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In Memoriam: J Aaron Hager

Recently, I've written much about gratitude and collaborations in this space. On April 9, 2022, our circus family lost Jason Aaron Hager (@caspermilque), one of the collaborators I am most grateful to have encountered in any of my artistic journeys. If you’re wondering what kind of soul this man was, I’d say the proof is in the pictures. He was a man of few words, and, certainly, not the boisterous type, but still said much through images. He saw the essence of things and knew how to capture it with his camera and with his sketch pad. He just saw you. Even if you couldn’t see yourself. And he had the skill for adventure. It’s rare to find someone so ready to film an experimental piece in the manner of The Blast Furnace or photograph his way through a crumbling auditorium all the while making sure to keep your essential self as the focus.


Below are photos he took throughout the time I've been a gigging circus artist. He was there from the very beginning, and it's hard to imagine how this story goes on without him. Also included is a short video I took while working with him on I Am Here this past October because I didn’t want to ever forget what it was like to be in that space on that day. You catch a glimpse of him walking through this beautiful rubble - camera in hand. That’s how I’ll always remember him: looking for the broken places where the light got in.


I’m going to miss picking your brain about Canon cameras, seeing how ridiculously organized the trunk of your car was, and, above all, feeling that all of us in the frame were going to be okay with you behind the lens. Rest In Peace, friend.