McKenzie Wren told her story “Facing Your Fears - Life with Clowns” at Stories on the Square in July. In this story, she recounts the beginning of her relationship with her now husband, Reuben Haller, who is a professional clown. She immediately grabbed the attention of the audience with her first line, “My husband is a clown.” If this wasn’t compelling enough, she also confessed that she has had a fear of clowns since she was very young. So what’s a girl to do when she meets a nice guy who happens to get paid to do the very thing she has a lifelong fear of? Face that fear head on, of course. Click here to have a listen to McKenzie's first adventure with her clown boyfriend.
Fourteen years later, McKenzie and Reuben have a good life. They are married with two children. In her performance, she concludes that “the best way to face your fears is to see them half naked in a red nose and live happily ever after.” In her family, ‘happily ever after’ primarily means laughing together. “We all love words and puns and often crack each other up” she told me in an email correspondence. They perform together as a family often, and both of the children debuted as clowns at the age of 3. Basically, they’re the most fun family you can find.
McKenzie doesn’t get to perform as often as the rest of her family on account of her awesome job at the Clarkston Community Center, where she is the Executive Director. The CCC provides a crucial space for the diverse population of Clarkston to build community between the refugee and non-refugee populations. They offer various programs for children and adults as well as a thriving Food Security Program. The on-site community garden partners with their seasonal Clarkston Farmer’s Market which has attracted over 600 people with its cooking demos, entertainment, and yummy fruits and veggies. Don’t worry, it continues through October, so you haven’t missed your chance to get some fresh local produce. Markets are held on the last Sunday of every month from 11:30AM - 3:30PM.
On September 29th, the CCC is throwing their annual fundraiser, Celebration of Community. McKenzie describes this event as “a fabulous evening of multicultural food and entertainment.” This fundraiser enables the CCC to continue providing a variety of programs that serve the disparate community of Clarkston. Get your tickets (or simply sponsor the event) here.
I’m sure McKenzie’s life is full of great stories, and we were so lucky to have her share as a teller in the July show. She’s a prime example of the quality of entertainment that comes out to Eddie’s Attic every month for Stories on the Square. The show is open mic and each teller gets seven minutes to tell a true, personal story. The suggested (but never required) theme for September 11th is “After the Fall.” We start at 7:30 sharp.
What I’ve learned from these events is that all people have interesting lives (including you). Don’t miss any more great performances! Come share your story with us or just listen if the stage isn’t your thing. See you Tuesday!