Marvolo’s Circus

Category: Illustration

Name: Marvolo (Full name unknown)
D.O.B: 08/08/1930
Gender: Male
Reason for referral: to clarify unclear diagnosis.

Procedures: Clinical Interview.

Background information: Marvolo, born into a family in a travelling circus, was hanging from a trapeze before he could walk. He grew up learning traditional skills from his circus family: fire tricks from his mother, knife and juggling stunts from his father, and trapeze and air stunts from his grandfather. His family were all very passionate about sharing these exciting stunts, and they became well-known on the circus circuit in the 1930s and 40s. Unfortunately, as the 1950s began, many of the cirus performers left to pursue a life of money and glamour, lured away by the lights of the big cities – dreaming of huge stage shows. As friends left and family passed, Marvolo filled the gaps in the performances himself, learning the new skills and stunts to prevent any gaps appearing in the shows. As time went on Marvolo wouldn’t waver in his vision of a traditional circus, despite the fact that it was now a one man show. His health and safety leaves a little to be desired, but he has managed to keep most of his extremeties. He has become less nomadic over the years, and has settled in a forest near his birthplace.

Behavioural Observations:
Appearance is very colourfully formal, he is wearing a bright red tailcoat. He looks very comfortable, as the choice was made to interview him in his home. He is juggling knives throughout the conversation, but thankfully seems rather focused.

Based on Marvolo’s behaviour, and his apparent effort and cooperation, test results are likely to be an accurate assessment of his typical functioning.

Cognitive Functioning:
Marvolo’s performance on the WAIS-III places him within the average range of intellectual functioning. His Full Scale IQ of 110 is reasonable considering he has no formal education. He is very compos mentis.
His verbal comprehension is average, but he processes information very quickly, especially visual. He did very well in the visualisation exercise. Arithmetic and number sequencing were areas in which he struggled, but this doesn’t hinder his daily functioning.

Social-emotional Functioning:
Emotionally Marvolo seems very strong – he is very bold after a long life of activism and determination.
In terms of his lifestyle he is functioning well, if unusually. His choice of lifestyle is unconventional but poses no threat to society. Apart from a few cuts and bruises he seems a very happy man.
His mood is very calm, nothing seems to phase him or put him on edge. He is mentally and physically strong, his weakness lies in a lack of understanding of societal norms which causes social awkwardness occasionally, though it is rather refreshing and can be argued to be a positive trait.

Summary: Very mentally strong man with no preconceived ideas of what people ‘should’ be, with a strong sense of self. Worries for the greater good of society, and is determined to do what he can to show the beauty in low-tech traditional ways. He creates an environment within which people question who they are and how they live, which is a very worthwhile effort.

Recommendations: no further treatment necessary.

Posted on June 20, 2017 | Illustration