“…I wanted to be an entertainer. And you can’t be an entertainer without an audience. Thank you for making my dreams come true.”
Al Milar perches 20 feet above the ground on a steel contraption engineered for street performers. In the musty Vermont mid summer night he cuts the shape of a mounted superhero clad in a canvas of red and black tattoos shouting Showtime and Rockin In. But the 150 gathered tourists and locals of all ages can’t read these. They are locked onto the thrill of his next trick. From contortion to comedy, he has capably lead us to this trick together. Cutting a shadow shape in the sky, relying on four random audience men each clasping a corner rope to secure the pole, Al is ready to juggle machetes while balancing a twirling wheel of sabre edged swords on his head. The 30 minute performance has lead to this. The music volume increases. A quiet anticipation drapes the audience. Even the toddlers remain frozen in place.
“This is my best trick. I have been working toward this my whole life. Let me know how much you like it” he sets us up.
The machetes are tossed and caught and tossed and caught. The wheel of five swords twirl effortlessly on his head. The steel pilar teeters gently with the velocity of his movement. Our necks crane. Each of us digests the fantastical inputs we receive. The minute hangs in an undefined measure of time casting a spell. A spell to place the performer and the audience in one moment of conjoined experience.
Seconds of time that hold only the pulse of a gift. The gift of pride in human achievement. The gift of hope to accomplish your dream.
He concludes to wild applause breathing gratitude and relief into the night.
The small audience/performer community begins to dismantle as members rush up to drop $5, $10, $20 in his red hat.
“This is my living. I have spend my life learning the skills to perform for you. You are here watching on this street. And you pay for what you are receiving in this moment.”
“It’s an honest living.”