Thanks for tuning in…!
It is a long journey to becoming a professional children’s theatre artist. This blog is the transformational tale of Dustin Anderson’s journey as children’s icon, The Purple Pirate. It is a non direct route of challenges and distractions overcome by perseverance and self discovery.
After we got home, dug through our big pile of mail and settled into life in the city I started dreaming of “the next bike”. I wanted to go faster and prove a point that travelling by bicycle is possible. This obsession took up a lot of time. I decided that we would get the bike modified for the next trip.
Cycling from show to show meant that I was limited to what I could bring and therefore I had to be very creative. I sewed a treasure box for treasure hunts as well as my costumes were designed for breathability…not believability. I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to figure out certain details and not as interested in whether audiences would question the modern pirate look I was aiming for.
Here is a video from those times… http://youtu.be/FPZ8mwVJFdg
From about 2005 – 2011 I was cycling between 14000 and 18000 kms per year. To place like Prince George for the Canadian Northern Childrens festival. My favorite trip of the year was to Pemberton. I would ride up June 30th – perform at the Canada Day festival and then cycle home after the show. Another favorite was to my home town of Port Hardy. The island highway is quiet and great air. In my prime I could ride from Port Hardy to Victoria in two days. It was a glorious time for my fitness….I could eat anything at anytime.
At this time the Purple Pirate started moving away from magic and focussing more on connecting with audiences with comedy and an active living message. I could connect with the children and learned how to engage adults to make the shows fun for them as well. There is a real art to inviting adults into a children’s show without sarcasm or negativity which is important to me.
“Packs small, plays big” is an expression used in show business that means a high production with less gear lugging. This is particularly important when travelling by bicycle. I got really creative with fabric and tent poles.
In 2007 we did the 5000 for health again…except we would skip Northern Ontario, start in ThunderBay and end in Edmonton. The week before we went I had a big crash and found myself skidding along the pavement at 40 kph. I had to cover up my hand and arm when I was performing. At that time in my life it was a classic maneuver of mine.
The prevailing wind in the prairies is Westerly and we had several days that were drastically shorter than planned because we were wiped out pushing into it all day. I had decided that I would design my own bicycle for the next trip and posted the bike for sale on several websites in Ontario. A couple in France contacted me and by the time we got to Regina they had agreed to buy it. We boxed it and sent it from Edmonton to France.
Have a look at this video of the tour. http://youtu.be/PYpiFhRV7l8