New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kind Words

As he stepped into my office, I recognized his gentle and polite manner. After exchanging how-are-yous, conversation quickly turned to his last show, Typo, some years ago in New York City at the New Victory Theater. I remarked how I had really liked it to which he responded, "Yes, and you had kind words."
Kind words. Now that's a phrase I don't hear often in New York. Not that acts of kindness don't exist. It's just that choice of words has a gentle courteousness about it that left the phrase rolling in my head for days.
I have always contended that the cliche of a New Yorker stepping over a fallen body (rather than helping) is a bit of an exaggeration. Although New Yorkers can be perhaps harried or brusk, when there is genuine need, many will rise to the occasion. I have seen an attorney on Broadway draw a handgun on two individuals in a knife fight to keep if from escalating, while the crowd waited for the police to arrive.
I am not, however, likening New York City to a small rural town, where friendliness and helpfulness can often be disarming. I have the privilege of meeting many performers from outside New York City and their manner is often like a brief visit to another place and frequently a window to a more gentle world.
Jamie Adkins is an internationally recognized talent with many awards and credits. He started his performing career at age 13 on the streets of San Diego. Jamie currently resides in Montreal, where he has worked with Cirque Éloize in the show Excentricus, and with whom he collaborated to create Typo. He has worked with Cirque du Soleil in Wintuk.
His new one-man show, which I saw Saturday afternoon at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, is entitled Circus INcognitus. In this essentially silent work, he showcases his many skills - juggling, mime, clowning, hand balancing, slack-rope walking and his routine with freestanding ladders. You can read more about him on his website here.
Jamie's affable character permeates his show and I am not the only one to notice. From a review of Typo in the New York Times:
"... throughout this pleasantly casual, mildly daffy homage to old-time acrobatics. The show, aimed at young audiences, gives Mr. Adkins a chance to show off an impressive array of juggling and ladder-walking and slack-wire balancing skills. Just as important, it gives him a chance to show off a breezy likability that can't help but bring Charlie Chaplin to mind.... The show is so genial that you can't quite tell if the occasional drop is intentional, and you don't care anyway."
Yes, and those are kind words :)


Julie said...

very nice photos and good to note about the impact of kind words

Brian Dubé said...