Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ten Questions Tuesday with Aaron Bonk

Today Miscellaneous Yammering is thrilled to present the lovely and talented, limber, lithe, artistic, athletic, impossibly graceful and extremely sexy Aaron Bonk. Aaron is a performance artist and an object manipulation specialist…… in other words…..he juggles stuff….often while he's on stilts and what he's juggling is on fire or actively trying to slice him limb from limb. And did I mention he's funny? He's pretty funny…. [no pressure there Aaron] so with only a little further ado, we'll get started with today's installment of Ten Questions Tuesday…..[here comes the further ado]

K: Ok boys, light the fuse…….kids…… don't try this at home …… Aaron's a professional………

Minions, please protect your ears and hold your applause until today's guest is shot out of a cannon and safely deposited into his interview chair and then and only then, help me to welcome Aaron to the stage  by stomping, whistling and clapping [or just throw money].

K: Wow Aaron, nice job on sticking the landing…. thanks for coming in to see me today. I didn't know you were going to show up in costume. What do you call that character?

A: I call him"El Bonko!"  He's a lot of fun. 

K: Ah, and well, I must say, the transparent and mesh parts of your costume really give me some….how shall we say…insights into your talents.

A: Well, you know what they say……Merchandising, merchandising, merchandising...

K: Followed up by "location, location, location"….and I think you nailed that part pretty well too. Oh my, I think you're still smoking a little from the cannon….oh no wait, that's me… can I get a little water here, please?

K: Whew, ok, let's dive right into


K:  Aaron, you have a pretty dramatic hair cut, matched with dramatic facial hair.  When you're walking around in street clothes do people ever come up to you and ask you if you're a magician or musician or something?

A:  No.  Never out of the blue like that.  With a triangle Mohawk and matching soul patch, I think people just assume I'm an artist, punk or general freak.  It has helped greatly with recognition, though.  If they've seen my show, then they know it's me when they see me somewhere else.

K: Anybody who knows me knows that my three goals in life are to learn to juggle, play the guitar and levitate. You've got two of those down, are you working on the levitation?

A: I can levitate birds, but nobody cares.  That's actually a Stephen Wright joke.  Levitation doesn't really interest me much, though.  I want to FLY.  Douglas Adams said that to fly, you just have to throw yourself at the ground and manage to miss.  Unfortunately, I have really good aim.

K: You move around the country so that you don't have to stilt walk on ice and snow in Ohio during the winter.  Do you have a favorite place to perform?

A: Cleveland is my home and it is always so nice to go away for a while then come back and show people the performer I became while I was gone.  I've always received a great deal of support from my family, friends and the people of this city.  So, I love to go learn and grow and come back home and say, "hey, look what I brought you."  That's what the show at the Bridge Project was like--many people in that audience had seen my show before, but they had never seen THAT show.  Other than that, I love any warm place with sunshine and a beach.

K: Speaking of beaches, any plans to try juggling while surfing? Or would that be even beyond the skills of "El Bonko?"

A: I'd love to.  Actually, the 3 things I'd like to do in life are pilot a helicopter, learn stunt driving and learn to surf. Once I get the surfing down, I'm sure that the juggling will naturally follow.

K: The other night when I saw you use a bullwhip to cut a rose head away from the stem while a volunteer was holding it IN HIS MOUTH….that guy was so calm, and he kept mugging for the audience when you weren't looking, was he a ringer?

A: Nope.  He was just awesome.  I never use audience plants.  When I put that rose in the unsuspecting guy's mouth and then crack that whip for the first time and they find out what's about to happen--the genuine reaction is priceless.  And everyone reacts differently.  I love the beauty in that truth and the comedic potential is huge.

K: You use a lot of sharp things in your act. Have you ever been hurt on stage?

A: I've taken countless minor cuts and burns while performing, but once, while performing at a nightclub for a fetish party, I sliced the tip of my thumb off.  It didn't hurt right away because of the adrenaline, but the thumb has a major artery in it, so it started bleeding like crazy. I had about 5 minutes left in my act, so every now and again I would just turn around and nonchalantly suck all the blood off my thumb and continued going.  It was pretty dark and I played it off, so I don't think most people knew, but I bled all over the stage and my partner. Kind of worked with the event, though.

K: Have you ever gotten to a venue and found out that it was too short to stilt walk in?

A: Not quite.  I've found that there were really difficult spots to get through--like a long, low hallway between where I change into the stilt outfit and where I perform. But I usually discuss ceiling height before I get there.  If I need to I bring smaller stilts.

K: Your super power seems to be whirling objects in interesting ways.  When you become a professional juggler is there a ceremony where you stand around in a circle at midnight in hoods and the "elders" make you swear on your props [I know…but  balls was too obvious] to use your powers for good, not evil?

A: Absolutely not.  If I were prohibited from using my powers for evil, I don't think I would be in this business. Wink wink, nudge nudge...

K: If your life were a comic book what would it be called?

A: Probably "the Juggler."  At least, that would be my superhero nickname.  The Juggler would be like a batman-kind of hero--no supernatural ability, just really badass skills and slick gadgets.  All the different juggling props would do different things--exploding clubs and whatnot.  I used to pretend this a lot as a kid.  Okay, it was last week.

And finally,

K: You say you are determined to teach me to juggle……I'd be willing to try a little hands on experimenting. So…..can I handle your balls? [I know! But I refrained the first time]

A: Sure, but you've no idea where they've been. 

K: Aaron thanks so much for coming in to play with me today. To show my appreciation I'd like to present you with this custom three inch wide orange and neon green glow in the dark Miscellaneous Yammering garter to use during your cruise ship voyages. I sewed a little pocket into it that's big enough for room key cards, money orders or deeds to any old  Spanish villa that a lady might have lying around.  Wear it in good health and hopefully it will garner a lot of currency for you.  I'll enjoy picturing you wearing it when you bare your well muscled thigh on stage like you did the other night.

[ok, you guys are going to have to give me a minute]



Aaron performs all around the country. Here's a link to a few videos at his website of him performing.



Lauren C said...

Ha! Great interview. I especially liked the bits about flying and being like Batman... The Juggler definitely sounds like an awesome vigilante.

I could only watch parts of one video (stupid laptop!) but Aaron's performance looked awesome. He could be in Cirque du Soleil! (But then he wouldn't get to display his silliness and charm as much.)

Another great Ten Questions, Karen! :)
ps. Wrote FOUR poems yesterday. Very pleased with myself.

Karen from Mentor said...

And Aaron's silliness is a HUGE part of his charm Lauren. He was really a lot of fun to work with for the interview. And he's also a very patient juggling teacher. He may actually get me past my mental block on the third juggling ball.

Impressed I am with your creation of four poems in ONE day. [said in my best imitation of yoda]
Hugs honey!

judy said...

1. The Juggler. Let's write the comic book!
2. I want a job that makes me have to inquire about ceiling heights.
3. A fetish party? (Okay, never mind that one. Sometimes it's better for me not to know.)

GREAT interview. The Juggler (aka, mild-mannered Aaron Bonk) is my new favorite superhero (next to Batman because, well, everyone comes after Batman. Except Michael Chabon.)

Where was I?

Karen from Mentor said...

The problem with us writing a comic book Judy is that neither one of us can DRAW. Oh maybe we could write it and Aaron or Lauren could illustrate it....I didn't ask Aaron if he could draw...I was too busy wondering about the fetish party.... I can't wait to see the traffic those two little words bring to the blog. I still get daily hits on "Tony the Tiger" from Lauren's tqt....laughing....

~Tim said...

Very funny interview. I'll be watching for Aaron to perform near my house!

Karen from Mentor said...

He actually has performed not far from you Tim. I'll ask him about his winter schedule so you can watch for him in the coming months. The stilting stuff is awesome. And his costume designer really does some amazing work.
If you get to see him in person you'll be happy you took the time.

Anonymous said...

Love this interview, I'm sure he hasn't had any other interviews similar to this one :P
It was so much fun to read!

PS: I know you're learning to juggle, but just be careful with those balls...

Karen from Mentor said...

LoL Estrella. Ok, I'll be gentle I mean careful with any balls I handle. The ones that I'm practicing with are multi colored....and so far they don't seem any the worse for wear.

Jasmine Dragons said...

first- Aaron is a super hero people, he can catch, throw, manipulate sharp objects or on fire with precision. You think it's only for your entertainment - ? Luis Fernando snuffed him out instantly.
second- Karen, what were you wearing or what does one wear to an interview the master of object manipulations - ?

Karen from Mentor said...

Well Matt,
I was sitting in a bathtub at the time...so I was mostly wearing bubbles.