Geek Life is a story about surviving circus school and other aspects of life, told by clown and juggle extraordinaire Aji Slater. He opens by explaining that being a ‘geek’ about something means that you are passionate about something. And for Slater it was his useless skills, like juggling and clowning.
Slater leads us through his journey of going to college in art, getting a scholarship and exploring his obsession with making the mundane parts of life more exciting. So he dropped out of college to go to clown school in San Francisco. Slater then opens up about going to San Francisco and trying to meet people, so he turns to online dating. At this point in the performance Slate selects a member of the audience to go on a date with. When he manages to convince someone to be on a date on stage with him, he impresses everyone by balancing wine glasses and a tray on his face. Then he pulls the tablecloth out from under it. Geek Life continues in this manner, with Slater talking about the first girl he fell in love with, his first job in a real circus and how he uses his useless skills to make others smile.
There are sections of the play that are really funny, some one liners that are really great, as well as some parts that fall flat. Especially the jokes that you can see coming a mile away. But Slater is so genuine, so full of energy, so earnest in wanting to please his audience that you can’t help but like him. Your heart can’t help but go out to him when he tells of how his first love broke up with him and he walked four and a half hours home.
He’s a greatly talented juggler and has enough charm and personality to bring his show to life. There are parts of Geek Life that loses the audience, but it is still a warm tale of trying to make it as a clown. Or as Slater puts it, character based physical comedy.
Geek Life is part of the Calgary Fringe Festival. It plays three more times in the festival. More information is available online.