Send in the Clowns

Yesterday was another typical day in the life of me.  It began with a philosophical meander through Aristotle and finished with a guitar serenade performed by four men dressed in clown suits at the Mae Wilson theatre in Moose Jaw.  One was a bass playing midget.

I came up with the idea of forming a study group for my philosophy class and pitched it to my prof.  I thought an informal setting like my living room would be good.  People could bring their own beer or wine, and I could prepare appetizers.  Play some cool music, and boom… we have a perfect environment to philosophize in.  Eleven people from my class signed up and we have our first get together coming up on Tuesday night.  Conversation is my drug of choice and this thing has the potential to be a conversational wet dream.  I hope it goes well.

After class I spent some time with my play on the 6th floor of the library.  I was about a quarter the way into a new scene when my phone started going off.  It was Nicole, she was having a bad day.  I decided to cheer her up by spending the afternoon with her talking about myself.  (I kid)

Later I phoned big Dan Willows up.  Dan and I were classmates in my acting class a few years ago.  He’s doing a lot of stand up comedy lately and he asked if he could borrow my camera to tape one of his shows.  I obliged, but then the plan changed.  He was supposed to send someone to my office to pick up the camera but the person he lined up, bailed.  I wound up driving the camera out to Moose Jaw, with Nicole riding shotgun.

Yesterday was also the first snowfall of the autumn season.  We drove through blinding sleet and snow and Nicole admitted to not being a fan of highway travel, even at the best of times.  She was white knuckles the whole way.  I responded by talking about myself some more.

Upon arriving at the theatre, I was informed that I would be operating my camera as the guy Dan lined up went AWOL.  What was I supposed to say?  So I reluctantly agreed (while secretly harboring a sinking feeling about the whole evening).

Nicole and I had time to kill, so we crossed the street and ate at ‘Nit’s’, a Thai restaurant of some acclaim.  With 10 minutes to go before show time, we left the restaurant and I switched into ‘production mode’.  I had a camera to set up and I still had no idea what the hell I would be filming.  There was a fancy lighting design, a sound guy, a drum kit, guitars and props.  This seemed to be more than just a stand up comedy gig.

Then the lights went dark and Dan comes out and starts juggling while doing a creepy monologue.  Then a giant manatee comes out on stage with a midget (dressed like a clown) riding atop.  The midget seems to be struggling with his lot, then he slays the creature with a drum stick.  Then three clowns come out the manatee’s belly and pick up their instruments.  They then launch into a two hour rock show that at times felt like ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ meeting ‘The Doors’ meeting Stevie Ray Vaughn.  The lead clown played a hellova fine guitar with riffs that sprang forth as if he and the instrument were biologically attached.

It turns out the whole evening was a CD launch event for the band.  The show ended with the midget bass player taking on a roadie in a WWE style wrestling smackdown.  The whole band got involved with the acrobatics and it ended with the lead clown smashing an acoustic guitar over the roadie’s head.  They then took a bow.

I had no idea the night would come to this.  Thanks Dan, that was great.

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