Have you ever been to an art gallery, walked around casually observing the paintings, and then stumbled upon the sight of the artist at the easel, apron and paint brush in hand, in the back of the room working on an actual piece of art?
From what was a gallery of nice overlooked trees, mountains, and landscapes, to realizing oh my heavens, someone truly painted that!
It’s almost like you’ve just discovered a whole new appreciation for every last little detail when you open your eyes to what someone created, but only when you realize the person who created it is in that very room.
This happened to me when my friend and fellow keynote speaker, Clint Pulver, mentioned to me that he was taking down the circus he’d built in his home.
I figured it was just some fun hobby model set he’d collected through the years.
I drove 30 minutes to his home, out of respect for what sounded like was something really important to him, and to show my support of his little project.
He allowed me to open the door to the room that would soon be his firstborn’s bedroom, and I would be one of the last people to see Clint’s circus creation thing he’d tried to tell me about.
As he watched me I did my best impression of being impressed and delighted. In all honesty I just thought it was cute and creative, seemed like a bunch of work, albeit a bit weird and childish. I mean, who puts a circus in a room in their house from things they’ve collected and invites their speaker pals to come and see it?
As I did my best to find things to ask him, I looked closely at each figurine and wondered aloud, “Man, where did you buy all of this stuff? It’s very intricate.”
That’s when Clint realized I hadn’t understood what this was.
“Jason,” he said, “I didn’t buy this, I MADE IT. From scratch. Every piece of cloth I bought from Hobby Lobby; every person and figurine I melted and molded, and painted by hand; every leather and wire rein on the horse and elephant I cut with wire-cutters, shaping them through the night; I even made this one part out of a 7-11 Big Gulp cup! Nearly everything you see I made with no instruction manual, a circus honoring my grandfather’s memory to a model scale.”
I blinked…and blinked again.
It was starting to hit me.
“YOU MADE THIS?” I shrieked!
“YESSSS!” he laughed.
“WHAT!?!” I couldn’t compute what he was saying. “YOU MADE THIS?!?”
“Why do you think I wanted you to see it before I tear it down, pack it away, and make room for the baby?” he asked.
I was now stunned. Shocked in every way. It had meant really nothing to me as he briefly explained that I should make the trip to see it previous to my understanding, and now I felt as if I had just wandered into the workshop of daVinci having just completed the Mona Lisa.
I speak in hyperbole for a living, but for me, this was one of the greatest creations I’ve ever seen.
I wept openly.
I begged him to wait to tear it down so I could bring my kids to see it the next day.
I cancelled meetings and pulled them from school to see this.
I watched a 4 hour documentary about The Circus on Netflix all night.
Clint’s passion project, having spent 1 year creating all by himself in a room in his home, is one of the most magical artistic spectacles I’ve ever witnessed, had just inspired my art and Promise to myself to get to work on a few things that might make someone someday, exasperated and stunned as I was, potentially ask me,
“YOU MADE THIS?”
Other friends and speaker pals have also been completely floored upon seeing The Circus, including Ty Bennett, and you should listen to the entire podcast to feel the magic of Clint’s excitement for his project. Episode 36
Watch this video below and see what I mean. And yes, he made pretty much every little thing you see, with few exceptions, and it’s as magical as any Promise ever kept in honor of his grandfather and the joy of his love of The Circus.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you The Willie Clinton Circus! by Clint Pulver
Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer
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