on scary people

I think it’s finally time that I express my opinion about the clown situation happening across North America.  A lot of people know that I once worked as a clown and have studied the art of clowning for almost 30 years.  A lot of people might just think that it’s a hobby, however it’s far more than that.  I’ve worked as an entertainer since I was 13, I have performed thousands of shows in that time, entertained for people dying, people getting married and centenarians in nursing homes. The past few years (since my weight loss) I haven’t clowned as much but I still hold the art close to my heart and have taught and presented at international lectures throughout the past few year. My goal is to further the education making better clowns with new ideas and programs worldwide.

Now my opinion on what’s happening.

The current clown “thing” started with some people (mostly teenagers) dressed as clowns going up on to people’s porches and smashing pumpkins. After watching the story, at the very end the newscaster mentioned that most likely the people doing that knew the people they were messing with.

This year pranksters bumped it up a notch and the public copycats grabbed it and ran with it.

However a LOT of the reports have been proven to be either unsubstantiated for lack of evidence or outright hoaxes perpetrated by teenagers or young adults wanting attention.

This current escalation and media attention is troubling to me. As media attention grows, many legitimate professional entertainers are being harassed or outright threatened by the “dog whistle” alarms in these media reports. It frightens me that people I know and respect are now potentially being placed in danger because people are concerned for their safety against pranksters.

To a lot of people this is not a problem at all and possibly even a celebration. This is a problem, because first it’s the clowns next what?

Yesterday, a leader in the clown industry sent an email to his organization to suspend wearing makeup to any performances until further notice because of their safety. He also mentioned that any form of bullying is wrong and encourages other forms of bullying.

Clowns have been bullied for a long time. Almost every time I go out, I have somebody tell me to my face that they “hate clowns”. Now I understand that there are jobs in this world that people do that I don’t care for, however I don’t specifically walk up to them and tell them that I hate them. I keep my opinion to myself.

But honestly folks, this is pretty simple

1. If a clown approaches you with a hostile demeanor, protect yourself as you would against anybody with a hostile demeanor. Most clown training progams train clowns NOT to approach someone, however be open, friendly and approachable.

2. If you ARE a clown, consider temporarily lightening your look – use less makeup and be more “human.” I have been suspecting the days of heavy make up are ending in this country as the public is wanting less. It’s time to stop fighting that and embrace it.

3. Clowns need to learn to act as professional adults; the “clowns lives matter” is an absolute embarrassment. Clowns are not being oppressed and shot in our cars like the African-American community has been dealing with for centuries. Clowns cannot equate a few months of negative press to that experience therefore cannot and should not even try!

4. Please understand that anyone can put on a halloween mask, crappy makeup and a wig; however that really makes them a person in a costume. If someone dressed as a policeman and did this, the media and public wouldn’t say policemen were committing the acts. They would say imposters were. There’s a difference between a professional and the people now roaming the streets. They’re just sad individuals. They want people to be terrified, and unfortunately, it’s working. People that advertise as professionals are highly unlikely to be the troublemakers allegedly lurking in the woods.

5. Clowns are real people. We love people and we love kids. Most of us want to provide happy memories, and it saddens me that people running in the streets would stain the idea of what a clown should be. Professional clowns are not only trained, but the government requires them to do background checks before jobs, particularly those involving direct contact with children.

6. If you hate clowns or they scare you, that’s perfectly okay but clowns really don’t want to hear that. It doesn’t give any pleasure to somebody to hear another person tell them that they are hated and honestly it gets old FAST. Please keep your opinion to yourself and announcing it loudly to the public is kind of a douchey thing if it’s at a public event where it’s known entertainers are going to be. If your fears are affecting your ability to perform activities of daily living, perhaps you should get them checked out by professional help too, being afraid of a person wearing makeup and a costume, which essentially is their work uniform is NOT healthy or a normal psychological response…

42 and counting

Douglas Adams wrote that 42 was the answer to the question which explained life, the universe and everything.
At 42, I can say that I have not been granted the wisdom and insight to confirm or deny this.
I’m still the same scared neurotic mess I always have been.
I’m just better at hiding it.
What a difference a few years makes.
I’m finally able to talk and write about this.  I guess a few years of psychotherapy and a better understanding that grieving is a continually ongoing and evolving process that changes and grows over time does make a difference.
If cancer had not fucked up our plans, Larry and I would have been on the cusp of celebrating the 2nd anniversary of our wedding (more on this later) and we would likely be in the process of going on a vacation.
But instead, I am on the cusp of 42, still a widower, still single and still sorting my shit out.
Single does not mean lonely (often) but it does mean alone.  However I’m in a far better place two years later.
Our plans had been to throw a 40th birthday party for me, so we could be surrounded by friends and family and enjoy the company of loved ones.  We had even arranged entertainment (in the form of a musician Mike Keneally and also a clown (Yup I was going to hire Mr. Rainbow to entertain at my own birthday!)- both of whom are very good friends of mine – so I could have everyone I love at my wedding).  In the middle of the shenanigans, there was to have been a surprise wedding wherein Larry and I were going to exchange vows and rings and reaffirm our love and devotion for each other legally and in front of our collective family.
However cancer had different plans.  I took the week of my 40th birthday off work and had a dumpster delivered so I could purge the house of items that were not gifted/donated/recycled or bequested.  It was hard work for me, physically, emotionally and spiritually, however it was very cathartic.
Last year, I can’t even remember what I did – birthdays have somewhat become a non-entity for me.  I suspect Doug Jones and I had dinner in and around that time and likely I had brunch/dinner with my family.
This year, I’m going to be at work as I’m drawing my time as a case manager to a close and am moving to a different role within my organization, in a different office.  I’ll be getting a haircut and going out for dinner with Doug to celebrate my surviving 42 years and my remaining clean and sober for 12 years.
But enough looking in the rear view mirror and let’s look ahead…

inspiration

People seemed to respond to my Myke from A to Z post so I’ll delve a little deeper into things, people and places that have inspired me and changed my life for the better.

DB – I met him through his writings in a magazine for family entertainers.  His articles on humour, entertainment and musical parodies struck a chord with me and confirmed that I was not alone in not wanting to accept mediocrity in entertainment.  He was articulate, opinionated and able to support his opinions with experiences and examples from other entertainers.  His song parodies were insightful, funny and spot on.  I started corresponding through letter with him (pre-email days) and continued the correspondence until our paths crossed in the late 1990s.

At some point, our conversations really connected and he invited me to perform with him in 2000 as we shared several musical influences in common.  This came about at the perfect time, as I was seriously reconsidering my life as a musician and entertainer as I really had lost any interest in performing.  Somehow, he saw something in me that I did not see in myself – he still does to this day and I thank my lucky stars for his honesty, his refusal to let me settle for the lowest common denominator and his constant kicks to the rear.  I am forever indebted to this man.

DM2 – A local Christian family entertainer, DM2 represents the kind of spiritual individual who practices and lives what he preaches.  While we don’t see eye-to-eye on a number of things, he understands that different people have different views and he is willing to hear them out before adding his two cents.  This is precisely what he has taught me:  to listen with an open mind and an open heart before filtering through my views.  He has also taught me that true Christians will NOT pass judgement on their friends; they will love and pray for their friends and people they hold in high regard, regardless of their beliefs, politics or personal situations.

He, again, welcomed me to Hamilton as a friend, clown and brother.  He supported me through thick and thin and is constantly popping by for coffee, conversation and just to check up.  Much like DB, DM2 seemed to have seen something in me that I never saw within myself and has provided me with inspiration to become a better person.

DM2 is a true rarity – a non-judgemental, non-preachy, open-minded and forgiving Christian.  This man lives what was taught in the New Testament.  More Christians can learn from him as I, a spiritual humanist, have!  I am forever indebted to this man.

MK – I first discovered his music reading a guitar magazine and was intrigued by the description of his first CD.  I immediately went to Sam the Record Man’s on Yonge St. in Toronto and looked for it, happily purchasing it, forgoing my lunch for two days in return.  I was astonished, shocked and amused by the music that flowed, ranging from vignettes that were mere seconds long, to a full-tilt multi-tracked monstrosity of a country-western epic named “Lightnin’ Roy.”

I wrote my first and only fan letter to MK soon after and began to explore the music he recommended in his reply, starting with his work with Frank Zappa on the 1998 tour.  We have since continued our communication and he still refers to me as his “first Canadian fan.”  He has also helped me with gear issues, hooking me up with a cool guitar company as an artist.  I am truly honoured by his assistance and support. 

He continues to explore his world musically, including having written a symphony as well as toured with bands large (up to 8 pieces) and small (the classic rawk power trio).  He has backed other guitarists on both guitars and keyboards.  I eagerly anticipate the next adventures he brings me.

The Hopi People – in university, I was afforded the opportunity to first study the Hopi tribes and, later, to work with them on their land.  I learned about their culture and respect for all life and the land they lived on.  They view their land as sacred and their agricultural work is an important part of their culture and, in fact, part of their religious practices.  

The word Hopi is a shortened version of their full description Hopituh, Shi-nu-mu; meaning the peaceful people or peaceful little ones.  It is defined as “behaving one, one who is mannered, civilized, peaceable, polite and adheres to the Hopi way.”  Sounds like a way to live one’s life, doesn’t it?   The teachings and culture of the Hopi people changed my views dramatically and have influenced my views on man’s connection with each other and the world itself.

The Residents – Yes, the unclassifiable musical group/art collective from the San Francisco Bay area.  Best known for wearing tuxedos and eyeball head masks, this group has shown me that given a distinctive artistic direction, despite the choice in medium, it is possible to eke out an existence, while maintaining your integrity and individuality.

The sheer mutability and reach of this group (music, visual art, performance art, video, multimedia, computer software, interactive media) has inspired me to continue along the paths I have trodden since grade 8 – for better or worse.  I never cease to be impressed, shocked, astounded by each new project and journey this eclectic group of artists sends its fans and followers on.

Hamilton, Ontario – My adopted home town and base of creative operations.  Hamilton has the reputation of being a ne’er-do-well dying city, due to its industrial roots and close proximity to Toronto.  It has been through some tough times recently, with recent closings of factories, historic businesses and industries going bankrupt or moving and the recent protracted lockout of steelworkers.  These factors combined with a historical focus on growth and development of the outskirts of the city and ignoring the downtown core since the 1980’s, have led to the near devastation of the downtown core.

Yes it is gritty, yes it is edgy, yes it is tired and worn looking in areas.  However it has provided a place where creative industries can afford to operate and the people who work in these industries can afford to live.  When I moved to Hamilton ten years ago, I was at a creative impasse and was focused more on my “day job” than anything else.  I was also in the early stages of a relationship with DH, whom I continue to love and respect dearly – I look forward to a lifetime with him.  Toronto’s art and music community seemed so closed and close-knit and I could barely make my knocks at the door heard, let alone be let in to the “club.”  Hamilton’s doors are open to new voices and visions and welcome outsiders of all stripes – including confused, unhappy musicians with a strong need to express himself through his music, words and visual art.

Durham, North CarolinaDB lives in Durham and has provided me shelter and sanctuary on a number of occasions.  His home is a place of creativity, art and spirit that always spurs me to greater heights.  On a greater level, the Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill area is a center of creativity with a welcoming community.  Since my first visits, I have met a number of musicians, artists and artisans, all of whom have welcomed me into their community and provided me with another “hometown” where I can express myself as a musician, performer and visual artist.

Sedona, Arizona – The first place where I felt truly at peace in the world as an adult and individual.  On a class trip with the university, after a long day of travel (delayed flight, van rental troubles) one of the professors dragged a bunch of his students to go on a back road trip with him to head to Sedona and see the sun set over Oak Creek Canyon.  We grumbled as all youth would, however when the sun began setting over the canyon and the lights of Sedona below began to show, I felt at one with the world, it was a truly magical moment that I will always remember.  Photographs could never capture the beauty of the sun setting over the fall leaves and red rocks.

It wasn’t until later work with DH did I understand about the energy vortexes and spiritual epicentre that Sedona represents.  Since that first visit, I know that when I visit Sedona, the same feeling always returns and I will be at ease, creative and at my best.

So that is a good start for now.  I will now return you to my usual meanderings on food, coffee and bitching about crummy music!

clowning in another culture

This is an old piece I wrote from around 10 years ago.  Kind of naive, but honest in the same way.  I still maintain the views that a good clown is more akin to wisemen and shamans than a buffoon.  Clowns are the mirror we should hold up to society to reflect the day to day idiocy of life!

It was not until recent times that pure, open laughter was considered acceptable in western, particularly Anglo-Saxon, society. It was considered inappropriate and extremely rude for people, especially women, to enjoy a moment of humor. During the Victorian Age, laughter was frowned upon. Only young women were “allowed” to laugh – mainly due to embarrassment or in deference to a man. Thankfully, things have changed.

However, many other cultures were not so oppressive. Indian, Polynesian and Native American cultures allowed laughter and even promoted it through their religions. One Native American tribe, the Hopi, figured God-like figures in their religion whose role was quite simple: the Clown. As the Hopi live in the desert land of the American Southwest (in Northern Arizona, east of the Grand Canyon), their religion is based upon the need for rain. To bring rain to their land to feed their crops, mainly corn, the Hopi called upon the grace of their gods, called Kachinas. Over three hundred Kachinas are known to exist in some form and they represent just about everything in Hopi life; corn, cactus, rain, sun, animals, even neighboring tribes. Out of the hundreds of Kachinas, the Sacred Clown is central to all of the tribes.

Every December at the beginning of the rainy period, the Kachinas come down to the Hopi villages to live among their followers. To view a Kachina’s true form impossible for a human being, so depictions are carved as dolls and given to children. Kachina dolls are not thought of as toys, but as prized possessions to guard for life. The Kachinas are said to possess certain men of the tribe for specific dances so they could better understand the plight of the Hopi. A select group of wise men were once chosen by the Clowns. In the past men who were to become clowns once belonged to a group where they were trained and lived with other Clowns, this tradition has sadly passed.

The five different types of Clown have different looks but all have set roles: to keep the people entertained between ceremonies, to keep humor alive in the tribes, to keep the children entertained during the ceremonies (through stories, games and songs) and to act as the voices of the Kachinas. These Clowns are viewed as being a jester, a priest, a wise man and the father of all Kachinas (as the Clowns always appear first during the ceremonies). The Clowns are always playful and poke fun at just about everything. Hopi humor is quite earthy and can seem to be quite offensive to non-Hopi; every aspect of life, even sex, is ammunition for the Clowns. Through their antics, there is never a lull in their ceremonies.

These ceremonies date back over one thousand years, five hundred years before European contact. It is interesting to note how these generally quiet and humble people rely on humor to deal with the hardships of their lives. Hopi life, even today, is simple; agriculture, particularly the growth of corn, is the basis of life and they continue to avoid the trappings of modern existence. The Hopi are very spiritual people who have forced the modern word to adapt to their ways.

Through my university education, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with the Hopi. It was rewarding to experience this different culture and also learn about a part of society and entertainment which is common in both cultures. It is interesting how the Hopi view Clowns as being wise and the voices of their gods, whereas our culture views Clowns as buffoons. Perhaps they know something we do not.

on clowning and humour

Now it’s becoming increasingly less known that I used to work regularly as a clown and family entertainer.

I slowed down/stopped performing as Rocky when the economy turned south and DH‘s health problems increased prior to his transplant.  I forwarded the bulk of my work to folks who relied on clowning for their living and just kept my “regulars” because it was the right thing to do.  Plus as DH‘s cancer progressed, it became harder for me to find reasons to smile, let alone laugh.

Thankfully folks like DB and MV helped ease me through that time and I began to find my smile again.  Working with DB on Balderdash and Humbug helped me laugh through a difficult time and DB‘s insistence on keeping me laughing was one of the things that kept me alive. 

This past year, with “assistance” from a local agent, I decided the time was right to explore comedic family entertainment again, however Rocky no longer represented who I was and the hiatus has continued.  A new character, named Phineas, has since been created and is currently undergoing the standard growing pains of any personality – which is weird, because I am he as he is me and we are all together…

Goo goo ga joob.

Anyways, my recent travels and experiences at the Western Region Clown Association’s annual convention made me review what good clowning was and should be.  Now, like most professional organizations, clowning conventions can be a mixed bag of people in a profession at different levels of the game, ranging from rank amateur, to skilled professionals.  However in a performance art, there are also levels of skill from “Oh gawd, stop doing what you’re doing right now, you’re awful and you’re frightening the children!” to “Oh gawd, stop doing what you’re doing right now because I’m laughing so hard I’m going to disgrace myself/have a hemmorhage!”

Unfortunately at most conventions that I have been to, there are more of the former than the latter.  Clowning is, for most, a hobby and very few people take this ancient art as seriously as it needs to be taken to be effective.  And clowning is an ancient artform, and in some cultures, such as the Hopi Indians, is considered to be sacred and a part of their religious practices.  Leave it to western cultures to turn something to the lowest common denominator.

<but I digress, I wrote a piece on Hopi clowning back in university, I’ll try to resurrect it, in all its naivety for a later blog posting> 

So what makes a good clown in my opinion?  Can you make me laugh!  And for me a laugh could be a snort, a rolling of my eyes or a guffaw.

So what makes a great clown in my opinion?  Did you make me laugh to the point of incoherence?  Was I able to talk/breathe/make a simple statement while you were entertaining?  If not, then JOB WELL DONE!

To date, I can count on two hands the number of people who have reached that lofty status in my experience:

  1. Mr. Rainbow – several times, the first time he made me laugh to the point of incoherence, he sang me the alphabet and made me totally lose my shit in the midst of a room full of strangers in Boston.  The funny thing was that he knew I’d be the only person who’d find it funny and directed it at me.
  2. Buttons – Watching him deal with a magic prop that essentially flopped before the audience and then dealing with the consequences…
  3. CLaroL – Dealing with a possibly upstaging 7 year old, handled deftly and in a funny and honest way.
  4. Bubba Sikes – perhaps one of the few Christian clowns that is actually funny and is able to deliver the Word in an entertaining way.  He completely slew me with a single well-timed look during, of all things, a worship service.  Normal IS boring!
  5. Mama Clown – for doing something she naturally does with truly unintended consequences.  She was initially embarrased then laughed it off, RAN with it and made her schtick even funnier.
  6. BB – A Big Apple Clown Care Unit hospital clown.  Quiet, unassuming and off the wall! His comedy banjo act is truly inspiring!
  7. Dooley – Another rare, actually funny, Christian clown.  He brings chaotic joy to his message and is always fun to watch.
  8. Ron Campbell – Currently portraying The King of Clowns in Cirque du Soliel’s “Kooza”, slapping me across the face with a rubber steak.
  9. Lovely Buttons – for her turkey camoflage puppet gag…incredible buildup with an unexpected ending!

So yup, in about 20 years of clowning nine clowns that I have personally witnessed perform have made me laugh to the point that I was unable to do anything but laugh…not a good average, considering all the clowns I have seen perform.  However there are folks attempting to remedy this, including many of the people mentioned above.  Many of these folks have been lecturing, mentoring and training up and coming entertainers of all stripes.  Younger entertainers, like Lovely Buttons, represent the future of family comedic entertainment and people like her are raising the bar for folks like me and other folks on this path.

And to quote Martha Stewart:  “That’s a good thing.”

i need home for a rest

“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best
I’ve been gone for a week, I’ve been drunk since I left
These so-called vacations will soon be my death
I’m so sick from the drink I need home for a rest.”
– Spirit of the West “Home for a Rest”

Actually it wasn’t that bad.  I guess it helps being 6 (soon to be 7) years sober…

I’ve had two days to decompress from the most recent road trip, pondering what transpired in Nevada and Arizona and considering (and reconsidering) what will happen in the future.

Let’s just first say that DB remains to be the most inspirational, patient and giving person I know.  He truly is a Zen Master of what he does and is generous with his talent.  I am honoured to know him and call him my friend, mentor and, according to several people at several conferences – my father?  We do have a similar rapport, and he is like a second father to me – you know the cool dad who aids and abets you in your nefarious deeds <grin>…Whenever I am asked to travel with him, it is nigh impossible to say no because creativity, music and laughter soon follow.

The entire trip was predicated on a gig at the Western Region Clown Association’s annual conference where DB was the headliner and was also lecturing.  We performed for their opening evening festivities and…ummm…made our mark on the audience.  So much so, that their president, Matt Akers lauded us with the following praise:

“We’ve had worse!” – Matt Akers, President of the WRCA, November 7, 2011.

Actually we had a good time, know where we need to work on some stuff live and must always remember that despite being equal opportunity and skewering the Democrats in the prior song, skewering a Republican in a song WILL put off some of the more vociferous people in the crowd, who WILL complain.

Ohh well, as a wise man once wrote “How do you know if you’re going to risk offending someone?  Ask yourself this question:  Are you breathing?”

Fuck it if them clowns can’t take a joke.  Aren’t they supposed to have a sense of humour?  Hmmmm…maybe not.  However the folks that actually walked up to us afterwards seemed to have a good time and commented on how much they loved our performance.  Long and short of it is that we sold CDs and I’ve noticed a spike in Balderdash and Humbug downloads on iTunes and AmazonMP3…mission accomplished!

PS. if you want your B&H CDs in time for Christmas, message me soon and I’ll ship them to you!  Otherwise you can always download them from iTunes or Amazon.com!

<end shameless self promotion>

One last thing about Laughlin, NV.  I’m sure it’s quite a wonderful place for those who still drink, smoke and gamble.  But for those of us who do none of those things (anymore), there isn’t a whole heck of a lot to do there.  Think of it as kind of a cross between Las Vegas and Branson and you get a rough idea of what it’s like there…gorgeous sunsets though!

Throughout the road trip, my guitar behaved itself and my voice held up despite the constant talking, laughing and singing (and the dry desert air, combined with the smoke and dingy surroundings of Laughlin).  A lot of writing was accomplished and a LOT of laughing was done…I am content and pleased with how the week went.

Aside from gigs and DB’s lecturing to clowns, we spent the time exploring the southwest and spent time in the Grand Canyon, which despite the six inches of snow, never ceased to amaze me with it’s breathtaking beauty and awe-inspiring sights.  I enjoyed hiking the canyon, despite the cold temperatures, blistering wind and icy trails.  Thankfully I had a decent pair of hiking boots and my trekking poles to keep things safer.

As you can see, nature can be quite humbling in its beauty, majesty and power!  This side trip to the Grand Canyon served as a reminder about how much I loved the US southwest and its people.

Another side trip that we took was to Oatman, Arizona.  Oatman was a gold rush town that died off when the mines dried up.  It’s most known for it’s burros, which were used to cart the ore up to the surface from the mines.  When the mines dried up, the people simply released the burros into the wild, where they thrived and now have become a tourist attraction.  Oatman further died when the interstate highways went through, effectively killing Route 66 as the major thoroughfare east to west.  It now exists as a tourist attraction filled with crumbling buildings and shops…well worth a look for a glimpse into the Old West!

When we arrived at 8:37 in the morning (both DB and I are early risers and we were still functioning on EST and not Pacific Time), the burros were still up in the mountains, all that we saw was what they had left in the streets.  It was still a fun road trip nonetheless and we stopped several times on the road back to civilization to take in the scenery while listening to the most suitable soundtrack for the road trip – Tom Waits’ “Beautiful Maladies.”  Trust me, it is a most suitable soundtrack for the road back from Oatman!

Highlights aside, the road trip went really well.  I’m going to add another blog about my opinions regarding clowning and family entertainers soonish…once I’ve clearly put my thoughts together in hopes to avoid further offending more clowns.

I did, however, meet someone who is taking the art of clowning to the next level and she has totally impressed me with her ability to think outside the box (although I think her box has long been used as kindling) and combine her skills as an entertainer incredibly well.  More on her at a later date as well!

I’ve also had the opportunity to learn some further skills and gain some technical expertise and supplies (thanks to a lovely makeup artist whom shall be addressed in the later blog post as well) to assist in a future project of mine, that I am working on with The Cossart Exchange.  Be afraid, be very afraid!

I am now home, recovering, and preparing to start back at the day job.  DH is busily preparing for Christmas baking and has begun to decorate the house.  I have a few more hours before the crushing hammer of reality hits me and I become an office drone once again, I hope that nothing blew  up too badly while I was away actually enjoying myself!

all work and no play something something something…

After a stretch of six months in the orifice, it is clear that another road trip is desperately needed.  So it’s time to pack my guitar, throw what clothes actually still fit into a suitcase and hit the road, Jack.

This time my honourable steed (Southwest Airlines) is transporting me to Laughlin, Nevada, by way of Las Vegas.  It’s time to bring my own particular brand of musical insanity west of the Mississippi as well as treat the unsuspecting folks at the Western Region Clown Association to the pre-holiday onslaught that is Balderdash and Humbug live.

On top of this, I get a week of DB’s time and time with the Zen Master of creativity through enforced sloth is always inspirational.  This is the man who wrote the synopsis for an entire one-man play at 6am in the morning as he drove me to the airport.  Said play, by the way, has been scheduled for a performance in Midland, Michigan in November and is to be performed in Mesa Arizona in December. 

So I guess this is my way of saying that additions to this blog may be rather sporadic over the next week and a bit.  I’ll be working off my iPhone almost exclusively, and don’t relish the thought of tapping out a blog posting on the small screen!  But, guess what – a sane me is a good me (well at least in my opinion).  I’ll have happily gotten a chance to hike the Grand Canyon, commune with the donkeys in Oatman Arizona, torture unsuspecting souls with my music and spend time with one of my favourite, incredibly inspiring, people in the universe.

That should be enough to recharge my batteries for the next few months, enough to get over Christmas holidays (YES I’m working! YES DH is busy as Santa again this year!), writing, producing, recording and marketing a new show (a review of gay anthems and protest songs over the past 60 years), refining a new clown/family entertainment character, and finally finding a studio home for my various artistic projects as my music room at home is becoming the home base and office for the non-profit that DH is setting up.