Prologue: Back at the beginning of 1990 I spent three months traveling from city to city, from festival to festival in Australia and met some great performers and did some fantastic shows! Rex Boyd was one of them. We met at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and along the way I got Rex a list of events in Canada that would be worth visiting… In the months that followed I ran into him again at some of the events that I had suggested… I specifically remember him arriving in Ottawa along with Drue Franklin and Angus McDonald for Canada Day then zipping off to Chicago for the 4th of July then showing up with Nick Nicholas at the Kingston Buskers Rendez-vous and sort of crashing the event… They were so well received in Kingston that the Festival bent the rules and ended up including them in the line-up which was pretty cool and pretty fun! The camaraderie we shared on the pitch and over shared meals was always a treat… I remember one group show in particular back when we first met when a group of the performers who were in Adelaide for the Fringe Festival decided on a whim to head out to Gleneig Beach in Adelaide and threw together a team show as the sun set into the ocean… It was magical! As Rex commented when I reminded him of that show and the great meal that followed -
Those team shows and group meals are by far my favourite part of being a street performer. I wish they could happen more often.
Rex has also been really supportive of various side projects I’ve tackled and ordered trading cards for a number of years as well as participating in Episode #25 of the One Minute With Dave video Podcast I did during 2006… Great guy, always game for a challenge and fun to watch in performance!
Name: Rex Boyd
Place of Birth: Texas.
Started Peforming/Working in the Industry: 1982, comedy club open-mike nights; 1983, Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Discipline: Comedy, Juggling, Dance, Mime.
Video Links: http://www.rexboyd.co.uk/rex_boyd_2009/Site/Noisiest_Mime.html
Venues Worked: Comedy clubs in US and UK, street/fringe/arts festivals in US, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, NZ and all various kinds of other related things.
Hot 10 Questions:
- What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream and why? • Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fish. Why? Fish flavored ice cream!? UGH! No way! But chocolate fish flavored ice cream? Now that’s more like it! And you have all the fun of hunting down those little critters and eating them whole like you are a giant.
- Name one movie that would make it to your Top 10 all-time great films. • Groundhog Day because I first saw it in Hawaii after flying there from NZ which meant that after crossing the international date-line, I too was forced to repeat the same day..
- What was your favorite toy from childhood? • Probably my Hot Wheels race track but I’d like to put in a nod for the yo-yo. Although I was never really very good at yo-yo, I had one given to me by a professional performer who used me as a volunteer when I was about 7 or 8 in a tiny show he did in my local 7-11 convenience store to promote yo-yo’s. As I remember he balanced a coin on my ear and then knocked it off with his yo-yo. He then gave me the yo-yo. This certainly would have been the first time I ever saw a variety/street show in person. It was also a time when I was a big fan of the Smother’s Brothers from television and of course Tommy Smother’s yo-yo man routine.
- Who were your biggest inspirations when you got started? • My mom used to let me stay up late occasionally to watch Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live with her. This introduced me to Steve Martin, George Carlin, Richard Pryor and all the original SNL cast. At the age of 17 when I was working at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival my much more practical inspiration came from the seasoned stage acts performing there such as the superb jugglers Bryan Wendling, Scott Burton, and Phil Lindsay with Sideshow and the anarchic mime of Danny Lord. A few years later when I hit the road full-time and made my first trip to Covent Garden I can remember watching Nick Nicholas doing an awesome show on probably my first day there. I can remember thinking to myself that even though I was a much better juggler than Nick, I was determined to try to figure out how to work a crowd as well as he could.
- From the world of animation what one character do you most identify with or see yourself in? • Charlie Brown when I’m feeling down and Snoopy when I’m feeling like “Joe Cool.”
- Name something that scares you. • The thought of the yo-yo guy in my 7-11 hitting me in the face with his yo-yo when I was 7 and thus putting me off performers forever.
- Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had. • Sales assistant in a sporting goods store. “Would you like to try on the Nike in a size 9 sir?”
- What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • I’ve been doing modern-jive partner dancing for the past couple of years. Now I really fancy having a go at Argentinean Tango.
- What’s your least favourite thing about being a performer? • Having to pester people to book me for gigs that I don’t really want to do in order for me to make a living. When the gig actually comes around I more often than not actually enjoy doing the show, it’s just the pestering people to get booked that I don’t like.
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • ”Welcome Rex, I understand that you really enjoy hanging out with street performers at a big festival watching shows and doing shows and partying with your friends, so I’ve arranged to have a big street festival here in heaven whenever you wish.”
Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.
“There’s no one right way to go about forging a career in show business. You’ve just got to do what feels right for you and to show a determination and persistence that comes from the fact that you intend to be the best that you possibly can for the simple reason that this is what you want to do more than any thing else.“