Thursday, December 16, 2010

"OK, I've Rented a Theatre...Now What?"

In the middle of all this blogging and working and husbanding and fathering, I planned a theatre show.

Every Christmas, I rent a little theatre and do a show for kids and families, figuring, hey, The Nutcracker sells out, A Christmas Carol sells out, people will come see a Boswick the Clown Show!

Each year I do this, I have to ask. Why do a show in a theatre? I don't really think of myself as an artist, this reminds me that I am. There really is no good reason to do a theatre show. I always end up losing money and it's very stressful, the weeks leading up, will I have an audience? Are things ready? Will anyone laugh?

In the end though, it's creativity. I love having youngsters exposed to theatre. Theaters are special, spiritual places to me. There is a real magic when you walk in, see lights hanging from the ceiling, a curtain rising, intro music playing, then the theatre goes black and who knows what will happen? Whatever you witness, will never happen again, it's not tv and it's not a movie. It's a being in the moment experience.

This year I went full out on the Christmas theme. My plot is I have to get ready for a visit from Santa and boy do I get distracted. My basic message, you need to clean up for Santa to visit. And I make more and more of a mess.

I open this show in 6 days, I rehearsed for the first time in the theatre last night. I still have lots of shopping to do and there are technical problems all over the place. But I "think" it's a funny show. Funny thing about funny, you don't know till it's in front of an audience!

This year I've eliminated all audience interaction. I am creating a clown world and having fun in that world. That's the most scary part to me.

The best part? Both my sons do all my technical requirements. They are really the only people I trust. Even though they are very young, they have seen me so many times, they have great ideas and love being around it. There will be a time when my children are too old to do the shows with me, so I love the process I get to do right now.

My friend Nick who runs the theatre company where I do these shows asked me a very important question. What can you do in a theatre you couldn't do anywhere else. There's that magical question. I perform a lot of shows, so why do more? On my own dime for heaven's sake?

I can create a world. At least I can try and create a world for Boswick the Clown. I do this to myself year after year, because being a clown is a passion. Creating a world for Boswick the Clown.

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