On Taking a Leap

by @AnnieDaylon

 Angel the Clown, a once-upon-a-time busker on Granville Island.

Angel the Clown, a once-upon-a-time busker on Granville Island.

When I first moved to Vancouver, I was in awe of buskers. How on earth did they summon the courage to perform in the street? I wanted to try it but I had to talk, no, trick myself into it.

Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market is a well-known venue for street performers. Transportation to it from my place of residence meant a trip on the Granville Island ferry. One day (not in costume), I put my soprano recorder into my purse and counted out enough coins for a one-way trip to Granville Island. In order to pay for the return trip, I would have to park my butt someplace, pull out that recorder, and play a few tunes. 

Upon arrival at Granville Island, I strolled through the market. Then I sat at an entrance and, trembling something fierce, I extracted my recorder from my purse. I put the beret I was wearing onto the ground, shaped it into a coin receptacle, and started in. I don’t recall all of the tunes, but one of them was certainly the familiar “Early one morning just as the sun was rising…”  

I have to say that there could have been no sound as encouraging as the jingle of coins. Once the first few dropped, I continued playing, all the while counting coins out of the corner of my eye. When I was certain I had enough money to pay my way home, I put my recorder away, picked up my beret, and, with the stealth of a flash mob member, slid back into the crowd. 

After that, I borrowed a clown costume which my sister had created for herself for Hallowe’en and spent a few summer afternoons as Angel the Clown, a children’s entertainer on Granville Island. It wasn’t difficult for me to come up with material–recorder tunes, action songs, sing-a-longs– as I had already spent time as an elementary music teacher.

The memory of that summer is a fond one for me, not only because I enjoyed the experience but because it was one which paved the way for my leap-taking philosophy. As an author, propelled by dreams, I regularly thrust myself forward on the road to writing, always trusting that there will be someone or something there to support the journey.

Do you have any stories about taking a leap? Please share…

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