Ken Ferguson has been taking baths in strangers’ houses and he’s loving it.
The Toronto actor, DJ, ex-trampolinist, and performer was invited to different peoples’ homes in Toronto during the month of January 2017, to take a bath. It seems like an odd idea, but Ferguson, 32, was having the time of his life. Even though it was a bizarre thought, the idea intrigued him.
“I kind of sat on the idea for a while because I thought it was weird, but then I was like, ‘No’”, Ferguson said Monday at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre in East York. The idea came to him, he said, after the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in November 2016. “I got so frustrated. All of the negativity in social media and just in the world with the racism, homophobia, I got so frustrated and I feel like I didn’t have a voice. I wanted to make people laugh.”
Ranging from different baths like Christmas decorations, paint, Barbie dolls, rubber ducks, and the Drag Queen bath, Ferguson’s bath project became a sensation. He didn’t suspect that his idea would’ve caused an uproar.
“It [the bath project] ended up blowing up,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t really have any intentions of this blowing up. Not that I’m that popular.”
The project started with Bunz, a Toronto-based trading community where people exchange goods for other goods. Last year, Ferguson was trading with a woman, who invited him into her home for an exchange. After seeing her bathtub, Ferguson realized how much he missed bathing. He hasn’t had a bathtub in years when he moved to Toronto.
“She was leading me through her place and I was like, ‘S***, you got a bathtub? That’s awesome. I haven’t had a bath in so long.’ because the apartment I was living in only had a stand-up shower.” Ferguson explained. “So I was like, ‘Can I trade you for a bath some time?’ and she was like, ‘Sure.’”
Throughout his project, Ferguson believed that he was only going to go in the bath alone, but people surprised him. Strangers also started to join in on the bath with him and they connected emotionally.
“It’s funny, I didn’t really have any real idea that it was going to happen,” Ferguson replied. “But then the stories started coming out. The whole idea of a bathroom is often thought as a private place, but my friend Hannah said to me that I gave them a place where they can talk about their stories.”