...........About Me

                                                                                                                              

     I had the acting bug as a small child and  always loved to "dress up and put on a show" I was  a quiet  kid, with a big imagination.   I must have watched too much TV, because I figured if  Shirley Temple and the Little Rascals could put on their own shows, I could too! I 'd hang a blanket on the clothesline to make a" stage" or sew puppets and make them talk . Once I even directed a beauty pageant in the backyard with the neighborhood girls parading  down the "runway" that connected the house to our garage.  I wasn't interested in being a contestant.  I was  the host "Bert Parks". 


 I guess you could say I'm a late bloomer. Those  show biz thoughts were always running somewhere in the back of my mind, but they didn't reimerge until I was in my thirties. I  started doing some local theatre by playing the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.  I'll never forget the wonderful smell in the theatre  and  the way the sound of the overture gave me goosebumps.  ....  I was hooked!

After quite a few roles on stage and  in dinner theatre, I found the idea of clowning for children  interesting after watching Robin Williams portrayal of Patch Adams  and took a local clowning class offered through a community college.  That was when my life changed.  I made lifelong friends and, embraced a love for making people of all ages smile.

During that time,the film industry came to Michigan and I  began to do some very exciting work as an extra in films such as" Moozlum",with Evan Ross, "The Ides of March" with  George Clooney,  and  Demoted with Sean Astin.  I was also very excited to have a  role in an episode of a great series for kids : "The Wannabies starring Savvy"  playing Mrs. Windham.


I guess you never know where life will take you because in 2006,I  had plans to be out of town at story telling conference and got  a call for my clown "Sweet Potato" to entertain at a birthday party that weekend.  Instead of declining  the party, I managed to leave the conference early to entertain the children.. After the party, the birthday boy's grandmother asked if I would entertain her Red Hat group at their monthly dinner..  I agreed, but afterward I wondered what they would like me to do. I wasn't sure they would want me to do magic or balloon twisting and I knew face painting was out of the question.

I never asked, but instead, I invented a character that I called "Evelyn Smallbladder, the loveable Red Hatter" and did a comedy show for the ladies.  It was so well received, I was encouraged to publicize the show  and the rest has been an exciting ride,.

Since that time I have entertained Red Hatters at Zehnder's of Frankenmuth MI at their Red Hat Days celebration for over 700 women.  I have performed at LaughFest in Grand Rapids,  been seen in  Traverse City for the Michigan State conference for Hospital Auxillaries and entertained for  Ladies Day at the Ionia Free Fair.

I have been fortunate to take the show to Florida and North Carolina and look forward to seeing where else Evelyn and I might go in the future!


    I still love to entertain children and will be entering my 15th year as Sweet Potato at Buffalo Wild Wings in Southgate MI. I've seen  many children grow up and I'm always delighted when they come in to say HI .


My family are some of my biggest fans. My husband of 42 years is my "roadie" on my comedy shows.  He's heard Evelyn's stories a million times, but loves to see the audience laugh as much as I do.  I have two grown children with a great sense of humor and two preschool grandsons that love having a crazy grandma who is still a kid at heart.


It's easy to question what I do sometimes and wonder if it matters but I've learned the value of laughter and a smile and I'm thrilled when a shy child gives Sweet Potato a big hug or woman tells Evelyn it's the first time she's laughed since she lost her husband.  Laughter is indeed the best medicine and I am honored to be able to provide some. 


Denise






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