Gladys has been around for a while. But I like to think that March 6th 2007 is the date when she really came out of the closet, and into polite society.
In a way, Askios was responsible, because it all began when an article about how I started Askios was published in Sattva, an ezine about the development sector. Last month's issue was about Bangalore and as I looked through the pages, I noticed a comment in a photo feature, by someone who was training with Docteur Clown. That's interesting, I thought.No, I lie. I didn't think it was interesting. I went ballistic with joy! Clown. CLOWN. CLOWN!!!! I had to get in!!!
Well, I hate long blog posts that just go on and on, so I'll cut a long story short. Maybe not short. Maybe just less long than it could be. Here goes: I googled and found a recent news article about Docteur Clown in Bangalore. They had just held auditions. I called the lady and was told that training had already begun. Devastation! I tried to draw on all my old advertising skills, and sell myself to her, and must assume that it worked, because eventually she said she'd think about it and that I should call her in two days at 9 a.m.
Oh, the tension. It was worse than waiting for a Saturday-night date to call you on Monday.
I called at 8.55 a.m. I called at 9, 9.10, 9.20 etc etc. and all I got was a ringtone. More devastation. By 2 p.m. I gave up, and reassured myself that she had left her mobile at home (though secretly I worried that she had met another clown) and called again the following morning.
Meet me at 4, she said, and I did. Then waited some more while she finished her accordion class. I am SO glad I am a much calmer human being this decade. The old me would have stormed off in a huff. But the new improved me took the time to enjoy the Alliance Francaise's lovely tea, lovely garden, and not-so-lovely garden benches.
Eventually the lady did show up and we had a nice long talk, at the end of which I discovered that while not yet Clown status, I had at least got myself an audition on the following Tuesday. I promptly rushed home and spent the next few days despairing over my badly-deteriorated juggling skills. I have since decided to blame this on my middle-aged eyesight, which now makes everything close by look blurry.
By Tuesday morning, I had a bag packed with all the things I deemed necessary for the audition. Then, with pounding heart and ridiculously happy smile, I set off .
Not much of a cliffhanger, I realise, but I stop here.