~ The Checkerboard Guy's Blog ~

Archive for November 2nd, 2009

The CBG Money Bag

2009-11-02Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

OK, this is a bit of an odd one, but I do think that it could be considered a piece of marketing material in a weird sort of way… Years ago, when I was first getting started in the world of touring street performers I wanted to give something to the performers that I met along the way who had an influence on me, who’s work I respected and who helped contribute to my growth and success as a budding performer.

Now a bit of back story is probably in order… Back when I was in High School and even before I got to High School I had learned how to use a sewing machine and became quite proficient at using it. One of the things I did early on and have done ever since was to make bags for the different props I keep in my prop case. I find it helps keep various props organized with in the cake and also keeps them looking good longer than if I just threw all of the stuff into the case randomly.

After making numerous bags in various sizes and shapes I created a pattern that was durable, robust and did a remarkable job of holding up to the constant abuse of carrying around tons of coins and bills, something Street Performers do quite a bit of. As I started to travel and tour to performance festivals a bit more frequently I’d make a few extra bags to carry around and when ever I encountered a performer who’s work really clicked with me for some reason I’d give them a bag. What started as a simple gift from someone who not only wanted to become a better street performer, but also had a genuine love of the art form, grew into this weird sort of exclusive club. Other performers started to recognize that all these really great Street Performers seemed to be carrying around this same sort of bag for collecting their money in and some started to ask where they had come from.

This was/is a pretty great example of seeing a need and successfully filling it. These bags were something that I wanted for myself but discovered that they were something that many others wanted too. In a weird sort of way I initially became knows as that young juggler who made those great money bags and at the time I was absolutely OK with that because I reasoned if people knew me at all I was ahead of the game. These bags allowed me to become friends with some of the greatest Street Performers of the day and being able to hang out with them allowed me to grow as a performer that much more quickly than I would have otherwise.

I still make these bags for myself as I still use them to organize my props and keep them clean, but it’s been years since I gave one away to anyone. Still, it’s amazing to me that certain friends continue to use the bags I gave them so many moons ago. #1 – It’s cool that it’s a gift that keeps on giving and #2 – I’m simply amazed that they’ve held up this long!

Copyright © The Checkerboard Guy. All rights reserved.