Saturday, October 26, 2013
Hawaii, big island, secret circus incubator.
Kona and the Big Island have played a quiet but very powerful part in the world of Circus arts and street performance.
It’s known by many that Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil first arrived here as a burnt out street performer to rehabilitate himself and the character of Kona and this Island allowed him the time and space to incubate an idea that went on to change the way Circus is viewed forever.
There is another connection very few people know or appreciate. Robert Nelson, also known as the Butterflyman was one of the most successful and respected comic street performance artist America has ever produced. He was a very dear friend of mine and he spent his last 20 years based just out of Pahoa. His last ever performance was a show here in Kona that I dared him to do at one of the monthly village strolls. He was retired and content to simply maintain his property and take a handcart out and pick the litter up from a mile long stretch of highway 130 every week. He died peacefully at home last year, I was honored to share his last months and moments and there is already a commemorative plaque installed in his honor. at pier 39 in San Francisco where he would routinely draw crowds of up to a thousand people.
So Kona and the big Island have had a more or less hidden but powerful place and impact in the hearts of clowns and circus folk and comic street performers.
I am a clown with a big idea which is I want to bring it all back home.
My primary aims are
To promote for one week in April, the tourist destination of Kailua-Kona to an extent that the tourist occupation capacity is exceeded by demand.
To create an online audience over a year that exceeds the onsite population over the course of the event.
To invigorate, inspire, educate and create employment opportunities within the community of Kona to expand the perimeters of what is considered possible. Empowering it’s creative potential.