The idea for Ribbons the Clown was born while Christian entertainer and ventriloquist Robin Bremer was standing in line to pay for balloon animals for a birthday party.
Twenty years later, Ribbons the Clown has become part of the licensed ordained minister’s life, and part of his mission to educate children on the importance of laughing and dreaming big.
“It’s basically getting the kids to know they can be whatever they want to be, and they can use the resources in the library to do that,” said Bremer, who performed her show at the Hulbert Community Public Library Tuesday as part of the summer reading program, “Dream Big: Read!”
“For a birthday, I was in a store getting something and I saw balloon animals and said that would be cool. So I got in line with the balloon animals, and the lady in front of me said, ‘Are you a clown?’ I said nom and she said, ‘I am,’ and invited me over and showed me how to do the balloons.”
Bremer made her first puppet 20 years ago.
“And the Lord didn’t allow me to study clowning. He had me watch Charlie Chaplin, and it kind of went from there,” she said. “I just learned and eventually brought in ventriloquism.”
Bremer’s “Laugh Big, Dream Big” program includes silly magic tricks, juggling, rapping and balloon-making while bringing members of the audience to the stage to be part of the show, along with puppets Niki the Naughty Monkey and Sergeant Gramps the Bossy Gorilla.
She finds her inspiration from the late English comic actor, film director and composer known best for his work during the silent film era, and hopes to bring Niki and Sergeant Gramps to life in Chaplin fashion.
“With just one eyebrow, just one movement, and you could tell what [Charlie Chaplin] was thinking,” said Bremer. “He was very good. I’m not anything like him. I specialize in making [Niki and Sergeant Gramps] appear more life-like. I try to keep my mouth from moving. I’m not as good at that as I am in making my puppets appear life-like, and to me that’s more important than controlling your mouth. The puppet appearing alive and interacting with the people and the kids is so awesome. That’s what I enjoy.”
In her show, she needed help when developing Ribbons the Clown. And Bremer also urges kids to use the library’s resources to reach their goals. She said she hasn’t been able to perform as Ribbons the Clown very often this summer because of her obligations as a ministerial author.
“I haven’t actually done as much as I normally do because of my ministry,” she said. “I’ve written five books, and I just got picked up to be published on all five of them. I’m writing a sixth one right now. I’ve been focusing more on that, and I’m realizing since I’ve been able to minister to adults more, I’m more excited about doing more shows for kids because it widens my scope [of ministry].”
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