Backstage: The magic of Moisture Festival

I was never one of those kids who dreamed of running away to the join the circus, but that’s probably because I developed a fear of clowns (thanks a lot IT) and have never really been to the circus. Now that I’m much older and a little bit wiser, I wish I had at LEAST considered it. Aside from the colorful costumes, wonder, and awe, I would have loved to be a part of an amazing community of artists sharing laughs, style tips, and friendship. Luckily for me, for one month, I was able to get a small taste of it.

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If you’ve ever wandered around the back of Hale’s Ales in Frelard, you might have wondered what was behind those golden doors underneath the arch of Hale’s Palladium and the lights of MOISTURE FESTIVAL. Don’t ask why it’s called Moisture Festival, just go with it. 🙂


Moisture Festival is the world’s largest comedy/variate festival that spans over an entire month every spring in Seattle. Performers come from all over the world ready to share their moment in everything from comedy to acrobatics to music and other truly magnificent feats.




For the last 13 years, audiences are transported from busy urban life to a timeless evening full of fascination and delight. I was lucky enough to be asked to document life behind the curtains during the festival. Turns out my friend Jen is the festival coordinator and man, as if she wasn’t already a badass sailor I get to sail with, she kicks ASS in this magical, theatrical, and whimsical world I know nothing about (and want to know everything).



Behind the scenes…that’s where the real magic happens.

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At first I felt awkward and intrusive…I’m obviously a new face and many of these artists have known each other for years and have become very familiar with the regular festival staff/volunteers. But EVERYONE was so friendly, especially the board members, it was easy to feel part of the family. Most of the artists didn’t mind having their photos taken. I can only imagine that as a performer you would like to be in your own world before having to deal with anyone else that’s not working.


I met artists from around the states and as far as Australia, France, and China. Some were first time performers, others have been there from the beginning. Some had “regular day jobs”, others live on the road, traveling and performing from one venue to the next. They all had such incredible unique stories to share, and I was completely enamored with their lifestyle, hard work, and personalities. It was addicting.

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I attended the festival once a week since new artists arrived each week. Even with 5+ performances a week, no two shows are the same. I don’t remember the crazy statistic of how many shows there are during the month-long festival, but trust me between 3 different venues (some offering multiple performances in the same day), there are A LOT.

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It felt really special to be witness to the openings night traditions, birthday traditions, and closing night festivities.

Truly a group of wonderful people, who are doing incredible things in the world. It makes me believe that there still is hope for mankind.




I could go on and on about these people, but I’ll let the photos tell you the stories. 🙂

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Everyone is family!

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This woman was amazing! A super strong (bent rebar with her hands) soprano singer (shatter glass with her singing).IMG_9462 IMG_9467


Traditional festival chest bumps!

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Artists take selfies too!


And are on tinder as well apparently. 🙂


Getting the volunteers squared away!


Time to get the show ready!

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Rehearsal time

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This couple, Silvia and Sam, the real life married couple of Duo Rose were my favorite of all. I wish I had photos of their performance but I was in such awe of their aerial performance I just couldn’t stop watching. They inspire people with their art. Silvia also had a contortionist act that was creepy in the best way possible. I actually yelled out loud watching her bend things that just aren’t meant to be bent!





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I couldn’t resist putting myself in the middle as well. 🙂IMG_2456277


Water for Godfrey!



Per tradition, performing on your birthday means.. pie in your face!

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Closing night celebrations!


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There are a million more photos…but I don’t want to give all the secrets away! I hope it inspires you to buy tickets for a show next year!

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