Category Archives: Friends
I got a call from Drew Perine asking if I’d like to be part of his photo-essay on Work Clothes for the Tacoma News-Tribune. It would also appear in the Olympian. Both are McClatchy papers. Well, duh. The Trib has a 78K+ circulation and the Daily O has 33K+ circulation! What did he want? Well, to interview me as I got into character and see me in action.
I conscripted a few confederates and arranged to deliver pies to their willing faces at the Tacoma Museum of Glass on Tuesday the 5th of August. [Thanks to the speedy opportunism of Hillary Ryan, the head of their PR dept, seeing my Facebook post.]
Hillary and her two children were among the five confederates to accept pies in honor of National Clown Week. I also brought artist Bil Fleming and patron of the arts, Erin Oly, with me from Olympia. Erin had supported my Quest for the 100th pie in the face and wore her limited edition hand screened commemorative T-shirt for the occasion. She was honored to be the 1101st pied face on that day.
I chose to do the pie-ings on the Chihuly bridge of glass outside the museum to allow for public interactivity and appreciation. Sure enough, as we were basically blocking traffic, I was able to convince a random traveler to accept a pie. Breezy was a good sport. When offered a complimentary pie-in-the-face her two companions declined, but she said, “Sure.”
A little video I helped with this week at the request of Alex “the Zaniac” Zerbe.
As the 6th month approached I realized that I had some hot gigs on the burner, so I put off my recap until after the April Fool’s service. Then I waited until I had something to report about the Spring Break Clown Camp… Pretty soon it was Summer Clown Camp, and then it was National Clown Week. That’s when I found out that all of her sites had been hacked and she was not able to do the follow-up article after all.
Now it’s been 14 months since the first article. Here are the updates I was going to share with Becky Cortino.
In “Launch”, Michael Stelzner emphasized the power and necessity of collaboration, and his examples and suggestions helped me focus on a better collaboration strategy. Per the suggestions in “Launch”, I have continued to seek out and involve Other Great People and “exchanging offerings” with them. Notably, I actively recruited successful peers and industry experts to visit the local clown alley, the Red Nose Brigade. I convinced Guinness World Record Winner, Alex “the Zaniac” Zerbe, to give a skill share workshop. He later called me needing a pie-in-the-face consultation for a regional library promo video he was shooting.
Each year around Halloween I spend time working with the scary clown stereotype instead of against it. I did three consecutive years at the Tumwater Halloween House. On the third year the owner also accepted a pie-in-the-face, and I inaugurated a scarier look complete with prosthetic teeth.
In 2011, I negotiated with several non-profits for an 11 night run as a scary clown in a Haunted Firehouse. In addition to cash and logo placement on the flier, one perk was a pair of season tickets to a local theater.
I sponsored a successful 10 week “First of May” internship with an Evergreen State College student, who studied clowning through a Marxist feminist lens. This gave me a chance to reflect on suitable reading and viewing lists. Books included: “Pie any means necessary” (the Biotic Baking Brigade), “Clown Girl” (Drake), and “the Death of Ben Linder” (Kruckewitt). I shared videos ranging from Danny Kaye in “The Court Jester” to Chaplin’s “the Circus” to the inner city Krumpin’ Clowns of “Rize” and the spacey clowns of Cirque du Soleil. She accompanied me on a variety of gigs: a parade, a birthday, a drive-by pieing, several workshops and spring break clown camp. I introduced her to a half-dozen members of the local clown community, and she interviewed them for a wider perspective on the craft.
My Laughter Yoga practice has also grown beyond the free weekly club meeting at the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC). A PE teacher from Elma hired me to give a lecture-demo for her school’s staff meeting, and the Olympia Occupy Solidarity Social Forum invited me to give two workshops.
Since April Fool’s fell on a Sunday this year, I coordinated with the minister, worship arts committee, and eight clown confederates on a church service around the theme of “How Humor Serves the Soul”. I led a Laughter Greeting & Laughter Meditation portion.
Several Sundays later I led a church service at the OUUC on the topic of “Laughter: opens minds, fills hearts, and transforms lives” partnered with another Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. We made the connection between the church’s mission statement and the use of laughter as a tool to achieve those goals. After the service I was approached by a man from a smaller church to the south. They don’t currently have a minister and they share the responsibility for a weekly message. His official title may be President of the Board, but he was actually also a talent scout. He offered to hire me to do a service for them.
I was the “2011 Best of Olympia” Staff Pick in Tacoma’s Weekly Volcano for “Best Pie (in the face)”.
I also got good publicity by offering a free class in “Esoteric Red Nose Clowning” at Waves, a local dance studio, as part of their Community Event Nights. A reporter from Olympia Power & Light attended, and his article made the front page.
I hosted a spring and a summer Clown Camp. I taught a total of eleven students, and I was able to bring in five additional part-time counselors. The larger success, however, wasn’t the number of students who actually enrolled, but the scope of the advertising I was able to achieve by partnering with the Parks & Recreation department. They published several photos with the camp description in their catalog that went to thousands and thousands of locations. The school districts allowed me to send fliers home to students because the parks department is a non-profit organization. After the spring camp I decided to upgrade my flier and made a deal with local illustrator, Chelsea Baker. She stays busy drawing a 4 panel comic every day. It was the best advertising investment I’ve ever made.
It was my 3rd year pieing at Festival of Purim and 2nd with a large entourage of clowns. The rabbi was on sabbatical, but I’ve already pied him twice. This year I stayed for the whole megillah.
It’s come down to a “Go Big or Go Home” mentality. Technically, it’s a “Go Big and THEN Go Home” thing. If other clowns sometimes offer a 2nd clown, I like to offer half a dozen. I like to arrange a multi-clown team to accommodate the balloons, Laughter Yoga, singing, dancing, and piñata bashing. Clown OVERKILL is really my favorite thing. It’s especially efficient when we’re doing one-on-one activities like face painting and balloon twisting.
Some clowns work in pairs. I like to roll about 5 deep whenever possible. I keep a clown in every corner and one in center stage. Guess who gets center stage.
My pal, Steve Eggleston, has now written THREE on-line pieces interviewing me AND wrote a character into his latest book based on me!
His first piece was in 2009> https://jusbytheclown.com/2009/05/23/folkshine-at-blue-heron-bakery-pie/
His second piece was in 2011> https://jusbytheclown.com/2011/02/19/folkshine-2/
He used his new iphone and went even more multi-media.
His book “Pilots” is available on Lulu > http://www.lulu.com/shop/steve-eggleston/pilots/paperback/product-20191459.html
The character Jefferson Spee appears in the short story “Alpha” (p172), and has a dozen characteristics based on true facets of my story. In a dozen other ways Steve made the character his own and created believable and more literary tangents for the narrative.
Jefferson’s clown character was known to show up at parades and local festivities and people in Olympia were familiar with the clown that juggled on stilts though the streets and gave out balloons to kids. Of all the facts that every Olympian knows, that the artesian well is cursed, that Kurt Cobain wrote most of his famous songs in Olympia, that basically the entire cast of the Simpsons is based on people who lived in Olympia, most people don’t know that the straight-up pastry guy is also the parade-clown-juggling-on-stilts guy.
“Yep. I am him. But we’re at odds sometimes. He wants to just go laugh all the time and turn everything into a joke, but someone has to pay the bills. Somebody has to actually get some real work done.
“I do parties, all kinds of parties. I’ll cater to my audience. People think they don’t like clowns, and that’s when I really enjoy clowning. I love the reluctant laugher. I love the guy who’s like, “I’ not going to laugh, there’s no way I’m going to laugh. Those are the easiest ones. Ducks on a pond. I also do a camp for kids. I’m not talking about people who want to grow up and actually be clowns, and book gigs, but kids who just want to experience what it is like to be a clown, to be allowed to be a clown, even encouraged to. Kids want to be outrageous. If they don’t, that worries me.”
Most recently, Steve did another interview with me… over Facebook Instant Messaging.
It was published on-line at http://www.ladybottleblues.com and looks something like this slideshow.
A strange man asked if he could hit me in the face, straight on, with a pie. He said he was a clown, pies were his thing.
“Sure!” I emailed back, complete with the seemingly uncontrollable enthusiasm, perhaps a little forced, implied by an exclamation point.
“You’re a good sport, Monica,” he wrote.
His words unnerved me.
When I tell people about the story, I want to talk about the clown. I want to say that Jusby the Clown has a degree from Evergreen State College. A degree! He’s worked to forge “a bridge between Eastern and Western forms of clowning.” He’s interested in “the special healing role of the clown around the world” and “the organic link between the clown and the shaman.”
I want to build his credibility because that builds mine: I didn’t just meet a strange man in a park to let him smear my mascara in his whip cream in front of children. I opened myself up to a spiritual experience.
The last time I participated in the Go Game I had to make the post password protected for adult content!
[p.s. pw= 69]
When the Go Game contacted me this time, I invited Honey the clown along. Not only does she drive a fuel efficient Prius, but she had some clever ideas about parking that would save me from paying $20 to park right next to the rendezvous spot. She said that we could park in Queen Anne and take a bus.
However, things had changed since she’d last parked there. They now have a 2 hr limit on most of those free spaces. We wound up over at Warren & Howe. We were a long way from any Fareless Square type bus zone ($2.50 for a ride) so we walked the 2 1/2 miles to the meeting spot. I had worn my plain black garden clogs.
Then we played the game. Microsoft employees approached and asked if I could provide them with a mascot for their team. I gave them a balloon mouse. The computer kind instead of the rodent kind. Then I gave them a quick lesson on how to twist a balloon dog. Their smart phones timed them and gave them a score, and they were on their way.
Then we WALKED to 6 Arms McMeniman’s for dinner, and met some friends. I arranged with Rick Blythe for our first fast-to-face after connecting through http://micromentor.org. He’s been helping me on phone some strategies. Give a call to book a party and find out what I mean.
Then we WALKED to a friend’s house to get a ride back to our car. I used googlemaps to estimate that we did about 7 miles.
The nice folks at GRuB (Garden-Raised Bounty) asked if I would support their annual auction with a donation. Since our family had been a previous recipient of their free raised bed garden, I offered up a Party Extraordinaire on the condition that I could attend the Soiree at the Schmidt with my partner, Honey.
GRuB wisely bundled our services with cupcakes from She & She Gluten Free!
It gave me the chance to rewrite the verbage about the party for Auctioneer, Joe Hyer.
“an extraordinary and unhurried visit by Jusby the Clown AND his lovely assistant, Honey, as your surprise guests performing their amusing brand of edu-tainment for you at the conclusion of which, multiple guests may get a PIE-IN-THE-FACE!
Jusby & Honey will spend 75 minutes at your event facilitating pies, transformations, & guided laughter. You get to help plan the proportion of each.
Would you prefer to laugh until you can’t stop?
Would you like each of your guests to have a painted face, a tattooed arm, or a balloon creation?
Would you choose to host the next record-breaking pie-in-the-face party?
At any rate, you are bidding on Safe, Appropriate, and Profoundly Memorable Surprises with Jusby the Clown & Comedy Consultant.”
Flaming Air Guitar Pies
Pie-in-the-face, now with Sprinkles!
Cajun Carnival and Direct Auction at Fertile Ground Guest House benefiting the Eco Building Guild…
What’s in the jambalaya, Cajun Jusby? Chi-KUN… VegetaTION… CrustaCEAN
What happened to Amy Winehouse, Cajun Jusby? InebriaTION… RehabilitaTION… IntoxicaTION… ExpiraTION… CremaTION.
What’s this Carnival all about, Cajun Jusby? MissION… RenovaTION… Direct AucTION… DonaTION…
What else can people experience at the Carnival, Cajun Jusby? Zydeco AccorDION… Tell your ForTUNE… juggling CombusTION
For Kai’s 11th birthday at the Circle Hawk Farm house on the 11th with approximately 11 guests…
a highly interactive mini-clown camp from 1 – 3 PM, a microcosm of the week-long camp in July: juggling/ object manipulation lesson, balloon twisting lesson, joke telling lesson, laughter yoga session w/ Trish & Orion, & pies in the faces… in the theme of Lego Star Wars meets Old MacDonald.
For this party, I realized where the advice of other clowns was leading me astray from my natural instinct. It’s been ‘common knowledge’ among party clowns that the clown’s role is over when the cake arrives. No one wants to compete with the cake and presents. I’ve been making my exit as mom takes over and everyone gets their sugar buzz on.
During the discussions with Kai’s mom, however, I followed my own inclination and offered:
- Presenting the cake by Clowns!
- Lighting the candles by Clowns!
- Singing the birthday song by Clowns!
- Slicing and serving the cake by Clowns!
- Delivering the presents by Clowns!
- Thanking the gift-givers by Clowns!
A comprehensive multi-hour, multi-clown party package that everyone would be sure to remember!
“I hired Justin to manage the entertainment at my son’s 11th birthday party. The entire class was invited, and I wasn’t sure how to keep a dozen pre-teenagers (boys and girls) adequately and appropriately entertained. The results were nothing short of spectacular. “Jusby” and his team of clowns engaged the kids by first leading them in an icebreaker Laughter Yoga session. He came prepared with lots of different activities, but the two that the kids went absolutely ga-ga over were the face painting and the pies. I’ve never seen kids line up so enthusiastically to get a pie in the face. Additionally, several of the parents opted to be pied as well. Everyone was laughing hysterically and very happy. As an added bonus, Jusby and his team handled the cake presentation and serving (clowns serving cake!) and the unwrapping of gifts (hilarious). BUT THAT’S NOT ALL – Jusby also provided me with beautiful online photos of the event (he’s a terrific photographer). Would I hire him again? In a New York minute. He will give you every dime’s worth of your money and then some. He’s also great with all ages, from little kids to adults. Highly recommend –
– Jennifer Waldref, Communications Specialist at Democratic Caucus/Washington State House of Representatives
Luau for local chocolatier today… henna, tattoos, organic whipped cream pies & summer attire: Lifeguard Clown in new Red Swim Trunks
Oh dear, the count is… uh… approximately 450 pied faces! Thanks, Bliss Wunder Heather Duke, Maureen Nelson, Treypac McKaughan and all the pied faces at the luau today!
That’ll do, pig.
… waiting for stills from Party Mom cam…
[edit.. tracked down a few on facebook. This mom said her son had taken a big, medium AND mini.
My son has won many a “7 year old one up” conversation with the zinger, “Well, have you ever taken a PIE IN THE FACE?” – Erica Van Lierop, Queen Beef at Van’s Burger
Got a call one morning from author-educator Steve Eggleston. He had dreamed that he was doing another interview with me and found my number in the nightstand drawer. He called so he could make the dream come real. Technology has advanced enough in two years that he figured he could get the interview sorted in a day instead of several weeks.
He’d iphone it.
So I arranged to meet him after a mercy pieing… went to a party w/o a contract and essentially busked. Total noble cause tho: peace activist.
We met at the parking lot of the Olympian. I wore my Elvis shades. He had six questions typed on the iphone. I chose three and he took some snaps and a little video.
- Can a clown be political?
- When will we see a wikipedia entry for Jusby?
- Is there anyone you would discourage from clowning?