Calgary Fringe – Geek Life – Review

Geek Life

 

Geek Life

August 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10, 2013 

Lantern Church Gym

http://see.calgaryfringe.ca/events/403-geek-life

 

What exactly is a Geek? Is it a sci-fi fanatic? A math whiz? A video game devotee? Well, yes but no, but maybe, according to Aji Slater, writer and star of the one-man show Geek Life. A geek, Aji tells us, is made up of three things. Firstly, geeks like things a lot. Whatever those things may be.  Gardening, music, wine etc., they all count. Second of all, geeks are out. Unlike hipsters who like things but pretend they don’t, geeks like to shout about the things they like. Finally, geeks are social. They want to share the joy they take from their passion with others.

So why is Aji a geek? There are many reasons from the geek parents who sired him to his early book and reading obsession to his obsession with illustration at art school. But really, Aji is a Geek because he decided to become a clown that specialized in juggling. Partly because he needed and wanted to run away to the circus to escape a broken heart, but mainly because he, like all good geeks, loves it.

And like all good geeks who want to share their passion, Geek Life is one of Aji’s ways of telling his story and showing his clown/juggling talent to people – In this case a captive audience. Which is just fine with us as he is a sweetly charming and natural performer that had more than one woman in the audience wanting to just go up and give him a hug.

True that his comic writing and timing isn’t as polished as many of the other performers you’ll find at this year’s Fringe Fest. But how many of them can balance a champagne bottle, glass flutes and a cocktail table on their face? All at the same time? Aji weaves just enough of his balance/juggling tricks into his narrative to keep things moving and his presence is so amiable and real that we can forgive him for running on a bit too long.

At one point Aji tells the audience that he considered calling the show ‘Clown Life’ instead of Geek Life, but was afraid that with people’s distaste for clowns, it would put folks off. I concur. Being no fan of clowns or even juggling for that matter, a show entitled ‘Clown Life’ probably wouldn’t have been on my must-see list. But after spending an hour with what turned out to be a thoroughly talented, affable and delightful clown/juggler/solo performer, I may just have to adjust my thinking in future.

 

RATING

For Fringeaholics – He’ll be the darn sweetest personality you’ll see on stage and for my money it’s genuine. What this show lacks in slickness it makes up for in a good story and some fantastic tricks that never verge into slapstick or kiddie-like performance. SEE IT

For light Fringers – It’s a sweet, fun, physical show that will leave you smiling. Not a must see if you only have a few shows to go to, but it should be a close second-string on your list. MAYBE SEE IT

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