Mt. Airy Resident David Darwin will debut his show, “Circus Legacy,” on Friday at Funicular Railway Station Theater in Germantown.
The act runs throughout September with shows starting at 8 p.m. on Sept. 6-7, Sept. 13-14 and Sept. 20-21 at The Funicular Railway Station located at 416 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia.
“The show is called ‘Circus Legacy,’” Darwin said. “I’m trying to honor the people I looked up to when I first started and had a heavy influence on me.”
The straightjacket escape is a standard for this kind of performance, but Darwin has added to it.
“It’s a metaphor. I tried to escape from the straightjacket while I’m giving a monologue about my daughter,” Darwin said.
Darwin’s daughter is one-year-old, and as she grows, he describes he and his wife building more and more prisons for her to escape from.
“First it was this Velcro swaddling,” Darwin said. “Then it was a bassinette. Then it was a crib.”
Darwin added, “Every time she escaped from one of these things my wife and I were frustrated, but we were also proud that she was strong enough to escape.”
“As she grows up she’ll continually be breaking through things,” Darwin said. “We can only make sure she’s strong and safe.”
Darwin also uses the shows to work on new skills that he might want to use in his more typical day-to-day act.
It’s like career enrichment except it involves swords and flames.
“It’s usually an awesome skill,” Darwin said. “But I have to ask myself if I want to spend the next six months learning to swallow a sword.”
The Fringe shows also give him a chance to innovate.
Darwin had a friend write a computer program that uses a webcam to track the movement of different colored balls.
As Darwin juggles the balls, the program plays a corresponding music track.
For example, the green ball is percussion and the yellow is vocals.
When they’re all in the air, you get a complete song.
“I’m using it in my show,” Darwin said, “But I want to see if I can figure out how to use it to also deejay.”