My senior year at Baldwin High School, I was a straight-A student in advanced placement physics and calculus. My parents thought I was going to go to college and become an engineer, or an architect. None of us thought that one day I would be making balloon animals for a living and engaged to a magician. It’s crazy how life can turn out. I learned to do my first balloon animal when I was 17 years old from a clown named Una. I never did end up getting that college degree. I left Maui and came back 2 years later, 19 years old, and with a 9-month-old baby. Una was still on Maui performing as a clown. She wanted an apprentice, and I needed a job. So, she trained me to do paid gigs doing simple magic, balloon-twisting and face-painting. I became Jolie the Clown. It was a great single-mom job, because I could make a good amount of money in a short amount of time. I wasn’t that great at first, but over the years I got better. I learned more skills and improved the ones I had. I developed more confidence. Then, I fell in love with a magician…
I met Brenton in 2005 at Maui Mall. He was performing magic, and I was doing balloons. He gave me his promo material and admits he was thinking to himself, “Who’s this competition?” We started seeing each other at parties, and in 2013 we started dating and fell in love. Brenton has been performing magic on Maui since 1998. Most people know him as Brenton Keith & his Bag O’ Tricks, offering High-Energy Comedy and Magic. He also runs a business called Gameshow Fanatics that brings a live version of the Family Feud to events and parties, complete with the full set, sound and lighting. He is the hilarious and charming Host, and I am the lovely Prize Girl. Brenton is a dynamic performer, an excellent businessman, and a wonderful partner. He also really helped me take my business to the next level. I didn’t have business cards, a logo or a website when we started dating. He encouraged me to do all of this and more. He even gave me my new business name, Cirque Jolie, as I had outgrown Jolie the Clown. His love and support have really helped me, and my business, to thrive. We got engaged in 2018 and are getting married next year. Brenton says, “The best trick I ever did was getting her to say yes.”
We can have an idea how we think our life should go, but life has its own plans, and in my case, I am so glad it did. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life, with anyone else, and anywhere else but here on Maui.
And by the way, Happy 10th Birthday to Mauimama!
Image Credit: Jolie Strickland