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Location: In your head. (Tasmania, Austr...

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Posted:Sorry if there is already a thread like this, I did a search but couldnt find anything..

Well lately Ive noticed a few TV shows starting up that have street performers on them In particular (Im not sure if theyre aired outside Australia) The Sidedshow, and Australias Got Talent. As a street performer who has been performing shideshow and freakshow type material, as well as skills based' material for around 3 years, Im a firm believer in keeping street theatre on the streets.

Basically I dont agree with TV shows like this coming out because, to me, it ruins the whole meaning behind street theatre; its meant to be on the street. Live. Right here, right now. Not in a studio. Not broadcasted to everyone to sit on their lounge at home and watch. Not in a studio where any mistakes can just be edited out. Street performance is hard work and capturing and engaging the audience is all part of it. Thats what makes it different to things on TV; its live and mistakes can be made. If youre not good enough, your audience will walk off, its arguably the hardest form of theatre. If people have access to watch street performers on TV, it ruins the whole point and makes life so much harder for those who are still out in the street trying to maintain the meaning of street theatre.

While it does arguably provide publicity to freakshow type acts and it does broaden peoples mind into accepting that it is an art, and is a form of entertainment, I dont think its being done in the right way. Yes, a circus show such as Cirque Du Soleil, I can understand being broadcast on TV because obviously its not feasible to perform something of that scale on the street. But I dont think solo street performers have a place in studios. Its a part of the street culture, and as silly as it sounds it seems a little like betrayal on the performers part to perform street theatre on TV

Well theres my rant, now Opinions?
Id be interested to hear what others think

hug


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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:I have never (intentionally) done street performance, but I was brought up watching it since I was a little kid. My mum loved it and instilled that love in me.

And I don't think TV will kill it.

It might raise the standard of it, but I don't think it will kill it.

If you think about it, is it that different from film coming along to the threat of live theatre? Live theatre is still a booming industry and unique to the silver screen. There are even shows which are on film and stage, both with their own flares.

Also, bringing something to the screen can raise awareness.
Take Phantom of the Opera for example; yes, it was a popular musical on stage to begin with, however making a film out of it (still as a musical) has no doubt made people aware of it and therefore interested in seeing it on stage.
Who's to say that someone, on seeing the Sideshow, wont walk past street theatre and think "oh! i love the sideshow - i'll stop and check this out!" when otherwise they would have walked on by. And perhaps think it's even cooler in real life because "so wow! what wasn't just a trick on tv!"

The difference, I think, is that the standard will raise. But is that a problem? Any industry faces competition. And sorry, but as someone who has been an audience member since I was 5, an improved standard is only a good thing.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
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_FSA_


_FSA_

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Posted:Good points, thanks for posting. smile

I guess that's why I posted this, so that I could hopefully be conviced otherwise and proved that it's not such a bad thing!

I guess I agree in the live stage theatre/movies argument, but it's still difficult to apply to street theatre. You see with stage theatre you have a captive audience. So even if they think the show is rubbsih, it's considered very rude to walk out half way through. Where as in the street, if the audience doesn't like the show, they'll leave.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it's very tough to work with a street audience and if people have seen it before on TV, or would rather go home where they're comfortable and warm and can sit on their couch and watch it, things just get harder for the performer to keep their audience.

Raising the standard is a good thing, yes. But it has it's bad points; only the very top-class street performers will make it. Where does that leave the rest of us? Street theatre is the sole income for some and raising the standard on the street can sometimes knock out these people completely. That's life? Well yes, but it still wouldn't seem fair to the individual..

hug


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Groovy_Dream
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Posted:I have to admit that showing it on TV does cheapen the whole thing a bit.

The only real advantage I can see is that people who can't normally make it to see street theatre (eg. people in the country) have a chance to experience it. A better solution would be to do DVDs, that way only people who are really into it, or don't have access to street theatre would buy it (also DVDs don't have the cheapness factor that tv does). It could even stimulate an interest in these people to go and see or even partake in street theatre at the next fringe festival etc, and would let them know who and what to look out for.


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Rouge Dragon
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Posted: Written by: FSA


it's very tough to work with a street audience and if people have seen it before on TV




Then do original material. It's no different from seeing two performers who do the same thing. I've walked away from street performances before because their act wasn't original. It's therefore no different to seeing it before on TV or seeing it before in another live act. Sure, TV might make it more accessible to people - but you really shouldbe doing original stuff anyway.

 Written by: FSA


only the very top-class street performers will make it. Where does that leave the rest of us?




Sorry, no sympathy there either. Get better. Only the top athletes make it to the Olympics or the AFL/NBL/whatever. So where does that leave the rest of them? They also need to earn a living as well. Yes, it is sad that they put in all that effort and didn't get there, but then again, they should have put more effort into training.
The path to being the best is a difficult one. I was once on the path to being an elite athlete myself, and I don't see how being the best of the best in a sport is any different to being the best of the best anywhere else. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Life isn't fair.

 Written by: FSA


r would rather go home where they're comfortable and warm and can sit on their couch and watch it,



Yeah that sucks. But I honestly believe that nothing beats a live performance and even to those people who aren't as exposed to it as I am would surely still get a kick out of seeing those things on tv being done for real.


now time for a question for you:
You mention the problems about money and sole income and how difficult the industry is and how putting it on tv isn't fair. But what about the performers who made it to TV to earn the money? It could be their sole income too? What about them? Do they not deserve it?


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Groovy_Dream
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Posted:Raising the standard is definitely a good thing. I've seen a lot of street performers that are really terrible - who can do only a couple of tricks (which aren't that good anyway), and will spend ages leading up to them and egging you on. 99% of the tricks that have blown me away, i've seen at festivals like Common Ground, or at circuses. Maybe some people enjoy the whole egging on and audience interaction part of it? Not me though.



 Written by: Rouge Dragon



now time for a question for you:

You mention the problems about money and sole income and how difficult the industry is and how putting it on tv isn't fair. But what about the performers who made it to TV to earn the money? It could be their sole income too? What about them? Do they not deserve it?





It's not their sole source of income... they have the option to do street theatre too. Other performers, on the other hand, may only have one option (street theatre) because they don't have the contacts or talent to do TV.



As for originality, it's not really reasonable to demand that every single performer in the world does something original.. there must be millions of performers out there, and only a finite number of tricks, there has to be some overlap somewhere.


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_FSA_


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Posted: Written by: Rouge Dragon


Then do original material. It's no different from seeing two performers who do the same thing. I've walked away from street performances before because their act wasn't original. It's therefore no different to seeing it before on TV or seeing it before in another live act. Sure, TV might make it more accessible to people - but you really shouldbe doing original stuff anyway.




Original material? When it comes to street theatre, no material is original. Sure, you can give it a twist that is unique to you but ultimately theres a reason why all street theatre is similar: it works. All performers at some stage have seen someone elses show and gone hey, that worked well, I should try that How do you think these tricks become well known? Thats like telling someone who is doing poi that they need to make up all their own tricks because otherwise its copying and its unoriginal. If you happen to come up with something original that works, then I guarantee youll see another performer using it before long. Thats the way it works.

 Written by: Rouge Dragon


Life isn't fair.




Good point, which is why I wrote That's life? Well yes, but it still wouldn't seem fair to the individual Meaning, I know thats how the world works, and I know life isnt fair, Im merely putting a point of view forward. To the individual it seems unfair, yes many things in life are unfair, this is just another thing!

 Written by: Rouge Dragon


But what about the performers who made it to TV to earn the money?




If theyre good enough to be on TV, they must be doing something right and surely they can get a fair amount from the street. I can understand that theyre just taking an opportunity as it arises because hey, its money, why wouldnt you? But my main issue is with the creators of the TV show, rather than the individual performers I guess its all well and good for me to preach about it being wrong to perform street theatre in a studio but if I was given the opportunity I must say itd be pretty darn attractive to throw my morals away and go for it regardless!

 Written by: PsyRush


Raising the standard is definitely a good thing. I've seen a lot of street performers that are really terrible




Fair point, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you dont like their material and dont think theyre good enough, then walk away. Thats the thing with street theatre; you have to be decent to get an audience but how do you get to that level? Its all well and good to say they need to train and practice, but trust me, everything changes when youre actually on the street. I can understand people getting frustrated with amature performers but everyone has to start somewhere. I think its good that theyre out there giving it a go rather than standing in the crowd saying oh theyre not very good

hug


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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:by the originality, it is the unique little twist that I mean. I suppose, as far as poi is concerned (and in my opinion) the technician vs the dancer.

You have an issue with the creaters of the show? Hun, all they want is the money too hug


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

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Posted:street performance is for the street and that is where it should stay but if I was offered the opportunity to do TV then my morals would probably slip to the wayside.

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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_FSA_


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Posted: Written by: Rouge Dragon


You have an issue with the creaters of the show? Hun, all they want is the money too




I can understand that, it's their job I guess. It just frustrates me, that's all. Hey, it's just my opinion, I'm not about to go a send them hate mail! I just wanted to hear others thoughts on the topic. smile

 Written by: dizzyphoenix


street performance is for the street and that is where it should stay but if I was offered the opportunity to do TV then my morals would probably slip to the wayside.




clap Well put! That's pretty much what I was trying to say, only in a lot less words! Thanks smile


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ugoAgogo
BRONZE Member since Apr 2003

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Posted:simalar program on the tv lastnight in the UK, sorta annoyed me, as you couldnt watch the actual performance, the camera was constantly switching between the reaction of the audiance and the judges.
If you were watching a Gymnast do a floor routine and this was the case, there would be so many complaints sent into the channel,
This sorta program is a differnt thing though, its aimed at the people who DO NOT see this thing regually, if at all,

Then to hear one of the judges say something along the lines of "i dont like juggling, but that was very good" just infuriated me!


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FireTom


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Posted:Excuse for not having read all responses, therefore I might repeat what somebody else has said already. My 2ct worth:

I don't appreciate the idea to put street theatre on TV, as FSA said - it's street theatre, not a TV show. But I understand the artist need for money and publicity ("Here performs Mr/s. Salto Spirale - as seen on Fox5") or urge to leave some video-record for the next generations.

If too much street theatre is put on the air, it only gets harder for the individual performer to catch and keep the crowd and finally to separate them from their bucks. A broader audience has seen it ("all") - so why paying for it? The momentum of surprise and invention gets lost, one key for the reward.

How many oldtimers still get mesmerized by pictures of spinning fire (other than those of Jonathon)?

But then again: Good street theatre and performers though will always find some way to come up with new gadgets and tricks in order to keep the crowd coming. I just hope that those on TV don't sell out for cheap (as they usually do)...

Conclusion for me: It doesn't make things easier, that's for sure - but challenges an already VERY challenging art form.


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_FSA_


_FSA_

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Posted:Thanks FireTom, what you've said pretty much backs up my original post. smile

I especially like your conclusion, it's nice to see someone else who recognises the difficulties involved with street theatre. You summed it up nicely.


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