As a professional clown, I often encounter coulrophobia as have every single one of my colleagues over the years. It is often a topic at clown workshoAs a professional clown, I often encounter coulrophobia as have every single one of my colleagues over the years. It is often a topic at clown workshops/ conventions and the subject of articles in our trade magazines (the New Calliope and Clowning Around). This is the first book I have seen on the subject, and I believe it will help remove the barriers between clowns and those who are irrationally afraid of them.
As much as some would want to pretend otherwise, Archer knows that clowns are just people. Some are good and some are bad. Use all your senses to determine if one is trustworthy. He wants a clown for his birthday, but his mother is irrationally afraid and cites each piece of the clown's appearance as a reason. Archer swiftly counters with why those things are what he loves about a clown.
This pioneering book is a step in the right direction toward helping the professional clown stay viable in a time when parents often choose a safer but impersonal option for birthdays: Chuck E Cheese, Charlie's Safari, Jumpin' Jack's, etc. That's a benefit to me, but Mashburn's main intention is to help parents and children find a way to work through fear to experience happiness and joy.
If you choose to find a clown for your event, you are effectively inviting a disguised stranger to surprise you. That can make you and your guests feel very alive, and it might not work out if you have members of the party with unaddressed issues of coulrophobia. Let's just say that it could get ugly fast. This book could helpful when deciding whether to hire a clown and when letting guests know a clown will be present.
This is a book I could recommend that clowns bring with them to parties as a way to diffuse the anxiety of those coulrophobics who did not know a clown was coming. At 32 pages and about 300 words, this is the kind of book that could be used to warm up a hesitant audience and could be left as a souvenir to always remind parents and children to be courageous. ...more
I had a few problems reading the Stud Book, but they were worth overcoming. It started with the tears prompted by the first page in which we are introI had a few problems reading the Stud Book, but they were worth overcoming. It started with the tears prompted by the first page in which we are introduced to a character who is trying to find a mate. I choked up on the phrase, “Blind hermaphrodites find each other in the dark. It happens all the time.” I was feeling unloveable, and here was this prose poetry of nature’s miraculous urge to connect, letting me know about all those fish in the sea, birds & bees in the air, and worms below us. Humans, like all creatures, keep doing it, so take heed of Courage Wolf and recognize that you are the result of four billion years of evolutionary success… fucking act like it. It took me a few weeks to get past this initial (personal) challenge, and then I hit the next problem. There were apparently four major protagonists introduced in quick succession, and although I felt we were supposed to most closely identify with the first I was unsure. I appreciated the simplicity of Clown Girl by comparison: one main protagonist with allies and foils and characters added for color or plot. It took a few chapters, but I began to recognize each character’s story as more or less equally valuable. I was most challenged by the unusual device of a “cliff hanger false alarm” in which characters were put into sudden peril at the end of a chapter, and after we spend the next chapter (or chapters) with different characters we find that the peril was no big deal. The problem somehow goes away during the commercial break. It was a bit of an annoying tease and I was lulled into thinking there would be no serious problems. I experienced a sincere catharsis (and more tears) when a character died. There had been enough close calls that the shock was genuine, and I could imagine how the other characters rearranged their dynamic. I enjoyed the Stud Book, and it struck many a resonant chord, as a mate-seeker/finder, a parent, a friend, and as a (former) Portlandian. This funny, sweet, absurd and believable novel is worth reading, perhaps multiple times. I know now that Monica Drake set me up, and I hope she can do it again. ...more
DISCLOSURE: I know David, and he has told me some of these stories in person. David is peculiar. Perhaps he has Asperger's. I have worked some of thesDISCLOSURE: I know David, and he has told me some of these stories in person. David is peculiar. Perhaps he has Asperger's. I have worked some of these same jobs, coincidentally. In fact, probably a lot of us have worked these same jobs. There is a high turn-over in crappy entry level jobs. We are both college graduates and we expect more from life. I'm at a point where I need some consistent work, and this book filled me with the dread of going back to a crappy entry level job. However, I was inspired by the way he could speak his truth to the powers that be and stay true to his core values. This isn't a story of defeat but of continual striving and finding the silver lining, as it were, in the awful degradation and pointlessness of wage slavery, local politics, and the frailty of our bodies. He comes across sometimes as a Bartleby the Schrivener character, deadpanning "No, I won't" to the boss, and we can admire that when it finally comes to something vital like contradicting the testimony of a drunk driver who hit him or threatening to sue a newspaper who accuses him of pornography or telling off the police officer who claims there is nothing wrong with his terminally ill father. After this book, I do not want to waste my life working, and if I must spend the time underemployed for less than a living wage, I will definitely remember to hold onto my sense of humor, my sense of fairness, and my sense of story....more