Have you ever wondered if it was a bunch of clowns who were running airport operations whenever you stand in line?
Well, you might be on to something.
Airports around the world are beginning to initiate entertainment and stress-alleviation programs for passengers. The aim is to entertain passengers and brighten their day a little while also employing street and independent artists and performers who are dedicated to perfecting the craft of entertaining strangers and bystanders.
So authorities at San Diego International Airport, in cooperation with the Fern Street Circus performance troupe, have collaborated to transform the airport into a kind of community performance art space for the benefit of harried, stressed out travelers.
The airport already has a permanent public art spaces but this is the first time it has employed artists and performers on a residency basis.
The Fern Street Circus performance troupe will feature monthly performance programs and weekly in-airport rehearsals to entertain travelers.
Don’t expect a 3-hour show however.
You may encounter the clowns and performers during pre and post security checks. But your interaction with the circus performers are meant to be enjoyed in brief encounters as you make your way to your gate or the exit of the airport.
You may encounter a longer show as you wait at a final departure gate. You may encounter a goofy clown dressed as a lost traveler or be treated to a juggling routine, songs or puppet act.
All Fern Street Circus performers are subjected to the same fingerprinting, security checks and training that all airport employees are. Also, performers cannot use swords, sharp or pointy objects or fire in their acts.
Unfortunately, you will not be treated to any plate-spinning shows either. A dropped plate in an airport will only add more stress that alleviation.
Travelers can rest assured that every security precaution has been taken and just enjoy the show.
The Fern Street Circus performance troupe will be installed as resident public performers at the San Diego International Airport until October 21.
You know, that theory about airports being run by clowns may not be such a bad thing after all.
A. A. Francis