Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Toronto the Good. Santa is Real.

I was reading the Sun the other day and came across an article about St. James town and a sad lack of toys for the marginalized children living in this vibrant yet often troubled neighbourhood. Being broke and on sick leave I had no way of donating toys. I offered my clowning services to help the toy drive but the date they could have used me I was out of town. All I could do was pray and reflect on how a miracle was needed.

Saturday was in New York on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Victory and The Fatima Shrine.

During the day we went to Mass, prayed the Rosary, sang Christmas songs on the bus and indulged in a great meal at Salvatore's in Lackawana. Beautiful day all around.

Monday it was back to reality. I was reading the Sun and low and behold I read that the Toronto Police and Auxiliary Police raised enough toys for St, James Town with enough to have extra to send to other needy agencies. Wow, I found the Christmas spirit. God Bless all who help by donating, organising and praying. Yes Toronto there is a Santa Clause. He is living in the hearts of all of us. God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes he may make things appear bleak so as to motivate us to do his work and if only for a brief moment, make the world a better place. MERRY CHRISTMAS TORONTO..and to all others who may see this post.

Friday, December 12, 2008

@ conquests and a fun coffee shop scenario

I must say that once I got off the subway I entered into a strange world. You see it is Christmas time and yet the regular hustle and bustle of the season was missing. Sure there were folks shopping, some kids visiting Santa but no crowds laiden down with numerous shopping bags.

Even the Yonge Dundas corner was thinly populated.

I put on my best game face and headed into the mix of people. Wow, it was magic. Not at first but eventually I was seeing waves, nods and smiles. My spirits began to soar. The sullen faces were transforming into the smiles of the season.
I began to twist balloons for kids and adults alike, performed some pocket magic and wished everyone a Merry Christmas. Eventually a small boy ran up to me and gave me a hug. I patted his head and began to talk to him,(his mom was present) about Santa and other Christmasy things. After a bit this boy's mom asked me for a business card and thanked me.
As I looked around I could see some tough looking teens. One, a large athletic type boy, tried to remain cool yet very discreetly he passed me a small smile and emmediatly returned to cool, before his buddies saw him. I wondered if he was alone would he have opened up to me and let me entertain him. I hope so. His tiny smile was moving indeed.
If you want to have fun go to a coffee shop as a clown and see the reactions. Trust me, you will laugh so hard coffee may fly out your nose. Pretty messy when your nose is glued on. Makes like a sprinkler!
The trick is to play it down. Act as if you were not in costume. When people stare, stare back in a humorous why. Look around to see what they are staring at. Be confused, shrug your shoulders and continue as normal. Make a slight show of getting ready to sip your coffee(Art Carney style, yet subdued) Trust me in no time the place will be crackin up. Stay focused and do not join in the frivolities until some one breaks the ice by pointing out that you are a clown. Then let loose with the revelation that indeed you are a clown. Be surprised and discover your talents and begin to entertain.
I do this all the time and what fun it is to take a serious executive and drag the little child from within him or her and let the new found child simply play for a while. Got to love it.

Walking the cold streets of Toronto

I put on my make up and grabbed a load of balloons as I headed for the closest bus stop! It was cold enough that I really didn't need to glue on my red nose, mother nature could have coloured my nose red and saved me a few brush strokes.

Eventually after many stare and waves from passing motorists, my Weston Road bus pulled up to the stop and for $2.75 I was mobile and thawing.

As a professional clown and street busker I was on a mission to find Christmas cheer. I had heard that this cheer was in short supply but being the Christmas addict I am, I was not ready to believe that Christmas cheer was on a down turn.

Once on the bus I was amazed at the lack of reaction, no one seemed to notice a six foot, two inch clown sitting amongst them! I decided to make eye contact with some of the passengers and finally got a giggle from a middle aged lady who appeared to have been shopping. Not a lot to brag about so far but the day was still young.

Riding the subway took a turn for the better. Low and behold...little people. Not short people, children. I noticed a little girl peeking ever so carefully at me from behind Mommy's shoulder. I pretended to peek also and the fun began. I peeked, she peeked and we peeked some more. Wow, a relationship was forming. Before I could make her a balloon, Mom and child got off the subway and disappeared into their own life, leaving me to continue my journey. Not all was lost though, the little girl waved at me through the window. A small yet significant victory.

I will stop here for today so as to reflect on the lessons taught by the girl on the subway.

Lesson...Look at the world through the eyes of a child. You may just have some fun and make a new friend even if only for a brief passing moment.