One day a lady holds a birthday party for her granddaughter. She decides to go all out, no holds barred: she wants a clown at the party to entertain her granddaughter’s friends.
The clown arrives but not alone. He has a lot of company with him. The lady is sympathetic and tells them that she can help them out with refreshments but they will have to chop some firewood at the back of the house. They accept her offer and proceed with the clown in tow to chop the firewood.
After about a half an hour, the lady of the house is ready for the clown to perform his bag of tricks for the children. She goes to the back of the house. What does she find?
She finds the clown drunk and asleep under a tree while his friends are busy chopping firewood. Then she notices something. She notices one of the clown’s companies doing cartwheels across her lawn. She calls out to the other guy guys and says. “What your friend is doing is absolutely marvelous. Do you think that he can repeat those cartwheels for the children at the party? I am willing to pay him an extra hundred bucks.”
One of the guys replies, “I don’t know but I will ask. … ‘Hey Fred! For $100 would you chop off another toe?’”
Not all clowns and their contingents are like that. But not all aim to please also. I had this friend who invited a clown over to his home for a party. The guy came all dressed up like a clown. But as much as he tried to make the children laugh, he was boring and the kids soon lost interest.
It takes some skill to be a good clown and unfortunately finding a decent clown in Guyana to entertain a party is not always easy. In fact, finding even a good acrobat or magician in Guyana is a difficult thing.
Yet the people expect our politicians to do miracles. Well if professional magicians cannot successfully create illusions in Guyana, why do we think that politicians are going to be able to do miracles overnight.
Many, many moons ago there were top class magicians in Guyana. Not many but the few they had were good, very good. Today, the art of illusion is lost. There are a few persons who know card tricks but the kids today are so smart and able to read up on these things so readily that they can quickly expose the source of a magician’s tricks.
The art of magic is being lost to this generation of children and it is something that is worrying because if Guyana really wants to push tourism it has to be able to put on acrobatic and magic shows as well as host a local circus.
A few weeks ago, there was a circus in town. On the first night there was no tent and the show was almost washed out. If you are going to have a circus, you must have a big tent. A circus without a tent is like riding a horse without a saddle. It is just going to be unpleasant.
And why is it that we have to import a circus in Guyana. One would think that by now we would have been able to have our own local traveling circus, replete with trapeze dancers and lion tamers and acrobats doing spectacular feats.
There used to be some guys on the ferry across the Berbice River that used to try to entertain passengers by doing what can only be described as body-flexing routines. They had potential but they were in the business to make a dollar by passing a hat around for donations.
Their talent was raw. What they needed was to be formed into a professional acrobatic troupe. Every few years, a Chinese acrobatic troupe comes to Guyana. And their performances are electrifying. So there is scope in Guyana for our local acrobats. And if we are going to develop more tourism products, we need to have more Guyanese circuses and acrobats.
When people come to Guyana, they want to see places and go to events. There is not much to see, even though walking down Water Street and observing how the pavement vendors have taken over the city is quite a sight.
There are also very few clowns and magicians around to provide entertainment to the children at parties.
The local entertainment industry is therefore in poor shape. And if we really want to promote tourism we should try to get back to the time when we could at least boast about having some really good magicians.
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