The Clown that Could

Richard PratherIt’s March. We have pleasant weather and we’re looking forward to turkey legs and funnel cake! Howdy, ya’ll, it’s rodeo time!

There’s nothing like the atmosphere at the Houston Rodeo, with all the aroma of good barbeque and cow dung in the air. If you intend to go, I recommend visiting the pens and the practice arenas. I always marvel at the cowgirls and cowboys as they practice.

Rodeo performers practice all year, day and night, rain or shine, cold or hot, to perform in front of thousands of people, sometimes, for just 30 seconds or less. For example, take a look at a couple of Gymkhana (speed pattern horse racing) events: pole bending and barrel racing.

Do you consider yourself as a performer when interviewing?

Picture if you will… you’re now in the interview, 30 seconds on the clock, and you think to yourself – what kind of show am I going to give the audience? The announcer asks, “Tell us about yourself, cowboy.”

And that’s when the anxiety kicks in. But you quickly remember – I’ve practiced my 30-second commercial that includes what I’m looking for, two or three of my skills such as being bilingual, and an accomplishment that pertains to the job. I’ve participated in mock interviews and received constructive criticism and researched the company (Rodeo Clown Company) – including their mission statement, core values, and projects the company is currently working on. Plus, I’m wearing the correct attire.

As you come back to reality, you think – yes, I am ready for this interview! The announcer yells over the microphone, “What kind of scared rodeo clown are you? It’s been 2 minutes! Don’t worry too much, we’ve all seen your resume. You have done great work and you are ready for this! Now, saddle-up these fine folks and ride them off in-to-this-here Houston Sunset.”

Richard Prather is a member of the Regional Facilitator team (Texas Gulf Coast Region) for Workforce Solutions. Richard combines over seven years of hands-on experience in employment education at Workforce Solutions with a Master’s degree in youth development. He also draws from diverse personal experiences. He’s traveled extensively abroad to partake in the culture and examine the economies of various countries across the world such as Mexico, England, Cameroon, and Argentina to name a few. Despite his wealth of experience and education, Richard’s greatest attribute is the attentive and dedicated nature with which he approaches the individual needs of his customers.

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