The concept of SlapCon came to me suddenly... what if I got all the clowns and stuntmen I know together to foster the idea of slapstick?
I was curious. I put up a photo (the photo on the left) to see if the curiosity was there for others. In one day, I had the email addresses of 40 insane individuals. By the end, the total was over 80.
WTF Just Happened?!
We had workshops in improv, Ringling Bros. style slapstick, Alexander Technique, Cirque Style clown and some other stuff. We explored team work, safety, counterbalance and what does slapstick mean to each of us. We talked about why we were there and we helped each other get great.
"Slapcon is subversive education. The normal model is getting theory or correction. The learning at Slapcon is motivated by inspiration and following curiosity moment by moment rather than a lesson plan. I believe this is the best way for a performer to become a performer." -- Kate Conklin (Alexander Technique Teacher)
The results were beyond my dreams. A really sweet group of people working together and making this thing unlike anything I'd ever experienced.
If they come, They will build it
These were proactive people. Even folks that couldn’t come to the event volunteered to help make it happen. Some donated money to give poor people the chance to attend.
"Other people in pain is hilarious evidently... That's why I came!" -- Brady Spindel (Stilt Walker / Fire Breather)
In September 2012, we had our first Slapcon. 25 performers and enthusiasts came to figure out what it was all about.
I didn’t expect the colorful turnout we had. There were clowns, comedians, singers, aerialists, dancers, stunters, models, etc. I was surprised that about half of the attendees were women. The gender balance was part of what made it fun.
"No one was an expert at everything, so we all shared what we had and all came out ahead. Slapstick is a universal language that brought us all together." -- Rex Worth (Comedian)
We all brought our unique backgrounds and strengths as well as our own reasons for being there. Some people wanted to share what they knew, some people wanted to learn more. Some people like me had seen slapcon and wanted to know what it’s like to be involved.
Why I care about food
I wanted to make it intense, so I decided the schedule would be 12 hours per day for two days. The plan was for everyone to get comfy with each other and really create some cool stuff. For people to stick around, they need food. Two meals per day were served as well as snacks. The cost of registration was mostly spent on food. I really wanted everyone to eat well and feel good and sharing food happily does a lot for community.
Speaking of community, LA is not a place of community. It’s a dog-eat-dog kinda town. Everyone worked together to create an environment that was supportive, vulnerable and non-competitive.
In summary, it was splendid. I loved it. I left the first night and laughed myself to sleep. I cried for joy at its climax. Wonderful wonderful