Category Archives: Transformations
“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.
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.
Jusby’s Halloween plans have evolved since his 4 year affiliation with the Halloween House.
It began in 2007 with Mike’s post on Myspace asking for people to wear a scary clown costume. I decided to be a volunteer “Horror Liaison” as my regular clown self .
Danger, A Head
In 2008, I returned with a Mad Hatter (Clown Lite) variation.
I also brought my own music and flaming tea cup.
In 2009, I brought Honey the Clown and wore the referee shirt to keep warm.
Last year (2010), it went OFF THE HOOK with the introduction of the Scary Clown Look at Eastside Big Tom’s Fright Night.
So, it’s been a natural progression to accept a position at the Haunted Firehouse which is open for 3 weekends leading up to Halloween. Coincidentally, Mike closed up his yard due to the continual stream of trespassers.
2011, it’s Scary Doctor Jusby of the Youth Asylum.
In the Pink “Green Room”, taking a call from Beyond.
The Haunted Firehouse is a non-profit fundraiser for Family Support Center and the summer youth theater program Kids at Play. The Haunted Firehouse opens on October 20 and runs for a long weekend, before re-opening on October 26 and running through Halloween night. On weekdays, the Firehouse runs from 5 pm until 10 pm. On weekends, we extend the SCARE until midnight, so come prepared for late-night fear!
NOTE that after 7 pm the Haunted Firehouse is Rated PG13, and those under 13 will only be allowed accompanied by a parent or guardian!
The Haunted Firehouse costs $5 for admission. There are no advance ticket sales — each admission costs only $5! First come, first serve!
DID YOU KNOW THE FIREHOUSE IS ACTUALLY HAUNTED?
- Former firefighters who worked here reported that an old firefighter who died patrols the halls at nights (our staff know this ghost well!)
- Rumors of suicides from prisoners held in the jail downstairs.
- Rodents of unusual size once roamed downstairs in years past.
- There was a big smallpox outbreak right here downtown in this area and many people died.
- This used to be the red light district (in Olympia!!!) — the city built this building as part of their public clearing of the brothels that previously stood right near here.
- Prior to becoming the city hall/fire station this was the livery and stagecoach where people came to town and put their horses or caught the stage.
- The man that used to have a cabin here on this site, mysteriously drowned in a canoe accident on capital lake right before taking office as one of the first state legislators.
This is “Crystal”, my First of May Clown intern. Because I first discovered my clown at Evergreen, it has long seemed a natural move to become a clowning mentor for other greeners. So I decided to offer to sponsor either an internship or (as in my experience) an individual learning contract.
http://www.evergreen.edu/individualstudy/internshipinformation.htm < Find or List an Internship Here
I posted a position on Wednesday, August 9th. On Friday, August 12 I got a response:
This is your future employette, MBC.
I have a deep respect for clowning and particularly the history of clowning, as archival research and humorous entertainment are my most developed passions. I live in Olympia Washington and I am ready and willing to work to help you ensure the success of your clowning empire. I am attending a second year at Evergreen starting in late September.I will gladly send you a resume once I am on a computer that contain’s that coveted file. Please let me know if this position is already filled so that I may devise a plan to usurp the throne. I have studied clowning for three years at Wavy Gravy’s summertime circus Camp Winnarainbow in Laytonville California.
We met on the 16th and she worked her first gig on the 21st. We did a five hour face painting gig for the Love Our Local Fest: Northeast Neighborhood Block Party, and I soon found that she possesses mad skillz with paint and brushes.
By the 29th of August I had a 2nd potential intern contacting me. However, we soon discovered that unless the position was a full-time paid position she couldn’t pursue it.
I look forward to the day when I have more than enough work to cover all my expenses and can afford that kind of intern!
I immediately rewrote the internship description to clarify:
Assist the clown at parties and other events. Support the clown archives: written/ photo/ video documentation.
Position is on-call. No guaranteed monthly wages. Each meal is a banquet, every paycheck a fortune.
This is a hands-on, work-related learning experience. It is not a job-job. Opportunities for compensation will be handled with a fair mix of Show & Business.
Orion dressed up as a magician to accompany me to the RCR Valentine’s photo shoot.
Rusty Cock Ridge… it’s sort of a salon. It’s more than a studio and a boutique. It’s a always cozy adventure.
Jusby’s new hair by Toni of Euphorium.
New fans from Grampa Dave & Grama Julie (via Amazon) to coordinate with the red & black color scheme and keep the Indonesian bamboo fans from further injury.
Shortly before we departed Memphis, I volunteered to visit with staff and residents of Grama Mary’s care facility. I brought pies and we did an abbreviated session of Laughter Yoga.
Here’s Theo, who’s celebrating a year at Ashton Place… and moving from custodial to ACTIVITIES!
“How are you doing, Theo?”
Meet Juanita. She’s celebrating a year of Holy Deadlock… uh, Wedlock.
There’s Grama Mary at her first Jusby Pieing Event!
The main improvement to Doc Jusby’s costume is the addition of my COAI patch on the scrubs over the spot that said “Hospital Property”! Thanks Aunt Elaine for making quick work with the sewing machine. My hand stitching would have taken forever.
I still have to add:
- Thespian patch with Comedy & Tragedy Masks
- Rusty Cock Ridge Patch
- Eastside Big Tom Patch
I have since upgraded to a salon cape for the piees, I can make changes to the lab coat as well – patches, embroidery, piping, etc. That means an appointment with a seamstress!
Mixing up the Henna to practice the Mehndi hands and feet.
By request, a green spotless giraffe.
New Plain Red T-Shirt from a Memphis Walgreen’s outside Otherlands Coffee.
There’s the full effect with custom cut offs, pirate store socks, and only slightly too big Turf King garden slippers.
To Otherlands, You had me at FREE WI-FI ! And it’s lucky you were one block away from the scene of the scene.
January – Honey the Clown is born! She attends (approximately) SEVENTEEN events with me in 2009!
February – Trish and I take “The Art of the Tease” class with Miss Indigo Blue and I start reconnecting with David Raffin upon reading his short story “Twilight of the Clowns”. He creates (approximately) SEVENTEEN works of art featuring me in 2009.
March – I continued classes in anthroposophical based clowning with Dawn of the Simple Fool school (of top secret esoteric clowning). Orion turned 5 with a Glow Golf party.
April – An old friend gets stuck on her way home to Alaska and gets the first mini-pie-in-the-face.
I turn 40 and eat fried crickets. I break the 100 pie mark. Honey and I clown at Procession of the Species.
May – Jusby the Engineer is born! Red Nose Brigade parade season starts. I get called into the ring to be an assistant at Circus Gatti! I get interviewed for Folkshine. Jusby the Agent is born.
June – The Timberland Regional Library now has 2 years of the clown magazine “the New Calliope” thanks to me (and the RNB). I order a whipped cream dispenser from e-bay so I can offer sugar free non-dairy organic pies in the face. Honey and I march in the Pride parade. Mish and I do a party in McCleary.
(c) Steve Bloom, the Olympian
July – Pied Monica Drake, author of Clown Girl in Portland… and her husband, and two of their author friends! I bought a red unicycle. I graduated from the Simple Fool school. We see orca whales in the San Juans. Jusby the Referee is born and I break the 200 pie mark!
(c) Greg Wahl-Stephens
August – I pie zombies! I construct the first two models of the flaming pie. The zombies survive.
August – I get a job at a school I used to work at. (I go into the interview with two letters of recommendation from members of the interview committee). They nominate me to lipsynch to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” at the first assembly. I debut the unicycle. I pie a woman I haven’t seen in 25 years… and her 16 year old daughter. I buy a pair of size 20 shoes for $5.
October -I appear (4 times) in a huge photo collage at Fall Arts Walk in the window of Hot Toddy. Orion and I go to Portland for the Juggling Festival and I practice my unicycle for hours. The alley attends the Northwest Festival of Clowns. I take home three medals and $20 for my shoes (sold to a Belgian clown). I escort people through the Tumwater Halloween House three nights in a row.
November – I meet and pie (of course) Dingo Dizmal and his girlfriend, Olive Rootbeer. I also meet (again) Pamela “Fancie” Woods and her poodle, Olive.
December – I debut my new theme song and the flaming pie at a birthday in Portland. I pie David Raffin’s mother in Lacey. (The pie is not flaming.)