06 November 2007

Street Performer

Walking down Grafton Street on a clear day, you're likely to run in to a crowd surrounding a street performer outside Stephen's Green shopping centre. Usually, I peer over the heads of the onlookers for a moment and decide it's not worth my time as I head back to the LUAS or to whatever meeting I'm already running late for.

Today, however, I stopped briefly for a routine glance at the unofficial "Grafton Street Performers' Stage" - and got hooked. It wasn't the fact that your man with a Kiwi accent was doing an impressive job of juggling basketballs or that he could also balance himself on a unicycle 3 meters high. I think I was most impressed with the way he made people a part of his act.

For example, at one stage, he called on a 5 year-old boy to hold the basketballs. Now, the sight of a small boy holding 3 basketballs, each one twice the size of the boy's head, is funny enough. (See picture below.) But as he interacted with the boy and joked around with him, he cleverly made the boy a participant in the act without patronizing him. He did the same with the other 3 adults that he pulled from the audience.

Brilliant stuff. Makes me look forward to the next Street Performance World Championship next summer!