Saturday, October 02, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
CONGRATULATIONS CHESTER "BOBO" BARNETT: 2010 Inductee in the International Clown Hall of Fame tonight!
Throughout my career as a circus clown, I always ask any of the older performers that I've worked with the same question, “Who is the best circus clown that you've ever seen?” The two names that answer that question most often are Otto Griebling and Bobo Barnett.
People who've worked with your father describe his act in the hushed and reverent tones that jazz musicians use to describe Miles Davis or Charlie Parker, that sportswriters use to describe Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan, that comics use to describe George Carlin or Richard Pryor.
Their eyes take on a far away look as they fondly remember the details of the act: the car, the dogs, the table and the trumpet. Despite the fact that your father retired decades ago, the memory of seeing your dad in the ring still stands out clearly for so many of them.
“...then he'd play 'Peg O' My Heart' or 'Am I Blue' on the trumpet and there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house. He played so beautifully. He just killed 'em. No one could follow him. No one...”
It has been a genuine pleasure to get to know you and your father, first through your writing and later by meeting you and your daughter, Christiana at the Book Expo at the Javitz Center in New York when you did me the great honor of allowing me to portray Bobo in helping to promote your wonderful book. The films that you've shared on your website are an invaluable document of a very gifted and dedicated artist and an inspiration to all who love clowns and clowning.
Bobo earned his place in the Hall of Fame a long time ago and we're all extremely happy to finally welcome him here to take his place among the pantheon of the very best in the profession.
Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself and your Dad with the rest of us,
P.S. You know that I'd be there if I could ; )
For more information on tonight's ceremony please click here.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tomorrow will be Jamie's 1st birthday. If you've enjoyed clownalley.net over the last year, please consider taking the time this weekend to donate blood at your local blood bank, donate your change to the Ronald McDonald House at your local McDonald's restaurant or make a donation to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
At one year old, Jamie is a happy, healthy fan of Sesame Street, Yo Gabba Gabba, Oobie, Rolie Polie Olie, Oswald, Jojo's Circus, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and The Cat In the Hat Knows a Lot About That. As much as he enjoys those shows, they don't hold a candle to what REALLY makes him laugh. Jamie thinks that his dog Honeybear and his big brother Shane are just about the funniest things in the whole wide world.
He may or may not grow up to be a clown but his infectious laughter proves he's already got the makings of a wonderful audience member ; )
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thomas Moore, in his 12th book Dark Nights of the Soul, explains Beauty best. He describes how the spiritual practice of beauty can be an avenue for transformation...
"Beauty feeds the soul, wakens it, and brings it to life as nothing else can. Beauty is a deep-seated reaction to some meaningful and stunning presentation of life. It stops you and gives you an instant promise of pleasure. But if you have no soul, you won't even see the beautiful in the thick layers of your practicality and in the density of your own ego. All your senses and your full imagination have to be alert when beauty makes its appearance. "
"… The beauty of a thing is its depth and meaning being revealed. To perceive that beauty, you need an eye for both appearances and for the invisible radiance of a thing. You also need the capacity to be affected. But many people walk through life defended against all positive influences. They are not open to the invitations and messages coming at them at every turn. They wonder why life feels empty and meaningless, when the problem is not the absence of meaning but their blindness and deafness to it. . . .”
"Beauty nurtures the soul by serving the spirit. Beauty takes you out of your cramped, merely personal worries and sets you down in a field of eternity. The essence of spirituality is an enlargement of vision. The experience may only last a moment, but in these matters a moment is [just] enough. You need a transcendent sense of things, not one that lets you escape from your situation but one that gives you an added perspective. In this, beauty and religion serve similar purposes, and so it's no wonder that they are so often allied.”