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Michael Rielly

Featured Member of the Month - August 2020

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Michael Rielly

Each month, our Featured Member section profiles a ClausNet member. Members are chosen totally at random by me and the staff. Once selected as Featured Member of the Month, we interview the candidate and post the interview here. This is a wonderful way to get to know your fellow ClausNet members!

We are happy to announce our ClausNet Featured Member for August 2020 is Hubcity Santa!

Hubcity Santa
Featured ClausNet Member – August 2020

Hubcity Santa

Hubcity Santa

Profile: Hubcity Santa
Real Name: Michael
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana USA
ClausNet member since: October 16, 2018
Community Reputation (as of today): 308 – Awesome!
Membership Level: Member

August

Our August 2020 Featured Member of the Month hails from Louisiana. Santa Michael aka Hubcity Santa, only donned the red suit two years ago, but is well on his way to becoming a great Santa Claus. We caught up with Michael a few weeks ago and here is what he had to say...

ClausNet: How long have you been portraying Santa Claus and how did you get started?
Hubcity Santa: "I have two seasons under my belt but last year is when I went full steam ahead. I went with my Mrs. to her Churche’s Christmas in July event/concert in 2018 and the guy they hired for Santa never showed up and couldn’t be reached. Nobody from her church wanted to put on the suit so after about 10 minutes of them arguing in the back and watching the children getting restless in the sanctuary I volunteered to do it ‘just to get the show going again and over with’. (Yes, I said it just like that) and I don’t know, just something in me came alive that night and I was just immediately drawn in."

ClausNet: What or who are your influences on your portrayal of Santa Claus?
Hubcity Santa: "Definitely Richard Attenborough, Edmund Gwenn, and Douglas Seale were my first ideas of how Santa would act. Then I just started studying and researching the bios from the Santa Claus Hall of Fame to gain insight and influence. Going to the Charles W. Howard Santa school and other conferences; just letting me meet and interact with other veteran Santas have all greatly influenced and helped me in some ways."

ClausNet: What do you enjoy most about being Santa Claus?
Hubcity Santa: "The memories, hope, and joy people of all decades in life seem to have when they see Santa. From the little ones telling you their innermost dreams and secrets, the angel visits when for the time being, they forget their pains, the elderly who remember the first time they sat on Santa’s lap, etc. Getting to be a part of people’s lives and their memories is just amazing for me."

ClausNet: What do you enjoy the LEAST about being Santa Claus?
Hubcity Santa: "I’m optimistic so bad things or events I always look at as a learning and growing experience. I haven’t had good experiences with filling in as a mall Santa so maybe that’s my least favorite thing for now."

Hubcity Santa

ClausNet: What is your most memorable visit?
Hubcity Santa: "I’d have to say my first hospital visit I ever did. It was only my third time ever being Santa and I filled in cause there was absolutely nobody else and even though I knew I wasn’t ready, I couldn’t bear thinking some of the children might not make it until Christmas and not get to see Santa one last time. What was supposed to take 2 hours turned into almost 7 because I would just completely lose it between rooms and have to gather myself but refused to not let every child see me. By the time I got back to my room to change I was literally shaking and my eyes looked swollen shut from so much crying, it was then I knew I was hooked being Santa."

ClausNet: Do you have a favorite gig?
Hubcity Santa: "Sneak-a-peeks or catch me in the act I believe there referred to. The Christmas Eve visits when the children catch you delivering presents."

ClausNet: What is your dream gig?
Hubcity Santa: "I don’t really have one."

ClausNet: What keeps you busy when you are not being Santa?
Hubcity Santa: "I’m a Kitchen and Bakery manager of a local business and that keeps me pretty busy and if I’m not there you’ll find me figuring out how to fish or visiting friends and family."

ClausNet: What are your hobbies / interests?
Hubcity Santa: "Fishing and golf although I’m not really good at either one of those. I love watching hockey and just spending time with friends and family!"

Hubcity Santa

ClausNet: What is your favorite color?
Hubcity Santa: "Red."

ClausNet: What is your favorite food?
Hubcity Santa: "Italian or anything pasta !"

ClausNet: Coke or Pepsi?
Hubcity Santa: "Dr. Pepper."

ClausNet: What is your favorite cookie?
Hubcity Santa: "Sugar or Snickerdoodle."

ClausNet: What is your favorite movie?
Hubcity Santa: "Casablanca, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Pursuit of Happiness."

ClausNet: Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?
Hubcity Santa: "It’s a Wonderful Life.’"

ClausNet: What is your favorite Christmas song?
Hubcity Santa: "Way too many to have an ultimate favorite. Currently, ‘We all need Christmas’ by Def Leppard has been playing in my head."

ClausNet: What was the last book that you read?
Hubcity Santa: "The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek and just started The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett."

ClausNet: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Hubcity Santa: "Airline Pilot."

ClausNet: What profession would you not like to attempt?
Hubcity Santa: "Paramedic."

ClausNet: What were some of your favorite toys as a child?
Hubcity Santa: "Definitely Hot Wheels and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were big ones. Also Lego and anything you got to create and build yourself I enjoyed."

ClausNet: What is your most memorable experience of Santa while growing up?
Hubcity Santa: "I was born and lived my childhood in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area and there is a small amusement park called Santa’s Workshop in the mountains and Santa used to ride the rides with us and would talk and interact with everyone."

ClausNet: What is the hardest question you have gotten as Santa Claus and what was your response?
Hubcity Santa: "The hardest questions that come to mind is from that hospital visit. Not so much that they were difficult to answer but rather heartbreaking to hear. A lot of the children knew their situation and would ask questions like ‘will you make sure mommy and daddy know I’ll be ok with (relative) in heaven?’ Or to make sure an Elf takes care of their dog/pet? It amazed me how selfless they were even in their situation."

ClausNet: What is the strangest request you have gotten as Santa Claus?
Hubcity Santa: "A coffin to sleep in as a bed."

ClausNet: How did you find ClausNet?
Hubcity Santa: "Internet search. I was looking up books, schools, anything I could find to help me figure out why I wanted to be Santa and to get training and after connecting with a few Santas from Texas, they recommended I check out ClausNet."

ClausNet: And what do you like most about ClausNet?
Hubcity Santa: "There is always something to read and learn from Santas around the world. It’s also a place to tap out of the real world and just kick back and learn. I don’t post a whole lot usually but I do enjoy reading the threads."

ClausNet: Is there a Santa or Mrs. Claus over the years that you admire or has inspired you? Can you tell us a little bit about him/her?
Hubcity Santa: "Wow, where do I begin? There’s a bunch that I’ve gotten to know and ask questions and talk with from various places and sites that have helped and inspired me that I admire. I’ll mention Steve Gillham as one of my first encounters because I’m privileged to have a copy of his book Santaology. He had about 15 copies left total when we met and I explained that do to a family emergency I was flat broke but if he would hold a copy for me for about a month to let me catch up on my bills I’d love a copy. He got my information and 3 days later I was surprised with a book with a wonderful inscription and I remember thinking that this is truly a Santa I wish to become like. Also, when I attended Charles W. Howard Santa School last October, I was still struggling with my family situation, but my Mrs. refused to let me cancel my ticket I already had purchased and had me attend. I cancelled my car rental and had literally $60 to spend up there. I remember it was pouring rain when I was walking to the auditorium when Mark Demonbrun offered to give me rides the rest of the time and let me just ask him millions of questions. Also Fred Honerkamp from Michigan let me ask a ton of questions and offered me a nice suit for cheap while up there and I explained I just didn’t have the money at the time but let me take it home anyway and paid him 2 months later. These are Santas I definitely admire and strive to be like. There are so many others that have helped me without even knowing and hopefully I’ll be able to do the same for others."

ClausNet: What advice can you give to a first time Santa or Mrs. Claus?
Hubcity Santa: "First, don’t try to figure out why or what’s calling you to become Santa, just accept it and be prepared for a wonderful calling on your life; it can truly be life changing. Second, everyone was a first time or rookie Santa, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be prepared to make mistakes. Don’t give up, you have a family here that will bend over backwards to help and answer questions, bounce ideas off or just shoot the breeze with. Last, network and join organizations like ClausNet, IBRBS, and local Santa chapters to help you grow and develop who you want to be as Santa. Welcome to the red suit and if I can do anything in the world to help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Merry Christmas."

ClausNet: Anything else you would like to add?
Hubcity Santa: "To everyone here that posts, I want to say thank you! I don’t post to much (maybe I should be a little more active) but I do read threads and you may not know how much your words, jokes, pictures, whatever has helped me and Santa’s gain knowledge or insight. Take care of yourselves and thanks for your time! "

Thank you Michael! Everyone, please join me in congratulating Hubcity Santa, our ClausNet Featured Member of the Month for August 2020!

Hubcity Santa

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Felix Estridge

Congratulations & Welcome to the MOTM club!

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Santa Mike IN

Congratulations!

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Santa Ed K

Congratulations.

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Santa Bill Reiller

:congrats:    Welcome to the MOTM Club!!!!!

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David Dixon

Congratulations!!

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Tommy

Congratulations!!!

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SCSanta

:congrats:

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Santa Bruce Geron

Congratualtions.jpg.abd43a368e16926947c862f7b2429be1.jpg

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Black Hills Santa

Congratulations 🎉

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Black River Santa

:congrats:

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Drosselmeyer

white-congratulations-christmas-banner-c

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Eileen Strom

:congrats:

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SantaDBC

Congratulations!!!!

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Santa Johnny Boy

Congratulations, Santa Michael, on a well deserved honor!

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Jerry Nebel

Congratulations and welcome to the club.

 

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TamaleClaus

Congratulations,  always enjoy reading how everyone gets started

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Santa Bill III

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I enjoyed reading your interview and learning about you.

Welcome to the club!

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