MAN WITHOUT A CLIQUE - Bo in the trenches / by Bo Gerard

“Clique - noun: a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.”

It seems I am a bit of a misfit.  My life path has left me excluded from almost every clique, group or insiders club.  Most of these groups make up their own rules for inclusion, most tacitly, and I seem to have fallen between the cracks.  And though there are many individuals who have been very welcoming and inclusive towards me over the years, not all have.  Even though I can juggle, walk tightrope, crack a bullwhip, walk a rolling globe, and do some acrobatics, I am not usually accepted into the circle of circus artists I occasionally work with; simply because even though I performed in a Broadway Musical about P.T. Barnum, I was never actually in a real circus.  That is the only credential that some circus people will accept.

Same with theater.  Even though I have performed in the legitimate theater, the fact that I do not continue to do so excludes me from that clique.  Comedians don’t accept me, because I do magic and work with props on stage.  And you are not “IN” with certain magicians, unless you can do some fancy false shuffle or other finger-flicking card work.  Musicians don’t seem to warm to me, since I have had no real training, don’t read music and play all of my instruments by ear. (Even though Gretchen and I have written and performed dozens of our own songs in our shows over the years.)

I exist in a performing artists limbo.  Although I have made my living as a performer for 40 years, I don’t click (clique?) with any of the groups whose skills I represent on stage.  I have hybridized these arts and created something that is no longer any single art.  Let me say once again that I have met and worked with many performers who made me feel welcome; and no actor, magician or circus performer has ever done or said anything overtly exclusionary to me; but I have definitely felt that “peripheral” feeling at times.

Combine all this with the fact that I don’t watch or talk about sports, I don’t eat meat, and I am a liberal independent in Texas, and you’ve got a guy who has had to develop some great people skills just to have a normal conversation with someone.  But I am not complaining.  If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do a thing differently.  My road has been, and continues to be, a happy, productive and rewarding one

And I am a member of one awesome group – the human race.  And, luckily, there are a few other humans out there that actually “get me”.