Two Clowns And A Cookbook

by Donia Varghese
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Two Clowns And A Cookbook

Clowns Morro (Heather Marie Annis) and Jasp (Amy Lee) at their book launch party

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be helping two busy clowns set up a table full of goodies for their party.

Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee, who play theatrical clown sisters Morro and Jasp, were celebrating the launch of their cookbook, Eat Your Heart Out With Morro & Jasp at The Drake Underground on December 17.

Dressed in their red and blue outfits, the comical duo, a couple of their friends and I, tore open packets of forks and spoons, arranged cookie trays, chocolate cake, a cheese platter and other treats on the tables for the guests to sample during the event.

Morro and Jasp are part of Up Your Nose and In Your Toes Productions (U.N.I.T), a non-profit theatre company started in 2005. The company is dedicated to breaking social norms and helping people rediscover truth and creativity. The director for U.N.I.T is Byron Laviolette, a friend of Heather and Amy, who is also referred to as ‘The Sir’.

Morro and Jasp are both Pochinko artists and follow the technique first introduced by the famous Canadian clown trainer Richard Pochinko. This unique style uses masks during performances.

They frequently perform shows at the Toronto Fringe Festival and one of their sell-out shows called Morro and Jasp: Go Bake Yourself is the inspiration behind their new cookbook.

The book, a labour of love that took three months to finish, is full of delicious recipes to suit every mood – tempting meals to impress a loved one or even old favourites that make you feel like a kid again.

The cookbook, published by Tightrope Books, is divided into different sections (moods): Playful, Angry, Festive, Brave… and the list goes on. Unlike other recipe books, this spiral-bound one is easier to spread out in front of you while trying your hand at a  Super Sexy Seductive Soufflé or Blueberry Buckles.

Two Clowns And A Cookbook - Fresh Print Magazine

Eat Your Heart Out With Morro & Jasp is stocked with recipes to match your mood

Both clowns claim to be excellent chefs who like to experiment and play with their food. They also love cooking together. Apart from the recipes, the book includes tips and advice from family and friends as well as funny illustrations, poems and stories by Morro and Jasp.

Morro is the goofy, messy one and  Jasp is the wiser older sister who constantly reminds the younger one to behave.

“My favourite recipe is the layered dip and I also like the dill pickle soup,” said Morro clutching her frilly skirt and rocking from side to side.

“My layered dip is the best of course,” said Jasp smiling.

They then pretended to have a fight about whose dip was the best.

With their wide-eyed expressions and comical style, they welcomed friends and well-wishers who came to the event. There was a lucky draw where a couple of the attendees won clown buttons and t-shirts as well as dramatic readings all revolving around the theme of food.

While Morrow and Jasp signed books, hugged fans and posed for photographs, guests talked, clinked wine glasses and swayed to music played by a very talented indie band.

“We are going to enjoy this book for a while,” Jasp said when asked about future book projects.

“We have a show coming up in January,” revealed an excited Morro.

The show is called Of Mice And Morro And Jasp, a clown version of John Steinbeck’s classic novella Of Mice And Men. The show is making a comeback after its major success in 2012.

The clowns continued to chatter.

“We don’t have last names. They’re so boring,” said Jasp rubbing her red nose.

“We’re like Madonna, Cher, or like Lady Gaga,” said Morro batting her eyelashes.

“Oh! We also plan to have a new TV show, a movie and maybe even take over the world,” said Jasp dreamily.

With their ability to spread smiles with their antics and make people eat their hearts out with their recipes, it wouldn’t be very surprising if they did take over the world.

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