Love Death Circus – Chapters 36 & 37

Flying Home A backpack with his employer’s yellow sun logo hangs over Frank Singer’s right shoulder and a small rolling suitcase with his Corteo road jacket draped over the handle bounces behind him. His hair is wild with gel and dried sweat and his eyes are black with the mascara he missed as he raced to leave after the matinee. Jackie had called late last night to say that Willa is back in the … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 35

Losing Marbles January rolls into February and Corteo rolls into Amsterdam. The performers get a week off as the tent crew sets up the grand chapiteau in the parking lot of the Johan Cruijff football stadium. Too snowy to bicycle through the Dutch city, Frank Singer spends his time in history museums, Indonesian restaurants and jazz clubs. On Friday night he goes to services at the first temple to re-open after the war and, … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 34

Dead Wood Frank’s face fills the screen of Willa’s laptop, looking tired but glamorous with mascara left over from the show. Willa says, “Were you asleep?” “No such luck. I was catching up on email. How are you…hey, what’s that behind you?” Willa looks over her shoulder. “A Christmas tree.” “Oh, I see how it is – your Jewish roommate leaves town and you go all ‘White Christmas’ on me.” “It’s homey. And Jackie … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 33

Fist City With the new year comes new worries for Willa Woods. Her week-nine chemo checkup shows the tumors starting to grow again and some of her markers heading in the wrong direction. Dr. Sands says they will stay the course, finish the last three weeks of the treatment and then re-evaluate. “We have another option, a new chemo that I’ve heard about. I’ll start researching it. For now, Willa, don’t read too much … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 32

It’s New Years Eve and Willa Woods is happily asleep by 9:30pm. Even the cherry bombs and gunshots that will blast the Mission at midnight won’t wake her. At the San Francisco Armory, Virginia Barre steps off of a dusty I-beam into the bucket of a rented cherry picker and toggles herself down to the ground. She tugs on the red tissu that she’s just rigged. It’s solid. She uses the silk to pull … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 30 & 31

Chapter 30 Gay Pareé “No, Willa, we’re not in Paris. We’re in a field that’s a few of kilometers from a town where you can catch a train, transfer to the métro and be at the Eiffel Tower in a little over two hours.” Frank Singer is sitting at a Cirque du Soleil computer in the cook tent talking to Willa Woods on Skype. Everyone except the kitchen crew has gone back to the … Read More

How Cirque du Soleil Acrobat Jeff Raz Optimizes His Mind & Body For Peak Performance

by Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated Authority Magazine – Jul 22, 2020 As a part of our series about “How Athletes Optimize Their Mind & Body For Peak Performance”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Raz. Jeff Raz has performed internationally for decades, starring as an acrobat, juggler and clown in circuses including Cirque du Soleil and the Pickle Family Circus, and as an actor in theaters from Berkeley Rep to Broadway. He has … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 29

Why look you strange upon me? Kyle Dano is adjusting his tripod to get a picture of the fourteen women who make up the cast of “Comedy of Errors.” This single gender approach, according to the Women’s Shakespeare Festival’s publicist, “is the closest a modern theater can come to Shakespeare’s original staging” which was, of course, all male. This is Kyle’s first photo shoot for a professional theater, although he’s documented every show at … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 28

The Euro Zone Two days later, Willa Woods’ face is a mask of amazement. “George actually said you could pay your half of the December rent in January?” “Yeah. Worked out pretty well. I guess he got a little star struck when I mentioned Cirque du Soleil.” Frank Singer is being liberal with the phrase “star struck.” What their landlord actually said was, “What the hell is certs da sole?” “I’m amazed George had … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 26 & 27

Comedicide Zip Abrams and Willa Woods are sitting in the breakfast nook digging into a celebratory lunch from Taqueria La Cumbre when Frank comes up the stairs. The good news about Willa’s chemo has left the women giddy but Frank doesn’t notice. He slides onto the bench beside Zip, Willa hands him a still-hot lengua grande and he unwraps the top of the foil covering. He digs in, head down, not saying a word. … Read More

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