Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Clown-Theatre Reunion

[post 050]

Runners have a saying: the older I get, the faster I used to be. Maybe it's the same for clowns: do our younger selves just keep getting funnier and funnier? Yep, nothing beats nostalgia, which we proved this past September 19th by staging a clown-theatre reunion in my apartment here in New York, bringing together a crowd of people who had worked together back in the day on the NY International Festival of Clown-Theatre (1983, 1985) and other creative projects. I am happy to report that all the women are still strong, all the men still good-looking, and all our children way above average.

Close to 70 people — including guests from Sarasota, Chicago, Berkeley, Boston, Vermont, and the San Juan Islands (Washington state) — squeezed themselves into my humble abode, more than doubling the previous record, and sending my cats into hiding for the duration. The party was even broadcast live via a webcast, which means all you needed was an internet connection to watch whatever was going on within range of my laptop's camera, which is to say in about one-third of one of the rooms... but it was still kinda cool.

So here's a Flickr slideshow of 183 images, some from the 80s and some from the party, currently in no particular order, but I think you'll be able to figure out which is which. (At some point I may organize them into two separate shows, but don't count on it!) Click on the small arrow on the right to watch it here. Better yet, click on the title at the top of the slide show to see it full-size in Flickr, then click on "Slideshow." To see captions and photo credits, click on "Show Info" at the top of the slideshow window.

And what is a gala party without awards? So here be the Award Winners, which I am announcing a mere three months after the festivities:

Sounds Exactly the Same:
Marilyn Galfin

Doesn't Look a Day Older:
Rhona Halpern

Looks a Tad Older, but Certainly Much Younger than Other People Their Age:
Everyone else

Biggest Career Shift:
Jan Greenfield (physician's assistant)

Gained the Most Weight:
None of us, not even a pound

Actually Weighs Less than 25 Years Ago:
Judith Harding

Has the Most Children:
Jan Greenfield? (3)

Most Frequent Flyer Mileage:
Hilary Chaplain

Sound Like They're Descended from Legendary Clowns Even if They're Not:
John Grimaldi and Hilary Chaplain

Burl Ives Lookalike Contest:
Fred Yockers

John McCain Lookalike Contest:
Jim Moore

That Name Change Will Never Fool the FBI:
Zeke Peterhoff

Traveled the Longest Distance:
Fred Yockers

Traveled the Shortest Distance:
Michael McGuigan & Joanna Sherman

Stayed the Longest:
Celia McCarthy (7 hours)
, who also brought us these cool Schtick Happens stickers

Toughest Cookie:
Karen McCarty

Brought the Best Food:
Toss-up between Hovey Burgess and Christopher Agostino/Lorraine Zeller

Reunited Clown Partners:
Michael Zerphy & Hilary Chaplain;
Albert & François Fratellini; Michael Zerphy & Joe Killian; John Towsen & Fred Yockers; Will Shaw & David Tabatsky

Reunited Lovers:
Heh heh, wouldn't you like to know...

Youngest Clown:
Ishah Janssen-Faith

Most Asked Whatever Happened To?:
Noel Parenti

That's it for now, though additional award nominations will be gratefully accepted, and if anyone has more pics, before or after, just e-mail them (screen rez) to me and I'll put them up there. And on a serious note, it was truly wonderful seeing everyone at the reunion. A truly nice group of people. And while I'm being mushy and all, it sure does feel good reaching the 50-post point with this blog. It's been fun revisiting all this cool stuff, but especially wonderful to get back in touch with many old friends and be introduced to a lot of new folks. Merry Christmas, one and all! —jt


Giraffe said...

Just for the record, the red-nosed, 2 year old in the black and white photo is my daughtger, Lailah Melusine Cordiero ( born in a trunk) Simonds. That had to be the very last time she ever accepted to wear a diaper ( Jan Greenfield's bright idea)...and she must have thrown it at Jim Moore ( the phogtographer) a dozen of times before he got that "cute" shot.Stanley Sherman made his first leather nose for a kid and the occasion.The shoot took place in Philippe Petit's and Jim's loft down on Hudson Street.Lailah now lives in Paris, is a visual artist and has a 8 month old daughter named Eloise. Happy Holidays y'all from France, Caroline ( Simonds, alias: Ratapuce/Dr Giraffe)

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