by Craig Muirhead (also known as Hey!-MiSH! The Safety Sergeant)
For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to mascots, clowns and entertainers.
I enjoyed watching the way they interact with people, being silly and making them laugh and smile.
I always thought it would be a really cool job to have but I never thought it was a possible opportunity for me.
For the most part, I kept my fascination for the entertainment industry to myself, but I always carried it in my heart.
I often dreamed of one day being Fin, the mascot for the Vancouver Canucks.
One day I thought this dream might be a reality as I was hired to be Aqua Boy for a water company.
I thought, “Wow! Maybe this could be a job for me.” After a short while, the company that hired me had to close and I thought my dream was over.
I moved on to traditional jobs that never seemed to be the right fit for one reason or another; they didn’t quite fit my natural skills and abilities or they offered such little variety that I had no interest in them and would soon want to quit.
Then, after many years of working various jobs, I was hired by Simon Fraser University to be an ambassador for the “C2U Expo: For The Common Good” and it was there that I started to find my fit.
I discovered my natural ability as a people person and public speaker. From there, I was hired by Stenberg College as a Marketing Assistant working as a greeter at information sessions. One day, I mentioned to my supervisor my dream of being a mascot and she offered me the chance to be Stenberg College’s mascot Stenny the Penguin.
I was so excited and after my first job as Stenny, I knew this was the job for me!
I met with my employment specialist and told her I want to be a professional mascot.
After lots of brain storming and many conversations, we realized that I was friends with a professional clown.
Together we set up a meeting with my friend Korki the Clown (of Clowning Around with Korki) for career advice.
The meeting went really well as I had known Korki for years, volunteering as her assistant at the local Sea Festival. Korki was excited to learn that I was interested in becoming a professional entertainer.
Korki agreed to teach me about the profession through the MentorAbility program.
She taught me the basics of being a clown and mascot, and also helped me develop my clown persona, Hey!-MiSH! the Safety Sergeant. She also introduced me to balloon twisting and discussed some of the basics of being self-employed.
My MentorAbility was a success. I had finally found not only a job, but a career that fit my natural abilities and talents. Most important, I had found my passion!
Korki was impressed with my natural clown and entertainer abilities and with the progress of my skills in such a short time.
She offered to continue to be my mentor as I complete an internship with her to learn the business of being a clown and a self-employed entertainer.
As well, I am an official member of the Rain Coast Clown Troupe.
I plan to join the National and World Association of Clowns and I have completed my first paid professional clown job.
I’m continuing my work as a mascot. After all, the difference between a clown and a mascot is the uniform.
I have learned there is much more to the business of clowning than putting on a suit and make up.
It’s all the work behind the scenes that makes the performance look easy.
My dream career is coming true one step at a time. It’s going to be a lot of work but I’m ready for it.
Sometimes the answer is right under your clown nose
If you’re interested in booking Craig to entertain at an event or gathering.
Send an email to: email@example.com (and mention “Craig” in the subject line of the email)