Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Guest Post: Burgh Man

Today’s post comes from Michael Pellas of Downtown Pittsburgh Living, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh bloggers. You can see my post over on Sean's Ramblings, where I talk about introducing a new Pittsburgh currency. It makes sense when you read it. Sort of.

(above image courtesy of
While thinking about this guest post, I kept trying to think of something different to do. I'm not very good at writing "general lifestyle" posts so I tried to think of something about Pittsburgh that needed some love.
We've all seen Burghman during the warmer months in town...
He appears at Pirate games or festivals in downtown. He's dressed in a cape and is always juggling something or making people laugh and smile. I've always wanted to have more of a direct conversation with him and this guest post gave me the opportunity...I hope this is ok!
A HUGE thank you to Alex, Steve (from this blog) and Burghman for the opportunity to talk about something and someone that is an inspiration to me...even my ripe old age of 40!
(above image courtesy of
How did Burgh Man evolve into the Burgh Family?
My career has been spent involved in the Social Services. I have a Master’s Degree from Duquesne University in Counseling. Somehow, I have always had the ability to help hurting people. Subsequently, I used my gifts and talents to try and reach people who needed encouragement and to believe in themselves. Additionally, I grieved for families that have lost loved ones too many types of tragedies. Somehow, consoling people has always given me purpose in life and made me feel good about myself.
I’ve worked in numerous capacities over the years from Therapist, Youth and Family Specialist, Director of a Psychiatric inpatient clinic, Director of 130 bed homeless inpatient shelter, therapist in the Western Penitentiary and numerous other positions over the years.
Burgh Man started with an emphasis on promoting healthy lifestyles and telling the world about the Great City of Pittsburgh and the many firsts accomplished here. I have enjoyed showcasing the amazing personalities that have made Pittsburgh what it is today. It has been my goal t to be the best I can be physically, emotionally and mentally and to carry these positive messages to others. Burgh Man believes that everyone is a Super Hero and that some people just have not discovered it yet. J
The Burgh Man family has evolved due to my intense desire to help people whatever age they may be. Lady Burgh was my second creation and Baby Burgh followed. JIt is important for me to carry healthy messages to children so that they can grow up to be productive citizens and to contribute in positive ways to humanity. All people deserve to be the best they can be and to appreciate the beauty within themselves and all around them. Subsequently, the Burgh Family keeps evolving. Maybe one day I will create Grandma and Grand Pa Burgh. J Somehow love keeps me hoping for the best for myself and others.
Did super heroes play an important role for you in your youth?
That is a great question. I guess I grew up on Super Man, Batman, Westerns and all the shows that portrayed that good does conquer evil in the end. It seems that I have always been for the underdog and it makes me feel good to see people overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Super Heroes have had a major impact on my life. Most of my life I have been a dreamer. I’m always dreaming of creating new things and seeking ways to live a more meaningful life. I think everyone should have a cape and a mask and use their own creativity to see what good they can develop. A cape and mask somehow perpetuate a fun fantasy world where good always triumphs. I’ve found that money has its place in life, but it’s a purpose in life that resonates with me more than anything else.
How awesome is it to see the reaction you get?
You cannot imagine the way I have felt over the years watching young and old, men and women, Americans and Cultures from all over the world interact with Burgh Man. I have taken more photos with people from around the world than I can even recollect. To watch the awe and wonder of and infant or a toddler is magical. To watch people laugh and smile and get a kick out of Burgh Man gives me the positive energy and desire to keep doing what I do. Burgh Man and Family will always hope to bring smiles and laughter wherever they go.
Burgh Man was on America’s Got Talent twice and was voted off both times. It was truly a great experience to have been asked to appear on that show. The memories that I have obtained from those experiences are beyond priceless.
If you could talk to all the children of Pittsburgh at once, what would you say?
I would tell every child to seek people who would encourage them and that treat them with dignity and respect. To always learn as much as they can and to be the very best that they can be. Once that have become successful in life to pass it on and help others to gain the awareness and enlightenment that allows people to reach their maximum potential. Finally, I would tell them that if they practice and teach Love that they will find a life of meaning far beyond what they could have ever imagined.
How awesome is it to see the message of Burgh Man spread throughout the city?  
Please look on and you will see a Proclamation that the City of Pittsburgh gave Burgh Man honoring his work in 2002. This might be the greatest gift I have ever received!
I have wept in silence many times over the years to think that other people have found my work worthy of notice. Contemplative moments always bring me peace and a hope that something profound is still waiting for my discovery. I wish I could compare these feeling to something tangible, but unless you experience them words cannot adequately describe them. To even think that Burgh Man’s message would be part of my legacy brings enormous gratitude to me. What greater honor could there be than to know you left the world a little better than where you found it. It is certainty my greatest wish that people will extract all of the positivity that Burgh Man tries to disseminate.
Where are your favorite places in Pittsburgh to spread positivity?
The entire greater Pittsburgh area is my playground. I’m at home in every neighborhood that I visit. Pittsburgh is truly the home of Burgh Man. I grew up in The Burgh and it takes everyone to make us what we are and what we are to become. I’m excited about the way Pittsburgh is moving with technology, education, medicine, the arts, sports and every other area.
I suspect I will always have a soft spot for the North Shore. I love entertaining on the streets and interacting with the people. Skating down by the river and watching the responses of the people when Burgh Man comes skating by in his lighted costume, juggling lighted Clubs is a high all of its own. Burgh Man keeps me high on life. Burgh Man really got his start in Market Square and the North Shore nearly 15 years ago. I’m Burgh Man and the Burgh is my home J
Thank you for thinking about Burgh Man and allowing me this wonderful opportunity.
A Hero is someone who brings out the best in others ~~ Burgh man
I think someone like Burghman is very important in today's society - with what we see in the news every day. Being able to take your family out knowing your children will be able to see someone real and true like Burghman  adds some extra awesomeness to events around town. When I saw him in front of the Toonseum last year, people would stop what they were doing and stop to chat or take a picture. They always walk away with a smile.

1 comment:

  1. A Hero is someone who brings out the best in others ~~ Burgh man... Michael.. Burghman is a great representative for Pittsburgh and the region. One quick question... did he take you to his secret operations HQs under The Point?