Writings by and about Jusby the Clown (excerpts and complete downloads)
Olympia’s Jusby the Clown and Draco will light things up at free First Night show by Andy Hobbs and Amelia Dickson
“As a bonus, couples can kiss under Jusby’s flaming mistletoe.
‘If you want to have sparks flying and have a red-hot kiss under the mistletoe, this is a unique opportunity,’ said Jusby, who made the mistletoe out of fishing lures. “It’s a celebration of new beginnings. We’ll burn away the old and kindle the new.”
Work Clothes Photo Essay by Drew Perine and C.R. Roberts for the Tacoma News-Tribune and the Olympian
“Clown clothes” make Justin B. Wright’s occupation instantly recognizable but attitude and gesture are what make his performances memorable. The 46-year-old’s signature gag is a pie in the face. He’s delivered over a thousand whipped cream salutations, “from Washington to Washington, D.C.,” including a series at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass recently. “I only do willing faces. It’s not meant as an assault or insult… people enjoy the tactile feeling of it, the surprise ”
Daily Comic by Chelsea Baker
Have you ever gone to a 50th birthday party where there was a very pregnant ukelele performance, people making weird faces and wearing googly eyes made of halved ping-pong balls with sharpie’d pupils, and clowns reciting The Vagina Monologues and throwing pies? No? You’re totally missing out.
The Clown Continuum by Monica Drake, from the Paris Review Daily
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.
Old Clown Day at the Circus by David Raffin, from Rhyme or Treason
I am not one of those people who will use the tired phrase, “Some of my best friends are clowns.”
I do not know Justin well. All I know is that he is old. Older, even, than the late Jack Benny. I have met him in the past. Justin, not Jack Benny. He was younger then. At that time he had not yet chosen to be old.
Don’t be fooled. This is a choice. Jack Benny lived more than seventy years while famously never reaching the age of forty. That’s clean living. That’s determination. That’s the power of the will. Perhaps even a triumph of the will.
Justin is better known as Jusby the Clown, as he has made himself available as a practitioner of the sciences. Often he appears without being in whiteface. I applaud this as a blow against whiteface. Accentuating the paleness of people who lack melanin, albinos, is not funny. Whiteface- stop the hate. Still he wears a red nose, mocking alcoholics and Irishmen. Sometimes he wears light whiteface, mocking half-breed albino alcoholic irishmen. Enlightenment is a path.
Esoteric Clowning by Jordan Nailon, from Olympia Power & Light
Then our instructor for the evening, Jusby The Clown, looked at his seven curious pupils with his glinting clown eyes and explained, “We are saying hello to our human selves, and over the next few hours, coming to know our clown selves.” That is when clowning class crossed the threshold.
Soon Jusby had us all breaking the tranquil air of Waves Studio, which normally serves as a space for yoga and rhythmic meditation, with a round of cursing exercises that began with torrents of “Darn, dang, heck!” and quickly devolved from there. Next we were partaking in cascading rounds of maniacal laughing practice, and off balance, eyes closed trust exercises with people that, I at least, had only just met. Lesson number one for this reporter: a clown can’t be afraid to be a fool.
Send in the Clown (students) by Lisa Pemberton, from the Olympian
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.
Students spent four hours a day at Stevens Field in Olympia’s South Capitol neighborhood working on a variety of clown skills, from juggling and unicycle riding to balloon twisting and the fine art of pie-in-the-face buffoonery.
Best of Olympia 2012, Best Pie in the Face, by Molly Gilmore, from the Weekly Volcano
He doesn’t throw them – that, he says, would be a waste of good pie. He offers a wide array of flavors including dairy-free, sugar-free, wheat-free and organic varieties. You can have one delivered for $100 – including a singing telegram and photos posted to Facebook to commemorate the event. If some of us might prefer the pie end up in our stomachs rather than on our faces, no worries: “I only pie willing faces,” he says.
Clowns (from left) Jusby (Justin B. Wright) , Venessa Hatfield, 13, and Abigail “Beansprout” Lobb, 4, entertain the crowd during the The Hilarious Hats and Homegrown Music Parade at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair Saturday. (Toni L. Bailey/The Olympian)
Justin B. Wright, 37, of Tumwater, dressed in the polka-dot shirt, heart-shaped sunglasses and face paint he dons when performing as Jusby the Clown. He also brought his son, 2-year-old Orion, to the protest.
“Humor relaxes people,” he said as a half-dozen other clowns marched in mock goose-steps, carrying signs that razzed the neo-Nazis. “I think showing nonsense is the sanest way to cope with it.”
Alpha by Steve Eggleston, from Pilots
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’m 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.”
Launched: Fueled with Passion and Playful Penchant to Provoke Smiles, by Becky Cortino
His art and his performances are a distinctive concoction of his interests, inspiration, and training, beginning with the main ingredient of his “clown within.” Justin’s entertainer name “Jusby” is derived from his name Justin Barnabas Wright= Justin B= Just B= Just be=Jusby… as he says, “like the laid-back, west coast advice for the Type A… also reminiscent of Busby Berkley, the showgirl mandala choreographer.” Dutch-Indonesian background on mother’s side, Justin took 9 years and 3 colleges to earn Bachelor’s degree, is a world-traveler (including Holland, France, Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico & Canada), and is a proud parent.
Justin finds inspiration from a number of sources, including: Dr. Patch Adams, Dr. Madan Kataria (Laughter Yoga movement founder), and “classmates who followed their dreams and continue to entertain, create art, balance show and business wisely.”
“He is charismatic and skilled with communication. I highly recommend him… The agency I work for has been honored by his giving spirit and his reliability and professionalism.” Jennifer Collier, Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Exposing a Clown in Four Questions by Jusby the Clown, from the Weekly Volcano’s South Sound Sidekick
If you suspect that you or a loved one might be a clown you might want to seek professional help.
First, know that clowning exists on a continuum with mutually exclusive elements but some characteristics are shared across historical, geographical and cultural boundaries. Clowns use memorization and improvisation with their voices, bodies and props to entertain, educate and ease suffering. So ask: “Is this potential clown using one or more of these tools to achieve one of these results?”
A Clown How-To and What-For by Jusby the Clown, from TimeFighters
These are the memories we’re making kind of thingy. In my studies of the clowny-arts I’ve had much experience with the psychedelic distortions of time, feeling that infinity feeling, sharing a thought that something was going to last forever, or wondering how the instant passed. And if you know that feeling, then bring some of that magic pixie dust to the party (wink-wink).
I started toying with the idea of Magnetic Mirror Therapy after learning my Mayan Calendar sign, Etz’nab. It’s like playing with audio and video feedback loops. You know, that Mayan Calendar is NEVER going to catch on! Just ‘cuz the Mayans aren’t using it doesn’t mean it’s up for grabs. The thing is probably cursed. Plus we’re too attached to the names of the days and months we’ve got. Even if they aren’t synched in neatly with 13 months of 20 days each.
And what would happen to April Fool’s? I dunno, but since it currently resonates to me as Clown New Year’s I’m gonna be out there putting pies in people’s faces because the pie lasts but a moment but its residue lasts a great deal longer. The gag works because there’s a before and an after, because there’s a picture and a story to go along with it.
Olympia Clown Collaborative Manifesto by Jusby the Clown
- The Olympia Clown Collaborative will joyfully welcome into our community any individual who self-identifies as a clown*.
- Clowns (of any age, race, gender, sexual orientation, political or religious affiliation, physical/ mental /social ability) may seek and find both challenges and rewards by playing together with others.
- Olympia area clowns will gather in order to develop their imagination & character, share their fun skills, pool their resources, extend their range, increase their confidence, and practice their craft.
- With deliberate levity we will celebrate all facets of humor, tragedy and the modern human experience.
- Clowns will provide support, encouragement and mentorship to First of Mays and evolving clowns, allowing them to progress toward their uniquely realized selves.
- We recognize that while the clowning continuum has distinctive and mutually exclusive contrasting elements, some features are shared across boundaries of culture and time.
- Clowns use memorization and improvisation with their voices, bodies and props to entertain, educate and ease suffering.
* (Partial list of synonyms) Absurdist, Actor, Auguste, Bard, Big nose, Buffoon, Boufon, Bohemian, Bozo, Bum, Burlesque, Busker, Card, Caring Clown, Carny, Character, Charlie, Chou, Circus Folk, Comedian, Comic, Commedia del Arte, Contrary, Dadaist, Dancing Clown, Excentrique, Fool, Freak, Geek, Grotesque, Gypsy, Harlequin, Hano, Hobo, Humorist, Illusionist, Impressionist, Jester, Joey, Joker, Juggalo, Juggler, Kartala, Kidder, Koshari, Laughter professional, Lu-byet, Magician, Mime, Minstrel, Mummer, Nulth-ma, Pagliacci, Parodist, Perriot, Prankster, Public Spectacle, Puppeteer, Red-nose, Ringmaster, Rizhii, Satirist, Semar, Shriner, Sideshow, Storyteller, Tease, Thespian, Tramp, Trickster, Troubadour, Twister, Wayang Orang, Whiteface, Wit, Vaudevillian, Ventriloquist, Vidhusaka, Zany
“First of May Case Study” by Jusby & Moona Riella Encantadada, Evergreen State College Internship Synopsis & Eval
The most important lesson I learned from my clowning internship is the gravity of being vulnerable with an audience. You are present to have a heart-to-heart connection with individuals. This can be facilitated by improvising.
“I was introduced to the historically sacred role of clowns worldwide and their evolution to modern-day creatures, some of whom seem very removed from their original trickster counterparts and must make sacrifices to earn a living at their craft.”
Working for the Cosmic Giggle by Jusby, Message for Unity of Centralia
As a culture we are craving novelty, comedy, humor, amusement, wittiness, clever turns of phrase and visual puns, “viral internet memes” that create new archetypes from pop culture characters or anthropomorphize our pets. From the lolcats that were simply captioned “I Can Haz Cheeseburger” the lolspeak language, a kitty pidgin if you will, has evolved so much that we can quote the crowd sourced LolCat Bible
Proverbs 17:22 “If you is happee you feel bettah, but if yous is not then you wil feel sick.”
We might recognize it from King James as “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” which is often quoted when attempting to make the case for laughter as the best medicine.
The thing about the humor of the internet, however, is that we don’t actually Laugh Out Loud as much as we type LOL, let alone Roll on the Floor Laughing. It’s not a bad thing if it makes us “happee”, but it’s better to do it in person.
Laughter Yoga and the Sacrament of the Pie by Jusby, Message for Unity of Centralia
First Clown looked at Eternity and noticed Darkness and Lightness were forming cliques. Darkness gathered into insular and exclusionary gangs. Lightness pulled together into elite ranks sorted by brightness.
First Clown watched and saw there would be trouble, so First Clown decided to teach them a lesson. First Clown took darkness and lined it all up on one side of Eternity. Then First Clown gathered Lightness into a dense ball and flattened it out into a pie shape.
“You will be balanced! You will get along from the past to the future and all through this present moment” said First Clown,” which begins Right Now!” and threw Lightness right in the face of Darkness.
First Clown laughed and the Universe was created, every bit of Lightness balancing every single bit of Darkness forever.