FRINGE ACT 2015 INTRODUCTION
We are pleased to announce that acts from near and far are gearing up for Fringe 2015. We will highlight each act as we move towards February 12 – 15, 2015. In our first interview we talk with the creators of the show Beau & Aero – a duo act comprised of Amica Hunter and David Cantor. In this brief interview we check in with them to find out a little bit more about what they have in store for us.
Your act has been described as “dynamic buffoonery” – what does that mean?
David: Our focus onstage is comedy, to make people laugh, but we use a lot of different tools, and styles of theater to get there. We use clown, puppetry, acrobatics, dance, and a little bit of juggling. We also have real tragedy wrapped up in the show, guiding the audience through a wide range of emotions. I guess that’s what the writer meant. To me, the show is clown, not in that “Bozo the clown” way, but in the tradition of the greatest vaudeville and silent film actors, like Chaplin and Keaton. I consider it the greatest honor we have received to have been compared to the two of them in a review.
Amica: Yeah, we really like to stretch an audience’s perception of clowning, and break their expectations. I personally consider it my mission to help make clowns lovable again in the public eye, and to dispel the myth of the creepy over-the-top balloon twisting birthday clown. We’ve often had folks come to see the show and afterwards tell us that they were prepared not to like our material because they don’t like clowns, but that we’ve changed their view and they really enjoyed our work. To me that is a major triumph.
It has also been said that your show is “seriously funny, dramatic, and (a) highly technical stage play”. Can you please explain this?
David: As I mentioned, the show uses the full gamut of human emotions. It is full of frustration, love, attraction, aggression, tragedy, and triumph. The blocking and choreography to achieve all of those things, without uttering a word is challenging, to say the least. Oh, and the show is funny, seriously!
Amica: As clowns, we differ from other circus artists in that we don’t aim to show off our tricks and skills alone, but rather to show off a character, scenario, or story, with our tricks and skills subtly blended in. But if you look closely, you’ll find that some of our jokes really require some rehearsed technique!
What does Beau & Aero do on the stage? And how did Beau & Aero come about – it sounds like bow & arrow?
Amica: You got it, Beau & Aero, like Bow and Arrow! Beau & Aero are the pun-tastic names we gave to our dorky aviator characters. Beau is the uptight bossy pilot, a bit of an allusion to Beau Geste, and Aero, as in Aeroplane, is his goofy distractible sidekick. Onstage, Beau & Aero are constantly making fools of themselves as they try to accomplish their tasks. They dance, fly, jump out of a plane, play music, get at each others throats, and do the most creative things with balloons you have ever seen. We like to really utilize the spaces we perform in, and explore the entirety of the stage (and the house) rather than stay rooted to one spot. You can expect to see Beau & Aero popping up in unexpected places.
What can the audience expect to see?
Amica: Our show is unique in that we fill up almost an hour doing physical comedy – that means no talking! Our audiences can expect to SEE a lot of wild stuff, and hear a whole variety of music, thumps, bangs, sighs, and squeals. The great thing about our show not relying on dialog, is that it keeps us moving around the space, and telling a story that people of any age or language can relate to, and laugh at. So bring your toddler, your exchange student, AND your deaf grandma when you come to see us!
Are there many challenges in creating and performing in a duo act as opposed to being in an ensemble?
David: Creating work as a duo can be really challenging, but it also has its perks. Sometimes a difference in vision can lead to some real tension in the rehearsal space, but that is how we know we are both really passionate about what we are creating. We also have to hold the stage, just as the two of us, for the entirety of our show, which is a challenge not faced by larger ensembles, but that means we get our artistic voices more directly relayed to the audience. Compromise between 2 people is much easier to accept than compromise between 8. Sometimes we bring in people for an outside eye, but it is nice not answering to a director. The show is a reflection of our visions, and the audience’s response each show is the validation of that vision. The audience is our director, they tell us what parts of the show are good and what parts need work.
Creating art can have its seriously fun side to it, but of course that is not always the case. How have you both stayed focused on your careers as artists?
David: We take our profession very seriously. It’s a full time job, sometimes we put in 18 hour days and it is by no means easy. Sometimes we just lay down on the floor in despair and stare at the ceiling. Fortunately, we have each other for support, and we are really good at communicating about our needs. Like many artists, we have a tortured relationship with creation. It isn’t fun. It feels like an insurmountable task. But we are compelled to do this work, and when we get on stage, and get to hear people laugh, and we know that we have brought joy into those people’s lives, and that maybe, just for an hour we have let them forget about all the stresses of life, that makes all the work worth it.
O’ahu Fringe Festival wishes the production Beau & Aero a safe trip to Honolulu and the very best with their performances at Fringe 2015.