Written by Fun Researcher #56 Bhak Jolicoeur
Photos by Fun Researcher #57 Heather Deal
How much Fun is fun at Burning Man?
On a scale of 1 to 10? 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,and 10!
Burning Man is an experiment in radical self-reliance and for one week becomes Nevada's 3 rd largest city, with a population of 35,000 people and all of their stuff. The Place is Big, so big that the scale is barely comprehensible. Go to BurningMan.com for pictures and deeper insight. At the end of one week, the 30ft stick man and the structure he stands on Burns down.
Huh? You might be saying to yourself. Well Burning Man is just that, anything AND everything you want it to be. A wide scope of people and experiments in the extensive boundaries of fun happen at Burning Man. As an example, I've just returned from my first excursion to Burning Man, still trying to comprehend that if I so chose to have Fun in ANY way I chose, the option is pretty much open to me. I don't have to partake in every kind of fun under the sun and moon, but can most defenately chose the type I like, as long as it doesn't leave any MOOP behind (Matter Out Of Place, garbage).
For example; On Monday, I decided I would exercise my right to wear something I normally wouldn't. So, I Decorated my bicycle in Orange Fun-Fur, strapped Kenny (from Southpark), whom I wanted no one to kill, attach my giant sunflower Umbrella to the bike and go for a ride.
I found a one-piece Orange Bathing suite and a beautifull shinny cloth, wore both and went for a playa cruise. So, you maybe asking how fun that is? Well, it's amazing how many women find a man in a woman's bathing suite completely attractive. The results of that experiment, was that I didn't have to explain myself, instead I was forced to have fun cruising the city getting lots of smiles and a few kisses.
There were days when the experience scored low on the fun meter, but that was purely my own fault, as fun usually is. These low points in the week usually followed a night of riotous behavior. Like Monday night, when a couple of the boys and I went cruising the city by bike, we stumbled on to "Smite Camp", where the bar served good drinks. The idea was that if you asked for something stupid they would smite you. I had a good deal of fun keeping a topless woman warm, yelling at the poor smitten, and trying very hard to get smote. I asked for Scones, a Grande Coffee in a Venti cup, and even a lemon drop. All they said to me is "you're trying too hard." And served me the good stuff. When I returned to camp, I realized that they really did smite me.
There are whole books written on Burning Man, and to describe the totality of the Fun I experienced is probably a task worthy of a small novel. I can say though that I did get some bragging rights.
I created a very successful Orange Theme Camp that scored 10 out of 10 for the kind of fun that it produced. I was hit on no less than 3 times a day, while wearing a kilt for the first time, and I stage-managed a stage under the man that went very well.
The Biggest and most fun Bragging right was Breathing Fire under the man during the Night of the Burn. The best part was that when all of the other fire performers moved back to the audience, three of my friends and I stayed up. Any closer and we would have needed burn suites. Fire works exploded directly above us and a few of my friends were jealous. But that's what I get for ten years of careful fun loving practice with the Fire Arts.
Just like the movie Fun really is as Fun does, Burning Man is a place that truly gives what it receives. So, if you go to the Playa, well prepared with your wits about you. Don't think about it too much, dive right in and be the child with in and remember that it's NOT crazy to "Make Believe". Mr. Dressup knew that and he is well remembered. When you get to the Playa and live the "Make Believe", The forth wall of theatre will melt away and you will step to the "Other Side" and find the most profound fruits that fun can produce.
Bhak (Bhaktivedanta Jolicoeur) is a Performance Artist and Graphic Designer.
He began his performance and art career at the age of 13 and has been studying and performing experimental theatre for over a decade. A well known Fire Breather, he's performed at Various festivals and performances in and around the Lower Mainland and BC. Having honed his skills as a performer through Street Performances he brings his dynamic and creative flare to all of his experiments in Fun and Art. A believer in accessible Fun and Art, Bhak is currently developing a few performance and Art Projects, one of which is The Orange Party, a decade long experiment in turning an environment completely Orange with Artwork.