Never the type to wade in slowly, Zan and Noah Moore jumped headlong into the performing world. While traveling South America, the brothers needed a way to fund their adventures. Fortuitous meetings with traveling artisans formed the vision of traveling from town to town, from country to country with the vehicle of street performance. Beyond simply accumulating tips, busking became their way to connect to foreign communities and make new friends. The brothers’ self-guided tour of South America lasted a year.
The title of the troop they created, Instruments of the Now, is a double entendre about focusing attention on the present moment. The performers are the instruments that magnetize the audience's attention to the instant. Simultaneously, the props being manipulated are the instruments that draw the performers into the Now. The Instruments of the Now strive to inspire positive change in the inner and outer world through creative performance with a timeless message.
As their skills developed, so did the Instruments’ ambitions. Zan joined a traveling circus in Colombia, visiting the areas of the country most hard-hit by violence to bring workshops and performances. The circus ‘La ReVuelta a Colombia’ was the first ever to visit many locations, and Zan was the first white person to a few remote locations in paramilitary territory. At the same time, across the globe, Noah was in China developing a complementary set of skills. Living in the Guangzhou province, Noah trained with flair bartenders, Hong Kong stuntmen, and Chinese circuses. Performances at orphanages and children's hospitals helped him maintain sanity in the concrete jungle of Shenzhen.
After the lengthy separation, Zan and Noah converged on Boulder, Colorado in 2006. In their year in the Rockies, the Instruments of the Now became professional street performers, working the open-air mall on nights and weekends by calling all passersby to witness “the most dangerous show on Pearl Street.” A permit from the city to fire-dance in public was a dream come true. In the winter months the venue moved from the street to nightclubs and corporate events in Denver and Boulder.
In the spring of 2007, with the travel bug again in their minds, the brothers worked around the clock to put together a tour. Far more than a list of dates, Tour Now & Then was the realization of a dream they’d had since the early days of South America: deliver free shows with the message of the Now to people in need. In this case the people in need were 3000 diabetic children spread across the western United States. Through a combination of fundraising, elbow grease, and substandard living conditions, the Instruments of the Now brought free shows to more than 20 diabetes summer camps and events, performing 65 shows over four months.
By this time you may have caught on to the pattern: always dream bigger, always aim higher, never settle for less. This credo drove the Moore brothers to revamp Tour Now & Then for 2008, even in the face of not earning a dime from 2007. This time there would be more camps, more diabetic children, more driving to reach West and East coasts and Canada. This time there would be a crew of five multi-talented performers who could also play music, sew costumes, create websites, stickers, and film videos. This time there would be a full multi-media motivational theater show with blacklights, projection, and magic. This time is NOW. Tour Now & Then’s homepage has more details. Also, see our blog for videos from the road.
Now, you’re up to speed. You have the history; can you imagine the future? Will you be a part of the message that transcends the medium of performance art? How do you express yourself in the Now? Take your dreams and run with them.
© Instruments of the Now, 2006-2011. All rights reserved.