When kids are different, you just know. You can tell ~ adults can tell. And the quiet kids were never, well, you know, they just don’t fit in. And if you don’t fit in at the beginning, you never really fit in, ever, do you? ~ The Circus Project
As we continue to bask in the glory of a decade of this website (a.k.a. contemplate how wretchedly old we’ve become), today’s Project spotlight shines on the work that was released in April of 2008 ~ The Circus Project. Like any parent, I’m not supposed to have favorites, but if I did The Circus Project would be one of them. It weaves a loose narrative of a lost young man taking up with a traveling circus for a season among photographs that hint at what a life like that might be. More important was the underlying theme of what it means to be an outsider, and what it feels like to never belong.
He grew up quietly, secretly… smartly. Never betraying his hand, never indicating a weakness ~ he had to, he had no choice. What does that do to a person? What does that do to a boy? It’s never cut and dry, never black and white. His shading was… not gray, not dim so much… I hesitate to say darker… his was… quicksilver. It couldn’t be bound by color or description – it defied everything. Yes, that’s what it was – defiance. And he would bleed for it. I think we’ll all bleed for it.
He liked being a part of us, but he enjoyed being alone too. I’ve seen a few solitary circus types, and they’re… different, even for circus folk. You join the circus to be a part of something, when you don’t fit in anywhere else. Loners don’t last long here.
There was one way to escape from the circus. You had to become the ring-leader, the master-of-cermeonies, and you had to chart your own course and destiny. It was that or die.
There’s a cardinal rule, red as sin and diabolically inviolable: there can only be one ring leader.
And they always end up being resented for it…
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