Category Archives: Performances
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.”
“Bapak Utan” sang “Ol’ King Kong” by Sandman the Rappin’ Cowboy.
I read “A Birthday Clown for Archer” by Kathy Mashburn about a boy who convinces his coulrophobic mother to hire a clown for his birthday. After all, it’s HIS BIRTHDAY!
PLEASE MOM PLEASE MOM PLEASE MOM j/k. He’s a nice kid that Archer. Not like some people’s kids. This lady here has a kid. The middle kid. I worked with him. I have lots of notes. A real sweet heart and funny guy but he could turn on you, start throwing crayons faster than you can say Jack Asperger’s.
Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of… afternoon… will stay this clown from the sloppy delivery of his appointed pies!
First of May Intern, “Spontgomery” debuted today for a 3 hour party in rain and hail. He translated, juggled, and documented these 8 faces getting pied.
New Total ~792 Willingly Pied Faces
We arrived on schedule and were told to wait a bit longer, which is hard when you’re in clown and people can see you and want to begin interacting with you, so we unloaded as slowly as we could and began to set up the comprehensive equipment.
We were expected to entertain for a THREE HOUR PARTY, so it included:
- Enjoying a meal
- A trunk full of pre-made balloons courtesy of Ken Trombley of Chehalis
- Mardi Gras bead dogs
- The soundtracks of Cars & Cars 2 playing through my kindle & audio reinforcement system
- Dancing in the rain, lip-synching & playing air guitar to “Hotel California” (their jukebox)
- no faces were painted due to inclement weather, but I was prepared to do characters from Cars (cheats were loaded on the kindle)
- Playing in and under the parachute in the hail
- a short demonstration of magic scarves & juggling
- working pinata safety
- distributing goody bags
- cutting (sloppily) and serving cake to ~50 guests [I could bring my own candles (they forgot to get some), knife, & serving utensil]
- delivering Mexican flag toothpicks to cakes & hamburgers
- and although I had almost THREE PAGES of sign-ups, only 8 faces were actually willing
It was a good day to be a clown.
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.
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.”
I recently jointed the Youth Enrichment Foundation as a Platinum Participating Merchant > You can now buy $100 gift checks through them toward my services. They invited me out to their annual Block Party at the Hawk’s Prairie Home Depot Parking lot. They had 60 vendors and shows every hour on the hour. I took the 2 o’clock spot and also offered to improvise during set changes with some witty banter. Since I was so close to breaking the 500th pie mark I played that up.
I reached the 500th pie by 12:45!
Kai Lyn got pied
Clown campers, Smoothy, Memo & Checked the clowns showed up and helped with the show. We did 15 minutes of Laughter Yoga and then they handled pieing another dozen faces .
the sprinkler laugh
I stuck around until after the Kids at Play set. They had about 50 youth singing and dancing selections from Honk, the musical (based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “the Ugly Duckling”). I got it into my head that I would try for a new record of faces pied ALL AT ONCE. I figured that I’d get each kid to hold a mini-pie, and I could run down the line pieing them in a wave.
They had other plans…
complete chaos and mass hysteria! They pied each other and then pied me! Oh, well. It guess I had it coming.
Is it more fun to give than receive?
Share your opinion in the comments
The Campers got their turn to be pied… and, of course, to pie Jusby!
Campers also had the chance to do their own make-up or have it done by a counselor. Memo, Smoothy, and Monstro did their own; they’ve been trying different types of make-up each day in the same basic pattern. Mini-Silly had her face done by Miss Kate. Miss Kate did her own and created a new speaking clown, Curley. I recreated Checked’s checker-board face using grease paint instead of water-based face paint.
We reviewed the skills by rotating at 1 minute intervals through 12 stations:
- juggle balls
- juggle rings
- juggle scarves
- balance stick/pole/club/etc.
- laughter yoga – hula hoop
- devil sticks/ flower sticks
At 1pm we were joined by an Olympia Parks & Recreation Camp and put on a show for them. We concluded by inviting counselors up to supervise several of the stations (stilts, hula hoop, parachute). We replaced the unicycle with the wagon and miniature bicycle.
Silliness wasn’t required – but it certainly was encouraged last week at one South Sound day camp.
Technically, there were only three rules at Clown Camp, according to instructor Justin “Jusby the Clown” Wright.
“Just be safe, just be supportive and just be challenged,” he said.