Today’s blog post might not make sense without first reading the full text of yesterday’s post. My experience of opening for the rock & roll band THE DOORS provided an unexpected moment of clarity on a long journey to understanding the clown’s art. I’ve learned if you grab a flash of artistic clarity by the tail, you might catch lighting in a jar.
Jim Morrison believed his role, as an artist was to be a shaman-clown, and like his ancient ancestors did, poke holes through the veil of our perceptions to allow the concealed light to shine through, or to reveal the hidden darkness within. He unfortunately fell down this rabbit hole to his death, but you don’t grab lightening by the tail without consequences.
As a happily married family man it’s probably good that the European tour with THE DOORS didn’t work out, but I did create a full evening show inspired by the character I created called, A Spirit of Halloween. I premiered it at the Jewel Theatre above the old downtown location of Twin Cities Magic.
This was my third show that Josette directed, as well as my first solo show she directed. I was nervous because she never lets me get away with any of my cheap tricks. At our first lunch meeting for the Halloween show she was reading The Hero’s Journey, by Joseph Campbell when I arrived at the cafe. My work was clearly cut out for me.
When I returned home I ran into our playwright neighbor, Kevin Kling, and mentioned how my first meeting with Josette went. Kevin laughed and said, “That’s it! I’m gonna read The Hero’s Journey, at every first show meeting just to scare the hell out of everybody in the room.”
I was convinced that my character could never smile, after his birth performing with THE DOORS. I must say, Josette was very patient with me, but in the end my character developed a beautiful smile. When photographer, Marc Norberg took and edited this photo he captured the truth of who my Spirit of Halloween is in my imagination. His hero’s journey is to find the crossroads between the living and the dead on All Hallows Eve, when the veil between worlds is thinnest, to bring a laughter that can heal the human spirit on the darkest night of the soul.