Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Of Uncle Yasha and Clowns

Shakespeare & Company's stage combat and clown workshop instructor, the actor Michael Burnet, said to us that every actor has at least one clown, and that one of an actor's jobs is to find him. A friend of mine--Portland neo-vaudevillian Gershon Robboy--has found his in his accordian-playing character, "Uncle Yasha." Gershon says that as Uncle Yasha, he finds freedom in front of an audience he'd otherwise not have.

I've approached Gershon about putting together a song & comedy act, in which I'd get to go public with the singing work I've been doing with Theresa Koon. It only occured to me this morning that this would be a great opportunity for me to 'find my clown,' (which in turn is a great opportunity to finally motivate myself to do more intensive physical work, just as I've been doing vocal work). At Shakespeare & Co., the clown games we played did begin to suggest what kind of clown I might be: something in the direction of Harold Lloyd.

It'd be fun to find out!


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