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From Mary – By a Nose

December 11, 2019

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After Festival UnBound, as I was attempting to clean up my desk area, I discovered a spare red-nose sitting in a drawer. “Spare” red-nose, you note. Yes. Doesn’t everyone keep a red-nose handy?

One of the things I love about working at Touchstone is the very fact that we too keep the tools of our craft close at hand. That includes, for me, business cards, pens and pencils, sticky notes, a calculator, computer, etc… But then, there’s the not so common tools of our trade: the bag of juggling balls (for arts education); the measuring tape (for costumes); the red nose (for, well, for anything really).

A red nose is a very personal thing. It helps define the character – its size and shape as compared to your own face’s size and shape. I’ve been wearing the same red nose as Little Red, the silent(ish) clown, for almost 20 years now. Recently, I had misplaced the nose, and so I went on-line to re-order it. But I couldn’t remember what nose I’d ordered in the first place. Believe me, there are TONS of professional red noses to choose from…so I ordered a few:

Change the nose, you change the character – as much as changing a costume.

And speaking of costuming…

Most of you never get a chance to see our costume shop. For a long time it was a closely guarded secret… we didn’t want people to see it. Think hoarders. On steroids. With Festival UnBound coming up, we knew that there would be lots of other artists from other organizations needing to browse through our costumes. So, during the hottest months of the year, a crew of brave souls ventured into the costume shop and cleaned the whole place out.

Thanks to Steven Barnett, we had a window-unit air-conditioner doing its best to cool the place off. Thanks to Robert “Ippy” Ippolito, Emma Engler and Kyra Zimmerman, we all managed to sort, clean, purge, and re-organize the space.

During the Great Clean-Out, we realized we owned about 500 hats, (and really, who needs 500 hats?) Ippy had a brain-storm: create a costume made entirely out of hats.  We started calling his idea “The Hat Lady.” Again, the costume creating the character. Pretty soon it became clear we had enough hats for two hat-ladies. You may have seen them at the Closing Ceremony for Festival UnBound. You may have one of the hats we were happy to share with the community!

So, the next time you see a fun hat, or accessory, or a red nose, try it on for size – and see who you become.

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