June 14, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
The Core Of Technomania Circus
In San Diego we have our own circus; Technomania Circus. Victory Theater is the place where they chart a monthly course of comedy, acrobatics and music. Their theater was a Christian church in a former life and the Technomaniacs have done a wonderful job of incorporating their own style over and above what the original church goers had going on. Usually the décor & ambience are for the benefit of the adoring fans but on this night, everything was done up for one of their own. I was honored and privileged to attend the 40th birthday party of the magnificently talented Valerie Power.
Nick – A Welderman and Technomaniac
Every party needs a campfire for roasting, warming and gathering. This one got started early and was just the perfect thing. Yes, there is an outdoor experience as well as the theater. Technomania Circus has much more room at Victory Theater than they had at their old place allowing for much more freedom, artistic creation and bigger audiences.
Music Is The Heart and Soul of Technomania Circus
Music played continuously throughout the evening and at one point I even jammed on a drum set, which turned out to be just as fun as I thought it would be. The group that is Technomania Circus is one of those groups of ridiculously talented people that are changing the world one audience member at a time. They all play instruments, they all perform and they always want the people around them to smile, laugh and have a bang-up great time.
Valerie Powers Celebrating Her 40th Birthday
Singing “Happy Birthday” and watching someone blow out the candles as they make a wish on their birthday is just about the best thing to be a part of and I was glad to be able to take some photos of the occasion. I’ve known Dr. Techno and his Technomania Circus for 3 years and they have only gotten better with age.
Bring On The Candy!
The piñata was taken care of in short order, with Nick being the one that actually busted the thing apart.
The Pinata Comes Alive!
Anything can happen at Technomania Circus. For example, have you ever seen a piñata come to life, sprout legs and then have to be beaten down by the birthday girl? I didn’t think so.
Happy Birthday, Valerie!
The next Technomania Circus show is at 8pm this Saturday at Victory Theater and it’s called, “The Western Show.” The theater is located at 2558 Imperial Ave., in the Logan Heights area of San Diego; easily accessible by car, bus or trolley. Head down there and be ready to have the best night of live theater comedy you will have seen in a long time. Cheers to all the readers and Happy Birthday to Valerie!
October 17, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 5 Comments
Victory Theater Zombies!
May I proudly present to you, direct from the Victory Theater, my friends at Technomania Circus presenting – The Zombie Show! They have a new, grand Victory Theater at 2558 Imperial Ave. and it is perfect for what they do. What they did on this occasion was entertain us for a couple hours as Zombies, wrapping up the music and laughter filled evening with The Zombie Rapture. Besides the show and their gorgeous new theater being awesome, it was just flat out great to see the whole gang again. How ironic that it would be a theater full of Zombies that helped to bring me and the blog back into the world of the living!
Dr. Techno & Zombie Springer
Dr. Techno and the troupe will soar to new heights at this new theater; I have no doubt about that. It is huge with seating for about 200 people, men’s and women’s bathrooms, a snack bar a store and a full on lighting & sound system.
Zombie Food – Crickets and Worms
The shows at Technomania Circus are interactive and sometimes include complimentary snacks such as bacon, cookies or candy. This show included crickets and worms. I tried the crickets, which tasted like seasoned popcorn that had antenna.
A zombie hospital is not a place where zombies are treated for their injuries and released. No, a zombie hospital is a place where zombies treat the living, usually until they die from it. Above an audience member is about to have some vital and not so vital organs removed by a zombie doctor.
Zombie Paul Moeller
Paul Moeller and his lovely wife, Mary have become good friends over the last couple years and it’s always a treat to see what they have come up with since I talked to them last. As you can see, Paul has recently become a zombie, wearing his brains in the very zombie-chic style of, outside the head.
The Cast Of Technomania Circus After The Zombie Show
During the month of October, there are Haunted Tours through the Victory Theater where you can see Satan & his imps at work, visit an alien gravesite, design your own grave and even have a mock funeral so be sure to check out Technomania Circus’s website for all the gory details. Next month they are having a Vaudeville show and next week DangerHouse Productions will be presenting, Fear Beautiful Fear at the theater, so head down there and show your support for San Diego’s only performing circus. Cheers!
June 11, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 4 Comments
Golfing Under Blacklight
Technomania Circus held a blacklight theater at their usual in Barrio Logan venue, The Center for Performing Arts last night and I was there, right in the front row, which I think are the best seats in the house. For those of you that don’t know, San Diego has a regularly performing circus troupe that happen to be an amazing group of people we all know as Technomania Circus. Dr. Techno is the lead Technomaniac as well as the man that keeps the bacon sizzling. Yes, bacon was served during the show, cotton candy was available and there is a fine art gallery in the foyer of the bathroom. Awesome!
Technomania Circus Art Gallery
This month’s theme was, “Blaaack Liiiight,” always spoken in a deep, menacing voice. Blacklight theater is a lot of fun because it’s like a real life special effect; you don’t get to see everything and that’s what makes it special. The show started at 8pm but thanks to our perfect San Diego weather and long summer days it wasn’t dark yet so we were treated to some music, comedy, juggling and balancing as the sun slowly drifted away.
Balancing On Ladders
This summer will make it two years that I’ve been going to shows at Technomania Circus. It was way back in July of 2009 that I first went to, photographed and wrote about their show and I haven’t looked back since. The address of the circus is 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, CA 92102, right next to the 25th & Commercial St. trolley station. You are certainly welcome to bring food, drinks and cameras into the show and the venue is in an area heavy with taco shops and corner stores so you can get everything you need for the show when you arrive.
Willy Bologna About To Play The Harp
Once we got past twilight it was time for, “Blaaack Liiiight!” This is what we’d all been waiting for and it did not disappoint. They took us all over the place, as you’ll see in the photos and in the video at the bottom of the post. For you photographers out there, the sharp photos were taken at 1/45th, f/3.5, ISO 3200 while the photos that show a lot of motion blur were exposed for 1 second, f/3.5, ISO 800. Ya done good Technomaniacs, ya done real good. See you next time.
1 Second Of Time At Technomania Circus
A Blacklight Creature
Pleasing The Blacklight Gods
Technomania Circus Blacklight Theater
April 18, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 2 Comments
Let’s Get Things Fired Up!
Weed is all around us. When the government forced the entire marijuana operation underground some 74 years ago it was bound to surface again somewhere, and that somewhere turned out to be California. Before, during and most likely after the legalization issue has been decided there will continue to be all manner of movies, songs, websites, books and manuals dedicated to Mary Jane. On Saturday, Technomania Circus did the world the favor of adding to that list of media by writing and presenting an entire live theater performance enthusiastically devoted to the sweet, sweet chiba. Dr. Techno and his venue, The Center for Amusing Arts played host to a show that was timed and humored perfectly while tackling some very important issues that have developed out of the war on drugs… I’m assuming that’s what they did. I really don’t remember because, uh… It was the 420 Show!
Technomania Circus is a unique venue because the theater has stadium and bleacher seating underneath a giant circus-tent shaped tarp which sits in front of a large stage, all of which is contained within the backyard of: 2438 Commercial St. San Diego, CA 92102. Don’t be scared when you realize that this is a private residence in Barrio Logan or that you’ve never been to that part of town before. Just follow your MapQuest directions and park on the street, your car will be fine. If you ride public transportation then you are really in luck because the venue is just a few paces away from the 25th & Imperial San Diego orange line trolley station. It’s one of the easiest places in the city to get to on the trolley so make no excuses! You always get to see Jon jump around a little, at the very least. Have a look at my collection of posts and photos from past Technomania Circus shows for a much better idea of what I am trying to say.
Katie Rabbit (on the left) was back after a multi-show absence as an Easter bunny with eggs that held munchies and a shirt that held Twinkies. Jon and Anton (above) amazed the Technomania Circus audience with balancing, comedy, jumping and the unbelievable feat of juggling seven pins! It’s dark in there so the photo is grainy but you can clearly see all seven pins. Awesome!
Joint Rolling Contest
There are portions of every Technomania Circus show that are interactive. This is very much a situation where the more we as audience members cheer, yell and clap the better the show will be. This is a very friendly and laid back theater. You are more than welcome to bring your own food, drinks or cameras and showing up in a costume will help you fit right in. Above we have four audience members challenging the self proclaimed joint rolling king, Jon (center) to a roll off. The dude on the left won, rolling around 6 joints in the allotted time.
I don’t know what I can use that exists in the current day to compare with Technomania Circus. They are like a group of Steampunk people that know all about electricity. They are performers that always have something new to show you and something funny to say. They are a circus that lives right here in San Diego, thanks to them the circus is always in town. So, take a look at the Technomania Circus website for their next show date and title, make yourself a sandwich, grab something cold to drink and head on down to the show, for crying out loud!
Anton Balancing A Six Foot Bong On His Face
This was not just a show about weed; it was a show for weed. In the same way watching an imitation of someone causes you to notice mannerisms or ways of speech you might have missed before, this show drew attention to some of the stupid, yet accepted things we put up with whilst enforcing the Federal ban on marijuana. Couple this with the fact that reefer is used to combat the side effects of federally regulated pharmaceutical drugs that are only taken because of the reefer ban and you have the makings of some ripe satire, and Technomania Circus dug right into it. With any luck at all, one day people will look back at this performance and wonder why it was considered satire, and I hope I’m around to see that day. Cheers!
March 11, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
There was so much going on at the most recent Technomania Circus show last Saturday night you could say it was absurd… And ridiculous! There was mind reading, children playing with fire, music, juggling and A LOT of laughing. So, enjoy these photos from the evening of Technomania Circus’s Absurd & Ridiculous Show!
Dr. Techno (above) read the mind of an audience member, Sky Frank twirled fire and Anton juggled bowling pins as part of the pre-show warm up.
Valerie Power once again entertained us with her singing saw while Paul and Mary Moeller sang and danced a song that I would guess has a title that is something along the lines of, “Poisoning The Pigeons In The Park.” Attending a Technomania Circus show is a rite of passage for live theater goers and it’s right here in San Diego, right next to the 25th & Imperial orange line trolley stop. Don’t be scared to come to a show or to take the trolley and if you drive there is plenty of on street parking.
Blacklight Theater At Technomania Circus
Sky With Fire
Technomania Circus will be performing a western themed show in two weeks so those of you that would like to go for the first time won’t have long to wait. Until that time, you can wet your appetite by looking at some more photos from many previous shows by looking through my Technomania Circus tagged posts. Cheers Technomaniacs!
January 17, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut · 1 Comment
The Beginning Of A Space Pirates Dance Party
The first show for 2011 at Technomania Circus was the Space Pirates Dance Party and I was there. It was one more show that had a little bit of everything from live music to jugglers to fire. Oh yes, there was some fire at this show!
Jon & Anton Juggle Fire
Dr. Techno & Valerie Power Behind The Shadow Puppet Show
Technomania Circus Is Flexible
What Is Missing From Our Fire Juggling Act?
In the photo above, it may look like Anton is taunting the children with fire while Jon is reassuring the parents. Yep, it might look like that but don’t worry, the children survived and we were all very entertained.
Jon In The Crow’s Nest Blowing Fire Into Barrio Logan
Even if you were not fortunate enough to attend this show don’t worry because there is a Technomania Circus show every month or so. I’ve been to several so be sure to have a look and my other posts, photos and videos of Technomania Circus. The Technomaniacs remain, without a doubt, one a the gems of San Diego. The video above shows Jon & Anton entertaining & juggling. Great job Technomaniacs!
December 13, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
Mary Christmas At The Door Of Technomania Circus
The Christmas season is upon us and Technomania Circus is upon Christmas. I’ve never been able to actually say what Technomania Circus is, I’ve only been able to to show photos and write words about what I see when I’m there. So, what is it, why do I go, what do I see and who’s there? Let me put it this way: If I were to blog about the show without the added benefit of the photos I take, no one would believe me. Hell, there are photos taken of men on the moon and I barely believe that happened. So, with that being said, if you care to acquaint yourself with the circus a little bit before delving into the rest of this post, I have several videos that can be seen here. The photo above shows the front foyer of the circus with the lovely Mary Moeller on the right, informing circus goers that in addition to the show, the price of admission also includes homemade Christmas sugar cookies and hot cider. Yes, the ticket booth for this live theater venue is located under an icicle-light adorned UFO and just to the right of an alien sarcophagus.
Technomania Circus’s Stage Decorated For Christmas
With cookies and cider in hand, I made my way to the stage and up into the stadium seating. I have been to many Technomania shows over the last year and I always have my camera in hand. This ultimately presents a challenge for me as a photographer. You might think it would get easier each time, but that really isn’t the case because at this venue it will be apples one day and sailboats the next. The challenge for me is to ensure that I do the circus justice by keeping the photos fresh and capturing the spontaneity of the show. It sounds easy but believe me, it’s not. It’s like saying all you have to do is blow and wiggle your fingers to play the tuba.
The Audience Eagerly Awaits The Start Of The Show
To the left is the entrance and vanity in the bathroom of Technomania Circus. I bet you’re wondering what’s around the corner to the left aren’t you? I took a few photos of the interior but I’m not going to include them because there are some things you just have to see in person to appreciate, so make a specific trip to Barrio Logan just to get a look at an eclectic bathroom. Above we see Dr. Techno on his rola-bola, which is, as far as I’m concerned, the official start of every Technomania Circus show.
The Elves Arrive And The Show Begins
What’s that you say? You’d like me to show some more photos without having to read my editorial after each and every one? OK, I can do that, but don’t say I never did anything for you. Stick with the post all the way to the end for a video synopsis of the show.
I will say a little bit about the photos, but it’s really just to fill up space to make sure they align properly. In all seriousness, check Technomania Circus’s website for the next show and make sure you make it down there.
We, the audience were treated to three different Santas, Jesus Christ, jugglers, The Weldermen, Dr. Techno, Hugh Hefner and LOTS of blacklight theater. The circus is also blessed to have a damn fine band with Paul Moeller at the helm.
A Christmas Miracle, Then Grandpa Chopped Down The Tree
The Weldermen Ominously Appear On Stage
Blacklight Theater And Techno Santa
Highlights From Technomania Circus’s Christmas Show 2010
The video above is a brief synopsis of the show. A great rendition of “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon played on the harp, Valerie Power mystically and beautifully playing “Silent Night” with her singing saw, extreme rola-bola balancing and music are in the video yet represent only a small portion of the entire show. The beginning and end of the video are dark, but for those portions it’s all about the music anyway so there’s no need to adjust your television set. Anyway, bravo once again to the cast of Technomania Circus for being such gracious hosts and for putting on a great show that will give me one more reason to look forward to Christmas next year. Cheers!
October 24, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
Zombies At Technomania Circus
Technomania Circus entertained us last night with a performance of the 2nd annual ZOMBIE SHOW!! This show is perfectly timed for Halloween with fire and an entire cast of zombies. For those of you that have never been, Technomania Circus lives right next to the west-bound orange line trolley station at 25th & Commercial.
This was my first Zombie Show, so I wondered what the Technomaniacs would have in store, beyond a zombified theme. It turned out the entire cast performed the entire show as zombies… Brilliant. We got to see zombies dance, match wits on a game show, play musical instruments, juggle and play with fire.
(Above) The Newlydead Game
Dr. Techno Performs
Dr. Techno is the guy and the guy behind the guy at the home of Technomania Circus. He is the magnetic force that attracts and holds the circus together, working tirelessly and guess what? Today, (October 24, 2010) is Dr. Techno’s 65th birthday! Happy Birthday Dr. Techno! The world thanks you for all the laughter & joy you’ve brought us.
Not to be out-done, Willy Bologna played the harp, rocking us out to a zombified version of The Cranberries song, “Zombie.” Anton the zombie juggled for us, which was amazing considering that he was after all, a zombie.
There was a smattering of fire and blacklight at Technomania Circus during the Zombie Show, as well as an appearance by The Welderman. The zombie above sang to us while slowly ripping off pieces of his own flesh and throwing them into the audience. Halloween is a great time of year!
Blacklight Theater At Technomania Circus
The Welderman At Technomania Circus
And that’s a wrap! Once again I had a great Saturday night adventure at Technomania Circus, and this show took place under a full moon, which helped to make the night night extra scary and extra lively. Check the Technomania website for future shows and special events. There’s at least one show per month, and sometimes even more so you are never too far away if you happen to be in need of a fix from the circus. Above is a video that shows a minute or so of intros and Dr’ Techno’s famous balancing act and wraps up with zombies rocking out to the L7 song, “Pretend That We’re Dead.”
September 26, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 3 Comments
The Beer Show Begins
I have inexcusably missed a show or two, presented by Technomania Circus this summer, but I did attend the BEER SHOW last night and the Technomaniacs did not disappoint. This particular show was about all things that, in one way or another, having to do with beer. It started out with a clutch of the cast walking in a zombified manner to the stage, affirming their allegiance to beer.
Dr. Techno Introduces The Musicians
One (or two) of the unsung heroes of Technomania Circus are those that provide the music for the shows, playing everything from a tubas to accordions to pianos.
Evil Lucy Plays With Fire
There were a few guests from out of town performing at this show and one of them was Evil Lucy, from New York. She is one of those irrational people that plays with and flings fire around like a yo-yo.
John and Anton are two of the mainstays at Technomania Circus. They like to balance things on their faces, juggle and heckle the crowd, more or less in that order. We all know that I am an anti-flash advocate. Flash photography is just about the worst thing in the world. This show, and Jon in particular helped to drive that point home… When some one is balancing on a ladder, 10 feet in the air while juggling bowling pins, turn your flash off! Crank up the ISO on your camera and slow your shutter down. The photo below is a great example of this. The slow shutter and lack of flash create a great sense of movement.
There was a goodly amount of audience participation for this show, and that is something that never fails to entertain. Even though I have only two series of live theater performances under my belt, I have a vast reservoir of public speaking and debating to draw from, so performing, as a volunteer or not is something I personally find easy to do. That being said, it is very comical to watch people being dragged up on stage that would rather remain as members of the audience. The joy of Technomania Circus is that audience participation transcends phobias like this, and brings everyone up (or down) to a level that consists of laughter, happiness, joy and comedy.
All Hail The Beer!
Cows Filming A Commercial
We all remember that late 1990′s and a series of Budweiser commercials with three frogs, each responsible for a syllable of the word, Bud-wise-er. For the photo above, a big shot Hollywood director tried to re-create this commercial with cows, but all cows can say is, “Moo.” Or so we thought.
So, ultimately and for the umpteenth time in a row, Technomania Circus entertained, amazed and perhaps even enlightened me… Great show guys, the world of beer drinking will never be the same!
Technomania Circus Presents The Beer Show
July 19, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 2 Comments
Welcome To Technomania Circus
Technomania Circus is a law unto itself. Before the show started, Dr. Techno read our minds, entertained us and most important of all, made us laugh. We all knew from the title of the show that we would be traveling through time, but when you are at Technomania Circus, most things are not always as they seem.
That being said, I once again I found myself in the audience of Technomania Circus and once again I was amazed by what I saw. For this performance of the Technomaniacs, we took a journey through time, a journey that went through millions of years of history, and we laughed the entire time. We, as Americans do not have a sense of history that that goes beyond 1776, when we became a country. Most of us have no idea what the world was doing before that, but Technomania Circus does, so they educated and entertained us by reminding us what happened before, during and after the mighty United States of America was an idea, a reality and a ghost.
Dr. Techno At Technomania Circus
Something I’ve never mentioned before is the personal guarantee that Dr. Techno gives each and every member of the audience: “You will enjoy the show or I will clean your house.” There are never any takers because everyone always loves the show.
When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth
Our journey begins somewhere around 25,000,000 BC, when dinosaurs and talking Tyrannosaurus Rex’s where a force to be reckoned with. Just look at his tiny little hands!
Depending on who you ask and what part of the United States you are standing in when you ask, dinosaurs and people either co-existed OR where separated by millions of years of evolution. This particular dinosaur spoken fluent English, so right now I’m thinking that people and thunder lizards were contemporaries of one another. Of course, biblical scholars would disagree, but they disagree with everyone.
As we continued to move forward through time at Technomania Circus, we met some familiar faces. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble demonstrated the the first automobile and the need to invent a back seat for a car. Wasn’t the Flintstones an awesome cartoon? What a great concept. The cartoon came out in the 1960′s and applied 1960′s technology to the stone age. I would be very interested to watch a remake of the show that is updated to for 2010 technology. I think watching the the Flintstones deal with stone age computers, social networks and coffee shops would be incredibly funny. Anyways, after the Flintstones came the Egyptians, and King Ramses. As you can see from the photo above, Ramses was very pleased with his volunteer on his blue ball.
The Pharaoh Ramses Balances On His Big Blue Ball
As we progressed through time we learned that even pharaohs like to have fun. Time travel aside, this really was quite a feat of balance and concentration. Walking on top of a giant rubber ball back and forth across a see-saw is a very exciting thing to watch!
Jesus Hubert Christ!
Jesus Christ arrived 2000 years or so after the the golden age of Egypt, and when he did arrive, he rocked the house. What was his first number 1 single? Stairway To Heaven, of course.
Henry VIII Is Entertained At The Palace
Henry VIII had 6 wives, two of whom were beheaded, so it is easy to understand why the court musician would try very, VERY hard to keep the King of England entertained. After all, if Henry would lop off the heads of his wives, what would he lop off a lowly court musician?
The Wild West
After Henry VIII came an American gunfighter. This particular gunfighter chose to balance on a ladder and shoot balloons from a hand-held target. He had a very steady hand and never missed.
The photo above, on the left reminded me of a line from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, spoken by Chevy Chase, “That’s a great place for a pearl necklace.” Ahem, as we continued forward through time we got to hear a remarkable song by Albert Einstein that ran through every element on the periodic table. It reminded me of the Nations Of The World song performed by Yakko Warner of the Animaniacs.
Dr. Techno, the leader of the Technomaniacs was the operator of the time machine throughout the show. The time machine was a gigantic, mechanical contraption that only had enough juice to take us BACK in time. However, Albert Einstein produced an unspecified quantity of OBTAINIUM, which allowed the good Dr. Techno to take us into the FUTURE with his time machine. The first thing we encountered where space pirates.
At Some Point In History We Discovered Fire
I began to lose track of where I was and WHEN I was, but The Welderman jumped out on stage to show me the light. I was at Technomania Circus, and I was in the very distant future. I have mentioned many times in previous posts that fire is my favorite part of the show, so I like to think they closed out the show with fire just for me. I know that’s not the reason, but it could be. It could be!
Technomania Circus Presents The Time Travel Show