CIRCUS UNLIMITED! Circus Stories:  Cameras and Missed Photo Opportunities
Circus Stories

Camera Cacophony

As a performer you get photographed a lot.  It’s not a problem.  Some of us even build into our acts “photo-opportunities”.  It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds.  There’s a lot of comedy potential there!

Anyway….  When I first started clowning, cameras made a “click!” noise.  “Click!”  “Click!” 

“Click!”  “Click!”   People taking your photo.  It was a discreet sound, mechanical and precise.  If you happened to be looking into a lens, you would see the iris blink at you.

Years went by and cameras developed.  There were Autowinds and Autorewinds.  Now the cameras made a “Click! Whirrrrr…” sound.  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”

If someone got to the end of their film, you’d hear:  “Click! Whirrrrr…Wizzzzzzzzz….”  Far above the law of averages would be the times when  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…Wizzzzzzzzz….”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…Wizzzzzzzzz….”  would be heard.

Then cameras went digital.  And they started to make a digital sound.  “Bsssst!”  That’s all.  “Bsssst!”

“Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”

Of course, there are still some older cameras around.  And all these cameras, each with their own unique noise, contribute to the Camera Cacophony….a symphony of sounds:

“Click!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!” “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…Wizzzzzzzzz….”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…Wizzzzzzzzz….”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Click!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…Wizzzzzzzzz….”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Click!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click! Whirrrrr…”  “Bsssst!”  “Bsssst!”  “Click!”

Then mobile telephones which take pictures.  I still can't get used to people holding up their mobiles at us.  Good grief....whatever next?  iPads and OTHER tablets.  THAT'S what!

With all these cameras around, you would think that most incidents worth photographing would be recorded for posterity.  Alas, it is not so.  As far as I can tell, the following “Missed Photo Opportunities” resulted in the danger of these incidents being completely forgotten were it not for this "Gallery".

(The Gallery Of) Missed Photo Opportunities

Double Yellow Line Dancing….
Summer Fair on a village green.  Very, very heavy rain.  Not many people about.  Despite the weather, there was a demonstration of Line Dancing in the arena.  All of the dancers were in “authentic” costume.  A Traffic Warden in full uniform and carrying a yellow and black chequered umbrella strolled into the arena, joined the line and proceeded to match rhythm and dance movements very expertly.  In fact, she was a little better than those already there!   All around, the rain beat down.  Sadly no photos.

High Council Official….
Scouts Summer Camp.  Circus Skills Workshop running throughout the day for different groups of Scouts.  Around lunchtime the local Mayor turns up.  He shakes hands, asks some intelligent questions, grabs a pair of stilts, steps up onto them and crashes to the floor with a thud.  Luckily, he is unhurt.  Aides, advisors and hangers-on rush to help him up.  His red face is from embarrassment rather than exertion.  Sadly no photos.

Skipping With A Unicycle….
Easter Circus Show.  One clown climbs onto a rubbish skip with a roll-over lid.  He is trying to get onto a high Unicycle.  The other two clowns are working in the arena as part of the show.  Suddenly, there’s a yell and everyone looks round to see a pair of large shoes and two legs sticking out of the skip.  “Help!  Get me out!” says the clown.  “Shall we help get him out?” says one of the other clowns.  “No, leave him there!” says the third clown.  The show continues for another ten minutes before the first clown gets help from the other two.  The audience are beside themselves with mirth.  Sadly no photos (and no Mayor in sight!)

Juggling Responsibilities….
Adult Learners’ Week.  The local Lady Mayor is persuaded to learn how to juggle in public in the middle of a shopping precinct.  Chains of office, expensive outfit, three juggling balls.  Sadly no photos (the local newspaper turned up later and snapped….the Line Dancers!)

Step Right Up….
Town Centre Event.  A clown joins in with a step aerobic demonstration.  He has such fun, and draws so many laughs from onlookers, that the local Mayor joins in.  The clown and the Mayor both ham it up greatly for the audience.  Sadly no photos.

Feeling A Little Horse….
Annual General Meeting of Clowns International.  Venue kindly supplied by Zippo’s Circus, inside their Big Top.  As the clowns gather for the meeting, the smallest horse is in the ring, filming an insert for a local TV news programme.  The presenter does a piece to camera sitting at the ringside and the small horse runs around the circus ring behind him.  Then….the small horse escapes and runs OUT of the ring and under the tiered seats.  One hundred clowns watch and slowly begin to see the comedy potential of such a situation.  One or two move forward, instinctively, to join “the show”.  “BACK!” yells Zippo (in a voice of thunder).  The circus staff, of course, already have the small horse under expert control.  Sadly no photos (and the TV camera was off by the time all this happened!)

Ricochet Whine….
Circus Workshop as end of term event in a music school.  The Workshop Leader is doing a short demonstration of all the equipment available.  He spins up a diabolo, launches it into the air….and catches it again.  More spinning and another throw upward.  He catches it again, this time behind his back.  A third throw.  The diabolo goes up, hits a light fitting, bounces on a steel roof girder, rebounds off the top of a bookcase and…. the Workshop Leader catches it effortlessly back on his string!  Sadly no photos (which is a shame because no one else has ever believed it really happened!)

Post Office Bag….
Two clowns in between two performances, stop in a sleepy village to get sandwiches and drinks.  Then, they sit in their van outside the parade of shops, eating lunch and killing time.  Suddenly two police cars roar up and block them in.  Police officers swarm around their van and invite the clowns to account for their intentions.  It appears that the clowns stopped right outside the village Post Office.  Inside, fearful of being robbed by two master criminals disguised as clowns, the Post Mistress had called the cops!  Sadly no photos (but no arrests either!)

"I Feel Like Part Of The Furniture...."
A clown arrived at a Play Centre in London to find that all of their beanbag chairs, cushions, armchairs and sofas were covered with exactly the same material as his clown trousers!  Sadly no photos.

"Solly Lemontino...?"
Clowns who wear Funny Boxer Shorts underneath their trousers (ready to be exposed at the right time in the show) are BOUND to forget to wear the Boxers one day.  So picture the scene.  Doing a show, it's going great.  Get trousers stuck on tall Unicycle saddle as planned.  Take trousers off as planned.  Instead of laughter (as planned) a GASP from the crowd.  Had forgotten to wear the Boxers!  Luckily, no photos.  And no names either!

Missed Photo Opportunities” indeed.  I’m sure there will be more….

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CIRCUS UNLIMITED! Circus Stories:  Cameras and Missed Photo Opportunities
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