Anecdote Submission - 'Stretch' the 9 ft Clown
Stretch- the nine foot clown - submitted the following item for inclusion
in the anecdote section of Alan Clay's
new book Angels can
Fly, a Modern Clown User Guide.
Submission of anecdotes is open until November 2004, and no decisions on inclusion in the book will be taken until the deadline, however I thought I might oil the wheels of the submission process by starting to post some of the submissions here. If you work as a clown and would like to include an anecdote on your work in the book, simply e-mail email@example.com or post something directly onto this blog.
"Bill 'Stretch' Coleman has over a dozen costumes; close up interactive Street Theater and atmosphere entertainment for every occasion. That crazy clown: Ear Cleaning with his 4 foot long Q Tip! Weed Wacker HAIRCUTS! Sky Painting: You supply the music and I'll paint the sky with my 20' pole and 50' ribbon! Let's boogie!" Bill "Stretch" Coleman
Do you juggle plates?
No, I prefer to stalk them!
As a nine foot tall, non juggling clown, I have struggled to create material for strolling at festivals and corporate events. I have found that food offers me a great opportunity to interact with my audience. Here is a dramatic recreation of that play.
Like a giant jungle cat, or your tabby, I am always wary, alert to opportunities. Searching, seeking, observing. On the look out. The ebb, the flow of the jungle's - er, festival's- occupants. The trails to and from the watering hole, the buffet line, where my prey congregates. Places of concealment, possible distractions, dangers, impediments to my quest.
For I am hungry. Deeply, urgently, hungry - for the chase! For the best tasting hot dog, desert, ice cream cone, funnel cake, pop corn or brisket, any where, any time, is the one you track down and stalk yourself!
Ah, look! Over there: FOOD! a funnel cake on a plate! An ice cream cone, and a burrito! Observe: Quick, which opportunity is the best: the prey borne by the
darting child, the athletic looking youth, or the lumbering, distracted adult?
Choices matter. If I pick the wrong one, the chase will be too soon over. Ah, the child spots my cleverly here to fore concealed out sized telescopic fork. I put my finger to my lips, make eye contact, and gesture, ever so slightly to her brother's funnel cake. She understands. She consents to play along. The drama begins!
Crouching like an invisible nine foot tall house cat, silently- surly, only I can hear the bells tinkling on my feet- I begin the stalk. Deftly keeping in his shadow, out of his peripheral vision, I pursue, hovering, dodging, twisting, even skipping as needed, I remain concealed. My near two foot long feet do me no favors, but I am adept. Occasionally bringing my fore finger to my lips, I signal my audience for cooperation. For we are all part of this drama of life and death!
I close in. My stomach is hungry. I rub, my hand circling. My mouth involuntarily is opening and closing, as if taking bites of the funnel cake. My senses real: the sweet, greasy, aromatic funnel cake calls to me. My self discipline crumbles, I moan. I am discovered! Graciously he offers me some cake. A piece, perhaps is all he has in mind. Perhaps even a generous piece.
Instead I deftly take the entire plate from him. I smile. I thank him profusely, over and over again for his generosity, his understanding. Breaking off a small bite of cake, I offer it to him. He takes it, swallows, perhaps in confusion and realization: The trickster clown has taken advantage of his generosity and trusting nature!
I explain the culinary facts of life to him: The best tasting treat is the one you stalk yourself! He smiles. Laughs even. I return his funnel cake to him, after perhaps reserving a bit for myself. For even the clown deserves a reward for a job well done!
I look about. Ah, over there . . .
Well, that is it. Hope you enjoyed it.
Bill "Stretch" Coleman
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