Thanks for tuning in…!
It is a long journey to becoming a professional children’s performer. This blog is the transformational tale of how Dustin Anderson became the children’s icon, The Purple Pirate.
My parents were living in Tucson at that time and stayed with them for a couple weeks when I returned to North America. My little brother, Mikey, was 5 at the time. He is now graduating from University….I want to say something profound about time but I would just sound and feel old. :0)
Riding my fathers Goldwing around Tucson was quite a bit different than the GT 750 I had just sold. Those things are great for cruising around. Big and comfortable like a two wheeled land yacht.
When I landed in Vancouver I sub-letted the room of my friend, Terry at Main and 25th. The house known as the “Men’s Shelter” or the “Port Hardy Embassy”. It was 20 something single men that were mostly from Port Hardy. It was a perfect place for me. We all had issues and were trying to find ourselves…though no one was doing it consciously.
I started looking for some dance classes to train at and throughout my time in Vancouver I rarely have connected with the teaching styles. I auditioned for the Karen Jamieson dance company with my tried and true technique of a back flip. I didn’t hear back for a few months and then I got the gig. I worked with some extraordinary people; Byron Chief Moon and Alisoune Payne
I reconnected with the magician, Shawn Farquhar that I met in the Caribbean and he inspired me with lots of knowledge about magic. He would share effects that he was working on and overwhelm me with knowledge. He and his family became good friends. He is now a world champion magician and if you ever get a chance to see his work…GO! He is a master of the craft! Here is my personal favorite piece of his.
I didn’t want to get a minimum wage job and thought about the fun I had performing with Birthday Party Doug in Toronto so I started looking for agencies. There was nothing like that happening in Vancouver. I had to start something on my own and I remembered that Doug mentioned that children love pirates. I had also heard about a local performer called the Emerald Admiral. One night before just as I was falling asleep….The Purple Pirate….I will be the Purple Pirate.
I got one of the raver friends of the Mens’ shelter to sew me a costume. I cycled to Richmond from Vancouver and bought the last plastic treasure box, taped it to my back and rode home. I learned some tricks that Shawn gave me and some of my own.
I had an F-150 truck and had a friend paint the sides like the side of a hull, I designed a mast out of PVC, had sail made and created my own bubble cannon! It was really fun!
My initial idea was to supplement my dance income with children’s birthday parties. I enjoyed the creative process and once I got over a number of misconceptions I had of what performing at a children’s birthday party would be like…and some humbling experiences I was performing as the Purple Pirate quite a bit.
The only issue was my artistic training “art is expression of self”….