KHickey
Friday 15th , 2018
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Hi Patrick!

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into performing and how long you’ve been performing? 3314

When I was 9 years old a circus camp came to my hometown of Pittsfield, MA. My parents enrolled me and for some reason I excelled at juggling and unicycle riding even though my performance in sports was sub-par. By my second year at the camp I was the star of the show because I rode a 12-foot unicycle and made the front page of the newspaper.

You refer to your performances “Variety Entertainment.” What does that mean?

Variety entertainment refers to a niche style of performance art where it doesn’t really fit into any one category. It is initially derived from the era of vaudeville in the early twentieth century where audience members would see a show with everything from jugglers, to plate spinners, to singers, and musicians. What I have done is turned that model into a one man show!

Who are your role models or inspirations?

My role models include comedians like Steve Martin, who is funny but also talented on the banjo. Chris Pratt, who doesn’t take himself to seriously, and musicians like Phish who improvise live on stage to create an atmosphere that elevates the whole audience.

You are performing during our “Science” weekend of STEAMing through Summer. In what ways to you use science as a performer?

Everything in juggling is physics. When a person manipulates objects what you are essentially doing is playing with gravity within time in space. It’s all science!

What do you like best about performing for kids and their families?

Performing for kids and their families is the best because most of the time the adults have no idea that the show is for them as well. It’s great to which the surprised faces on the parents as a smile grows wide and stays there the whole time. Kids are amazing because not only are they so impressionable, but they know nothing but pure joy. My intention is always to create an atmosphere of happiness, children are the most receptive to that, not being encumbered with any sense of judgement because they have not learned that yet.

3315 What advice would you give to someone looking into pursuing a career in performing?

My advice would be to understand that performing is a calling much like teaching or any religious careers. I have to perform, it is not a choice for me. If one feels that calling at a young age then my advice is not to resist it, go for it and never give up. Practice and you will achieve. It's also up to the parents to recognize and nurture this calling as early as possible in order to help their children succeed, because it's a roller coaster of a life and only positive encouragement, practice and hard work will get them through it. My parents were the best, and they believed in me no matter how crazy my career choice sounded.

In our Storyteller Studio “everyone has a story to tell”… we get a chance to share our stories, and one of the ways we do that is by sharing our favorite books. What was your favorite book growing up?

Well my love or reading didn’t blossom until my senior year in high school and I can talk anyone’s ear off about my favorite books and how they have changed my life. However, one book from my childhood stands out above all others because my mom read it to me when I was 5 years old, that book was Charlotte's Web. My mom was an avid reader and I believe I absorbed that love through my mom at a young age. I remember for the first time being able to create a theater of the mind, and since then anything I’ve seen on a screen has paled in comparison.

Join us for The Fantastick Patrick on June 17 at 1:00pm in the Stone Hollow Amphitheater for an amazing variety performance for the whole family!

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Anne Pierce, Art Programs Specialist, has been with Kidspace Children’s Museum since 2010. She participated in the Master Planning committee and assisted in the development of the Imagination Workshop. As a theater professional Anne has worked for the Walt Disney Resorts, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Sid & Marty Krofft. Anne is currently serving on the board of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry.