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Woman of the Month Before – Dawn Monette

Monday, October 1st, 2012


Dawn Monette

Here’s a little bit about her:
Dawn Monette juggles obsessively. After 10 years of practice she realized that such skill was not worth much unless you had an audience and began to learn about performance, mostly through the art of busking. One weekend, she attended the University of Victoria juggling festival and was greatly inspired by her new peers. She then transferred into a Bachelor of Social Work program at UVic and with a team, created the UVic Juggling Festival of 2008 & 2009. She returned to Vancouver, where she and her circus colleagues began the MadSkillz Prop Manipulation festival, a volunteer coordinated festival built for the community of circus performance artists on the West Coast of Canada. Most recently, Dawn toured around South America with a documentary called The Busking Project, whom filmed all varieties of street performers throughout the world. Also, she helped organize Vancouver First International Busker’s Festival of 2012. Dawn’s favorite project is SPARK! Circus, a volunteer organization that spreads joy and play through the refugee camps of Northern Thailand.

And here’s how she answered my 6 questions about creativity:

What does it mean to you to be creative?
Being creative is to be human. Every person is creating in some way or another. Creation is a birth. Mothers are the greatest creators of all; working at the art of motherhood is a lifetime achievement. I am not a mother, but I am a juggler, a stilt walker, a fire spinner, a hairstylist and an event coordinator by trade. I have many more hobbies like photography and filmmaking. This all connects me to my humanness, in a variety of ways, with each art piece and each practice session birthing a new moment, idea, or sensation.

What triggers your creativity?
Community, love (cliché, I know), saying yes, having a productive space to create and music.

What hinders your creativity?
Authority figures, bureaucratic processes, teachers of all ilk.

What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
The Busking Project was the wildest by far. Through a series of 7 countries, we slept on couches throughout South America, meeting clowns and musicians of all kinds. We were in the middle of the Santiago riots; I almost drowned in Rio getting caught in a riptide on the most beautiful beach; The Southern Hemisphere’s galaxies was explained to me and my team as they took stop motion photography of the earth’s rotation; I rode a horse through the ruins of Peru in my gold statue costume; I saw a Shaman in Bolivia; and lastly, by surprise landed in a clown convention in Rio De Jainero. This night at the convention ended by these beautiful water ducts, when a samba band began practicing and I started hooping to their live drum beats as the rain poured down and the lightning added fireworks to the background. It was an Epic journey.

What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
Being honest or being yourself, speaking up, saying no, taking charge and asking for what you want, taking the stage, performing on a street corner and asking someone out on a date are all bold and provocative acts as a woman. I’ve never been one to toe the line.

What’s next for you?
In the next year I intend on Completing my Social Work Degree, running community festivals, creating more videos, breaking world records and refining my newest idea: juggling the alphabet

And here’s something that inspires Dawn’s creativity:

The Busking Project is amazingly inspiring because of the breadth of scope of their video archive of performance artists around the world.

Thank you for sharing your gold self with the world Dawn!

Check out more about Dawn on her website: www.dawndreams.ca

To hear about the next Woman of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!

Man of the Month Before – Yuki Ueda

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

August’s Man of the Month is:

Yuki Ueda

Here’s a little bit about him:
Yuki Ueda is a multi-talented performance artist, and an inspiring trainer of the ‘ground-level’ circus art based in Vancouver, Canada. Yuki brings entertainment as a juggler, a fire performer, a physical illusionist, character interaction and balloon artist. Yuki first delved into the world of performance in Europe. From there he refined his skills performing and meeting other performers in over 10 countries. He now rocks the scene in Vancouver and along the west coast of North America.

Along side his performance, Yuki is the co-founder of MadSkillz Vancouver which is an annual juggling and flow festival based in Vancouver. The mission of ‘MadSkillz’ is to provide a forum for collaboration and cross-pollination for jugglers, hoopers, fire spinners and other ‘ground-level’ circus arts. The festival showcases homegrown talent as well as special international guest stars with 2 shows, over 40 workshops and games of all kind for all ages happening annually at end of June.

And here’s how he answered my 6 questions about creativity:

What does it mean to you to be creative?
Being creative for me, means to research, study, and practice hard. I believe that creativity come from persistence. As a juggler I’ve learned that failure is only temporarily, so I keep trying until I get something that I am satisfied with.

What triggers your creativity?
My source of my creativity and inspirations come from YouTube. I’ve started juggling around the same time when YouTube started. So I learned a lot of my juggling online. I still browse YouTube for new and inspiring videos from all over the world. It helps me keep motivated to learn and keep pushing my limits.

What hinders your creativity?
I find it very hard as a juggler in Vancouver. The level of jugglers here in Vancouver is really low and even of those whom juggle, they have different style within the art. I find it hard to find like-minded people that I can bounce ideas with. That’s is one of the reasons, I’ve help created a festival for juggling here in Vancouver. We bring talents from all over west coast, not just to inspire our community, but to inspire myself to push the limits.

What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
My first inspiration for performance came when I was hitchhiking in Europe. I met another hitchhiker who had 3 tennis balls and made his way around Europe. He initially inspired me as a traveler to start performing. After only one year I started juggling and performing on the streets all around Europe. After Europe I headed over to Africa to just bring smiles to kids on the streets there.

Now that I’ve settled in Vancouver I still get to travel all over the coast to perform at festivals to spread my creativity and smiles to people here in North America. What I love about what I do is that I make people happy, in any part of the world.

What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
More than being bold and provocative, I try to do my best to connect with my audience when I perform. As jugglers, it is easy to ‘hide’ behind our props, but I want my audience to remember me for more than the objects that I’m juggling. It’s funny to say this because I work so hard on my skills and art but when I juggle in front of people I want to connect with them on a personal level.

What’s next for you?
I think I will keep doing what I am doing. We’ve just finished MadSkillz Vancouver 2012, so watch out for the 2013 festival and SideShow Studios, rehearsal studios for performance artists which I am part of. I’ve started these two projects in the last 3 years and I would love to stick to it for another couple years and see where it goes.

And here’s a couple of those YouTube videos that inspires Yuki’s creativity:

Juggling 3 ball improv
Toss up and Sides again

Be sure to check out Yuki’s website at zenapproach.com
Thank you Yuki, your performances definitely bring smiles to me!

To hear about the next Man of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!