community · creativity · happiness · Social

Matthew Silver, The Great Perfomer is simply silly for a living

I read about this street performer on Mashable. Based in Manhattan, he sounds like a guy with the same passion and vision for a play-filled world that I have, so I just had to share:

Photo image courtesy of Flickr, charlesdyer.

Matthew Silver just wants people to smile.

Silver, “The Great Performer,” can be seen throughout Manhattan using dance, song and oversized props to ease the tension of everyday life — because, as he says on his website, “it’s OK to be silly from time to time.”

Matthew describes his work on his website as an antidote to seriousness:

My role as a clown, trickster and village idiot is to parody excessive seriousness by playing with taboos, rules, and social norms.  My inspiration comes from my heart.  I perform for smiles and laughter, loosening people’s armor, and opening up a portal for imagination, creativity and love.

Silver reaching out to his audience, literally. Photo from his website.

Glad there is somebody out there who spends his time encouraging people to be silly.

Check out Matthew Silver on his website or Facebook page.

creativity · play · youtube

Unique Monday commute

If you’re looking for a way to mix up your commute, this might just be the ticket. From Inhabitat:

A video has been posted on YouTube of a Russian man riding what appears to be a fully working bicycle… apart from the fact it could probably fit in the rider’s pocket. It’s a good thing he’s wearing a helmet, as he doesn’t look particularly stable – the man’s feet appear to be five times bigger than the pedals!

I’ve actually seen a couple of unicycle commuters, but never a mini-bike. During the first gas price increase of recent years a couple of high school girls tried riding their horses to school, but the school wasn’t set up to stable the horses during school hours (lame!). What other fun ways have you seen people try to get to work or school?
behavior · community · creativity · happiness · play · Social

Why The Nose working to get a laugh out of the world

A clown nose

Happy Friday! Have you been waiting all week for some fun? Why the wait? Why not get a quick giggle in now? All it takes is a little red piece of foam, and the ability to not take yourself too seriously. I saw this shared on Facebook and had to spread the good cheer.

Why The Nose is a movement in clown accessories laughter and clowning around: is dedicated to the act of wearing a clown nose everyday, in order to make people smile.

It’s here for YOU…to encourage you with an act of Heroic Uninhibited Innocence :)

It’s really that simple. In a world filled with distractions and distrust, you’d be amazed at how many people (of all ages) have lost a sense of childlike wonder. Or maybe you wouldn’t…

Wearing a clown nose is fun, it’s easy, and it’s free (if you already have the nose).

We’re not trying to sell anything, we’re only showing you how joyful it is to change someone’s day.
Trust us, the nose breaks through barriers and opens doors every time you wear it…give it a try!

This phenomenon of adults wearing silly noses has been seen around both the 2011 and 2012 Burning Man Festival and other playful grown-up events courtesy of Tex Allen, who according to the website is a “responsible burner” but also wants to encourage people to enjoy themselves and enjoy their lives. I honestly hope this becomes a movement beyond just the Burning Man circuit, although I don’t think you’d need to wear the nose all day to get the effect he’s looking; maybe just for a quick trip to the grocery store. Visit the website for videos of some high quality goofing off. Or visit them on their Facebook page to see who else is getting their silly on.

Check out the video from Burning Man 2011 for more examples and maybe some inspiration.

creativity · play

Using play to cover hard news

English: A mugshot of Puppet, S.
Puppet mugshot. Image via Wikipedia

I love this story from Cleveland, OH, about how one news team brought some fun to their news reporting, and a good way of finding a solution to a problem:

It’s courtroom drama crossed with “Sesame Street,” as a television station barred from using cameras during a high-profile corruption trial covers the highlights with a nightly puppet show. It stars a talking squirrel “reporter” who provides the play-by-play in an exaggerated, “you won’t believe this” tone.

“It’s a satirical look at the trial and, again, I think we have it appropriately placed at the end of the newscast,” WOIO news director Dan Salamone said Thursday.

He said the puppets are in addition to the station’s regular coverage of the Akron federal trial of ex-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, the longtime Democratic power broker in Cleveland

“It’s not intended in any way to replace any of the serious coverage of the trial,” Salamone said.

With cameras barred from court, the news media has relied on artist sketches of the proceedings inside and daily video of Dimora walking into court with his wife and his defense team.

The station uses the puppets repeating testimony and performing as witnesses, reporters and jurors to detail the case, which began last week and is expected to last three months. The trial has been a daily staple of front-page coverage in The Plain Dealer newspaper and often leads TV newscasts in town.

Read the full story at Talking squirrel puppet reports from high-profile Ohio trial

It’s always nice to see when playfulness gets some attention.

architecture · behavior · community · creativity · environment · happiness · play

Slide into work with the subway slide in Holland

Thanks to the blog Cup of Jo for finding this:

Leave it to the Dutch to install a slide in a subway station. Commuters are encouraged to use it if they’re running late, and the official name is a “transfer accelerator.” At night they play Bach. How rad is that?!

more via A CUP OF JO: Dutch subway slide.

I love the idea of putting a little fun in your commute, in the community, and just keeping your environment fun in general.

Where else have you seen a little fun put into everyday surroundings? I’ve posted about the musical stairs before, but what else is out there? Some silly graffiti? Colorful cars? Share in the comments below.

community · creativity · culture · happiness · music · play · Social

Promoting public dancing through flash mobs!

A pillow fight that took place in Lausanne, Sw...
Flash mob pillow fight in Switzerland (neutral, yeah right!). Image via Wikipedia

Thanks again to the Seattle PI for bringing us great stories of spreading joy and happiness (see posts from earlier this week)!

If you were out and about in Seattle Sunday, you might have encountered more dancing and music than expected.

You can thank the TV show “Glee” and Seattle’s propensity for flash-mob participation for that.

“Glee” flash mobs broke out in several spots around the city Sunday afternoon. Here’s video of one of the best performances I’ve seen out of a bunch posted on YouTube.

Continue on to see the video (direct link below).

This is such an awesome trend of seeing flash mobs of people performing public dancing and performance, from Michael Jackson’s Thriller to Glee to improv and beyond.