A new and very exciting addition to this year’s All Souls Procession Weekend is the participation of Tucson Circus Arts youth performing at the Procession of Little Angels. One of them is Isaiah Oster, who is also performing in the All Souls grand finale ceremony, and at age 11 he’s the youngest member of Spirit Group we’ve had yet! I talked with him and his mom Tara earlier this week during the last Little Angels Costuming Workshop at the Sculpture Resource Center. Here’s what they had to say about it all.
jhon: Isaiah, I believe you’re the youngest performer we’ve ever had in the Spirit Group. What do you think about that? How does it feel being in Spirit Group?
Isaiah: I think it’s pretty cool that I’ve gotten good enough to be able to take part in this.
jhon: What’s interesting about Spirit Group is that there’s a place for everybody. Age doesn’t matter, skill level doesn’t matter, there’s room for anyone who wants to be there. How long have you been working with stilts?
Isaiah: Seven months.
jhon: Seven months on stilts and you’re ready for the finale, that’s really cool. And did you get started with Tucson Circus Arts?
Isaiah: Yeah, Circus Arts.
jhon: Were you in the Circus Arts Summer Camp?
Isaiah: Uh-huh, yeah.
jhon: What was that like?
Isaiah: It was pretty cool.
jhon: Did you do things other than stilting there?
Isaiah: Yeah, I did poi, and aerial, and some taiko drumming.
jhon: Wow. Are you still involved with any of that stuff or do you just stick with stilting?
Isaiah: Sometimes I do poi, but mostly I do stilting.
jhon: Do you see yourself doing more stilting through the years?
jhon: Have you done any stilting in a performance venue yet, or will this be your first time?
Isaiah: No, not really.
jhon: So this will be your first time, for an audience.
Isaiah: Yeah, pretty much.
Tara: The Circus Camp had a performance.
jhon: At Rhythm Industry, right. How did that go?
Isaiah: It went good.
jhon: How long have you guys been going to All Souls?
Isaiah: Since I was three.
jhon: So as long as you can remember, it’s been a part of your life. What’s that like? Is it something you look forward to every year?
Isaiah: Yeah, I find it really cool with all the big puppets and the stilters.
Tara: When they sent out the email saying that they were going to open up the stilting class, I asked Isaiah if he wanted to go and he went to the very first class. Paul had him walking that first day, and Isaiah decided that day that he wanted to buy his own stilts. So he raised money by baby-sitting and cleaning around the apartment complex I manage. He made a goal-list that he wanted to raise the money to buy the stilts, he wanted to get good at stilting…what else was there? You wanted to be in the All Souls Procession, and perform with Flam Chen. These were long-term goals he had set, and he’s done it all in the seven or eight months since. I think that’s pretty cool.
jhon: That is very cool. Not everybody your age has a strong sense of what they want, or enough initiative to follow through and turn their goals into realities. You should be proud of yourself, and I’m sure your mom is.
Tara: I am, and I don’t think he even recognizes any of that and how cool it is. And you asked about being part of the ritual and what does he think of that, and I think it’s just something that’s been part of our life and he doesn’t necessarily realize how cool it is, because it’s just something we’ve always done. I think it’s cool that it’s something we can do as a family.
jhon: You may not have an answer for this, and if you don’t, no worries, but what does All Souls mean to you, Isaiah? Does it have meaning for the family?
Isaiah: Yeah. For me it’s just cool to go out and see all the big puppets and stuff, but for my mom it holds spiritual value. I just don’t think I’m old enough to get that.
jhon: I hear ya, I hear ya. That was a very articulate answer, and very honest, which I appreciate. Very cool. Thanks for talking with me, Isaiah and Tara. We’ll see you over the Weekend!