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Topic: Anybody here do Flea Circus?? Need Advice
Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Sep 10, 2006 12:28PM)
Hello folks,

Please I need advice from any body, if we do the Flea Circus, how close the audience can stand? Can they go really close? Then how about our control behind the case, will they see it? How if they do not see the flea, even in very close distance?
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 11, 2006 06:36AM)
Here's what I do. I let the kids get right down front and sit on the floor. I don't let them crowd the case, because I tell them that I'm going to set off a cannon, and it's not safe to stand too close. I have an "incubator" in which I carry the fleas in little glass vials. It is a very interesting prop built into a wooden box. The vials are set in little holes, held perfectly in place, and blue light creeps up the glass. When I first take out the fleas, I get really close to the kids with a vial, hold it up, and ask if they can see the flea. Usually, one kid shouts that he or she can, then many others follow. I then take out the flea and start the show. Sometimes afterwards they want to meet the stars, but lately they have been climbing over each other to buy the Family Fun Packs that I sell when I perform the Flea Circus, and they are more interested in buying a bag of slum than meeting a performing insect.

I have built my flea circus somewhat differently from Walt Noon's great plans, but it is still necessary to keep people from staring hard at the back of the case. I have built folding screens to block the bad angles. The interesting thing about the flea circus is the performer. I have a really big character and a grand show. I think that it is also important to vary the methods used so that people can't just decide that the whole thing is a large automaton. You can do a couple of flea tricks out in front with small, mobile props. Tom Palmer's book ([i]Famous Flea Act[/i]) has some very good ideas for mobile props, like the high dive. There is a photo of Jim Alberti having a flea do the high dive here:


The short answer to your question is that if you really, really believe in the show and admire the talents of your fleas, many of the children will see the fleas. The adults will be amused at the way the kids get involved, so everybody has a good time.

I will also say that this is absolutely the hardest show that I have ever done. The demands on the performer are immense. The props are very interesting, but the show is not a prop demonstration.


Message: Posted by: ssucahyo (Sep 11, 2006 11:04AM)
Paul, really thank you your for your advice...your incubtor box is really great idea, I think that will make peoples more believe the real fleas. The photos in the site also nice, I like the water tank, looks like the real miniature one, so cute...