Plasterman not your average working stiff
By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
August 22, 2008 · Updated 3:25 PM
A little girl stared at Plasterman for a few moments before dropping a dollar bill into the jar sitting at his feet.
For a brief moment, the “statue” danced a jig as the girl squealed with delight. Then he snapped back into statue form, as if nothing ever happened.
“He’s real?! I thought he was a statue,” one teen shouted Wednesday as Plasterman busted a move in the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion.
This is the second year Plasterman delighted audiences of all ages at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, but who is the man behind the white makeup?
Clark M. Clark, of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, always wanted to be an entertainer.
“The bug hit me when I was in the sixth grade,” Clark said.
Some years later, he decided to try out his act, then called Totally Plastered in Victoria, B.C. in 2000. He wore an all-white costume and covered his head and hands with children’s face paint. Clark stood on a milk crate near his hand-drawn sign and the public loved it.
With help from his brother and sister, Clark made a sturdy platform to stand on and invested in some good makeup for his face and fabric paint for his clothes.
Plasterman has made appearances at fairs and festivals in Washington, Oregon, California, Iowa, Colorado, Illinois and British Columbia.
“May through September I’m busy and I’m working on getting busy the rest of the year,” Clark said. “I’m wanting to get into festivals.”
He said his initial inspiration for Plasterman came from a picture in a wallpaper sample book. Shortly afterwards, he tested out the character in Victoria and has been pushing forward ever since.
“I just started doing it one day,” he said with a smile.
As Plasterman, Clark stands on a platform for long periods of time and those who pass by think he’s a statue. Once someone drops money in the jar at his feet, Plasterman hugs, high fives and poses for photos with people and busts out his fancy dance moves.
Clark said people always ask him how he is able to stand still for so long. He stays in shape by eating healthy and doing yoga and calisthenics, all of which he says helps him stand for long periods of times.
But sometimes the prolonged periods of standing get the best of him. Clark said he occasionally gets “screaming, agonizing charley horses” in his legs at 2 or 4 a.m. when he’s lying in bed trying to sleep.
Plasterman doesn’t crack a smile when he’s in statue form. How does he do it when crowds of people are gawking at him?
Clark does have some theater training, but he trained himself not to laugh while watching the television sitcom, “Mork & Mindy.” He would watch the show and try not to laugh at Mork, played by Robin Williams. Clark said if Williams couldn’t make him laugh, no one could.
“So I was trained not to laugh by Robin Williams,” he said.
Clark said children have the best reactions to Plasterman, which sometimes causes the living statue to crack a smile from time to time.
“The only ones who can really give me a chance to laugh are the really little kids when they do something charming,” Clark said.
He uses a thick, cream-like makeup to cover his face and hands which he says doesn’t itch or irritate his skin. It also is waterproof, which came in handy Wednesday during a very rainy opening day of the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede. Clark is allergic to sunlight and the makeup acts like a really good sunscreen, “SPF 2000,” he joked.
Clark said he loves his job, but it does get lonely traveling from place to place by himself all the time. Clark will soon be going overseas for the international living statue competition in the Netherlands.
He said there are more than 100 living statues in the world.
“It kind of ebbs and flows, kind of goes in and out of popularity,” he said.
Clark said he plans to continue his career as Plasterman because it’s entertaining for him. He enjoys slathering on the makeup, standing for hours at a time and making people of all ages smile and laugh.
“What keeps me going is when I move, just the looks on people’s faces,” Clark said. “I think it’s just fun to capture people’s imaginations.”
For more information about Plasterman, visit his Web site at www.thatstatueguy.com or you can catch him in person at the Fair which continues through tomorrow.