Monday, January 29, 2018

New Podcast: Ridiculous —The Life of a Clown

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A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed over Skype by Abraham Dover for his podcast, Ridiculous: Life of a Clown. I had fun, and you can see the results here.

Abraham describes the project as a "recurring exploration of clown, featuring theatrical and circus clowns from around the world discussing their careers, inspirations, and art." I've since listened to several of the 20 podcasts, available for free via iTunes or the link below, and I recommend them as being well worth the time spent.

Click this link to access the podcasts, but meanwhile to whet your appetite here's a list of what he's done so far. If you're reading this later than January, 2018, I'm sure there will be more....

1. Jeff Raz: The Secret Life of Clowns
May 12, 2017
In the first episode of Ridiculous:Life of a Clown, we speak with Jeff Raz, Star of Cirque du Soleil, The Pickle Family Circus, The New Pickle Circus, Founder of the Medical Clown Project in San Francisco, and the Clown Conservatory at San Francisco Circus Center, and Author of The Secret Life of Clowns. 

2. Natasha Kaluza: Heart Clowning
May 18, 2017
We speak with Natasha Kaluza, of Coventry and Kaluza, Sweet Can Circus, and Circus Bella, about her life, career, and clowning from the heart.

3. Dan Griffiths: German Expressionism
May 25, 2017
Dan Griffiths, of Clown Lab and Clown Zero medical clowning, talks about his career, West Coast clowning, and the Influence of German Expressionism on his work.

4. Ross Travis: Buffoon, Buffant, Bucko Whaleman
June 1, 2017
We talk to Auteur, Playwright, Mime, Clown, Buffoon, and Acrobat Ross Travis, about his career, his education, political satire, and his new show Bucko Whaleman.

5. Christina Lewis: Clown School SF
June 8, 2017
We talk with the amazing Christina Lewis, career clown and educator who directs San Francisco's oldest clown school, and has done so for 15 years.

6. Steve Smith: Careers and Contract Work
June 12, 2017
We speak with the amazing Steve Smith, Clown, Producer, Director, past dean of the Ringling Clown College, and Director of Big Apple Circus, and many other shows.

7. Jamie Coventry: Music and Partnership
June 29, 2017
We speak with Jamie Coventry of the Duo Coventry and Kaluza, Sweet Can, Circus Bella, the New Pickle Circus, and the band Tin Sandwich, on music, clown life and partnering.

8. Snatch Adams: Clowns and Burlesque
June 29, 2017
We speak with Snatch Adams, Clown and Burlesque Dancer about her life, career and the places where clown and burlesque overlap.

9. Jill Vice: Improvisation
July 6, 2017
We speak with Jill Vice, about her life, career, Improvisation and touring a one-woman show.

10.  David Melendy: Circus Monti, Switzerland, and the Dimitri School
July 13, 2017
We speak with David Melendy, about his time with Circus Monti, the Dimitri School, and being an American clown working in Europe.

11. Slater Penny: The Submarine Show and playing the Edinburg Fringe
July 22, 2017
We speak with Slater Penny, about his career, winning an Emmy, the Submarine show and taking his show to the Edinburg Fringe.

12. Josh Routh: Running a Successful Clown Business
August 4, 2017
We speak with Josh Routh, about his career as a professional clown starting at the age of 12, up through today where he runs a remarkably successful entertainment business with his wife.

13. Helen Donnelly: On Cirque du Soleil and Hospital Clowning in Canada
August 11, 2017
We speak with Helen Donnelly, an award-winning professional theatrical, circus and therapeutic clown artist about Cirque Du Soleil and Hospital Clowning in Canada.

14. William Hall: Commedia, Transferable Skills, and Being a Better Actor
August 25, 2017
We speak with William Hall, co-founder of BATS Improv and Fratelli Bologna, about the importance of improv, commedia, mask work, and acting while clown.

15. Lorenzo Pisoni: Growing Up Pickle, Acting, and the Circus Kid Movie
October 4, 2017
We speak with Lorenzo Pisoni about growing up as a Pickle, Cirque Du Soleil, Acting in New York, and his upcoming documentary, Circus Kid.

16. John Gilkey: Pickle Family Circus, Cirque Du Soleil, Wet the Hippo, and The Idiot
October 20, 2017
We speak with John Gilkey about life in the Pickles, Cirque Du Soleil, Wet the Hippo, and The Ididot workshops.

17.  Roundtable LIVE!
December 07, 2017
In this episode, Gherkin is joined by Steve Smith, Natasha Kaluza, Jamie Coventry, Amelia Van Brunt, and Ross Travis for a roundtable discussion of what it means to be a clown, what a clown is, hecklers, and working with directors, amongst other topics.
Roundtable #1 w/ Bonus Content!
December 07, 2017

18. Derique McGee: Hambone
December 15, 2017
Gherkin is joined by Derique McGee and they discuss Make A Circus, Hambone, Body Percussion, and Minstrelsy.

19. Roundtable: Social Justice and Saving the World
Jan 04, 2018
Gherkin speaks with Steve Smith, Jeff Raz, Jamie Coventry, and Natasha Kaluza about how and if clowns can fix the world around them, and what debt they owe to their culture.

20. John Towsen - Careers, Physical Comedy, and the book Clowns
January 20, 2018
Gherkin talks with the author of the seminal historical work on clowns and physical comedians, Clowns.

As you can see, that's almost one a week. Hats off to Abraham for undertaking such an ambitious project and executing it so well! A few more notes:

• Abrahams's, producer of SF circus festivals, acts, and cabarets, including this past weekend's Clown Cabaret of Justice, a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.
• Jim Moore's fabuloso VaudeVisuals blog has a continuing series of interviews —VaudeVisual Interviews— many with variety performers. Past guests include Geoff Sobelle, Mark Lonergan, Joel Jeske, Jos Houben, Jean-Paul Mullet, Billy Schultz, Hilary Chaplain, Mark Gindick, and the Umbilical Brothers.
Brian A. Bernhard ("Embrace the Weird") has done A Fool's Idea, a similar series of podcasts (some video, some audio) well worth checking out. Guests include Avner Eisenberg, Aitor Basauri, David Lichtenstein, Summer Shapiro, Jango Edwards, Reggie Watts, Eric Davis, Gaby Munoz, yours truly, and many, many more.
• And a little-known fact: Abraham is indeed a direct descendant of the famous vaudeville act, The Dover Twins (Ben and Eileen).

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