 9 types of hot sauces.  I need them all now! 

In DF one cup of coffee with friends can lead to dessert, wine, multiple bottles of wine and hours of laughter and fun conversation.   

Saturday March 5th, 2011
On our way to our first show together.


Here are some of the kids, ages four -sixteen.  It is always a challenge with such a wide age range.  But we had a blast. 

The kids were intrigued by English and my terrible Spanglish.  Chula translated but of course she often translated things her way or not what  she was supposed to tell the kids. 

We brought Valentina's friend Thomas the Turkey and Chula and he have an act.   For some reason really didn't like Pepper and I was attacked several times .

We had a great day,with the kids and the organizers have invited us to come back and visit other houses.  We are also talking with them about doing a workshop for the tutors who work with the kids.  It really exceeded our imaginations about how it might go, and invigorated our work on the adult show.

Afterward we headed back to the city for me to see my first clown show in DF.  
Sensacional Orquesta Lavadero

Here is a youtube clip of one of my favorite numbers.

March 4th, 2011

The first time we headed out of town it was a beautiful day.   The traffic took us more than an hour to get out of the city.   Sound familiar New Yorkers?

As one is stuck in traffic or sitting at an outdoor cafe street vendors approach selling all sorts of things.  This 
below is a sweet.  Kind of tastes like cardboard with a tiny amount of carmel and a few kinds of nuts I have not seen before.   

Here is a list of Items I have been approached with:

every kind of beverage, candy, chips, nuts
guacamole bowls  
indigenous looking water jug
 head light for spulunking 
cleaning towels

Gaby's aunt owns the spa we stayed at it was beautiful.   We enjoyed ourselves and also felt odd to be staying in luxury to go work with kids who were homeless. Just a reminder to be grateful for my life, my family and my friends.

The colder of the two pools.

Out the window of our room.

In the morning we met with an amazing photographer about some shots for out show.     

Gaby and Leo
To the left  is a photo he did with Gaby.

March 3rd, 2011

Day 3 and my first show in DF!  We headed over to Foro Shakespeare where my second workshop will be held.  Gaby's friend Omar from Corefix set us tickets for this new short form improvisation show 'Impro Sports Mexico!'   This is the same group who does La Improlucha !!

The show is set up to be a live tv show, with live video feed and a talk show host.  There was some very strong improv and I was able to understand more than I expected.   It really made me miss my ComedySportz days and all the wonderful performers.   

They played familiar games such as Story, Silent Movie, a version of Countdown, and just straight up scenes as well.   They had 2 '  teams in each half of the show with hilarious videos setting up how they became a team.  Once the improv begins they drop those characters and return to them in between scenes.   Here they are doing a musical comedy.  In blue you see La Familia Ricolindo(a type of chocolate) and in white Peseral Airlines.  

 As well as having the audience vote on the team of their preference they had two judges who would comment after each round al la reality TV competition shows.  These were played by the director and director of the video  and were very fun.  The military general (Jose Luis Saldana) really berating everyone for their softness and the rarely liking anything. And a well known Madanna (Omar Medina) who loved the men and anything emotional.    

Here you see Los Beautiful(VIP) in Pink, and Los Manchiattos in blue trying to take in the scolding from the judges.   I didn't get a great photo but The host (Piolo Juvera) gathered suggestions by flirting with members of 'the studio audience'.

March 2nd, 2011

We spent most of the next two on the computer & phone setting up meetings, press interviews and making plans.  Thank goodness we had Milo to remind us, eat and to step away once in awhile.
                                                                                 No people don't drink the water here.  Gaby and Milo are on the look out for the strolling water seller.   He screams out "Aqua! Aqua!"  Gaby and Milo let him know we are customers.

     Oh and speaking of water, the 'C' on the water faucet in the shower is for 'caliente' the opposite of 'cold'.  

All around me there are little reminders we are in Mexico.   Not so sure if this guy is there to keep the light on or off-but I liked him a lot. 

March 1st, 2011

                                                                         Our first day we hit the ground running by heading to the Coyoacán area of Mexico City(DF).  There we met with  Andrea Peláez and Leonardo Costantini founders of Cirko de Mente to set up a conference to talk about our work with press, and to meet with clowns about starting a clown festival in DF.

Cirko de Mente was founded in 2004 and is a hub of circus performers, trainers and students.  The grounds, performance space, and even this van instantly captured my imagination.   What a beautiful space to train and play. 

      Sometimes I hear people say the circus is a dying artform. Not in DF the community is thriving here.  We saw a lot of young focused talent and I just missed a show featuring skill acts featuring clowns.

We are thrilled to be working with them!