Zak McAllister and Stephen Doutt, two circus school students from Philadelphia, are using their quarantine time to create. Already on their 4th Quarantine Show, this episode titled LOLing Over Spilt Milk, the creation was made by crowdsourcing suggestions and putting them all into play, a technique that leaves open opportunities to clown as well as to innovate in the home setting. Part of a necessary new trend for home performances and artists (and probably audience) mental well-being, this production has many of the hallmarks of homemade circus, it uses everyday objects, its a one-cut wonder, with a mostly static camera, but they have put to use some clever and burgeoning DIY video editing skills to make titles and so forth.
I asked MacAllister about the impetus for these shows and he said, “Ever since my quarantine began, I’ve been using this as an opportunity to try new things. I’ve been keeping myself busy with these shows to discover new things about what I do, as well as to offer a sense of relief and normality to the small groups that watch our shows. I currently see juggling as a tool of entertainment and enjoyment that is very needed in our current situation.”
McAllister and Doutt gave themselves 24 hours to create the full production. Perhaps one of the more interesting outcomes of homemade circus is how it demonstrates the irrepressible curiosity of circus artists, and with jugglers in particular, their strategic exploration of universal forces like gravity, chance, improbabilities and matter itself. Now, cue cake mixer, pots and pans and Tupperware scenes!
The next show will be livestreamed Tuesday April 7th at 8:00 PM EST.