Several years ago I had the pleasure to interview Jos Houben. A very funny man indeed!
He was appearing at the time in a Beckett play directed by Peter Brook at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. We did the interview in his dressing room and he talked about Beckett, Peter Brook, his show and his teaching of slapstick, theatre, and physical comedy. A great interview posted below!
After watching the film at DocNYC I had to find out more about this wonderful, heartfelt documentary that Larry Pisoni’s son Lorenzo made about his experiences growing up in The Pickle Family Circus. In the lobby, I approached Lorenzo and ask if he would be up for a video interview?
Here it is. A wonderful talk about the film, his show Humor Abuse and his life during the making of his ‘first director’ experience.
Jeff’s first experience as a clown had come as part of the Ringling show, but he felt much more comfortable in the intimate, one-ring European format of the Big Apple Circus. So, in 1983, he became a full-fledged member of the Big Apple Circus’s Clown Alley as “Gordoon,” a newly created clown persona. Mr. Stubbs, Gordoon, and Grandma would be, for the following five years, the iconic clown trio of the Big Apple Circus.
In 1989, in a quixotic attempt to run away from the circus and join a home, Jeff found himself on Broadway, playing The Dean in Bill Irwin’s Largely New York, a role he subsequently played on tour. By 1991-92, however, he was back at the Big Apple Circus, performing in Greetings from Coney Island and, 1992-93, Going Places, a show in which he was the lead character.
Jeff subsequently performed in Asia, appeared with Bill Irwin in the Seattle Rep’s production of Molière’s Scapin, and was for several years “Le Clown Gordoon” at the French Pavillion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center. He then moved to San Francisco, where he became involved with the successful Teatro ZinZanni. In 2000-01, Gordoon was again back at the Big Apple Circus, where he starred inClown Around Town with Tom Dougherty.
Jeff later participated in the Tianjin International Comedy Festival in China (2001) and toured with Circus Vidbel in 2004. He has worked extensively in Asia and the United States, and In 2007-2008, he was featured with Zany Umbrella Circus in Amman, at the Jordan’s Children Museum. In addition, Jeff has done many Artist-in-Residencies in the Pittsburgh area, where he now lives.
Thanks to Circopedia for this Bio of Jeff Gordon. A great resource for all things CIRCUS!
Now that Bill Irwin has joined forces with David Shiner again to present OLD HATS I thought it right to ‘look back’ at Bill’s earlier success. “The Regard of Flight“. The show was performed in many venues before going to Lincoln Center. An earlier version of the show was performed at the Baltimore Theater Festival titled “Murdoch” which I saw.
Bill Irwin was brilliant in choosing Doug Skinner and Michael O’Connor to share the stage with him in this show. They were great! Doug Skinner provided ‘original music’ and Michael O’Connor was hysterical as ‘the critic’ lurching to the stage with comments and questions throughout the show. Wonderful comic timing together made this show a treat for any audience! For those of you that did not see Bill Irwin, Doug Skinner and Michael O’Connor in “The Regard of Flight”…A wonderfully brilliant show!
“It should be said that Mr. Irwin is a contemporary American performance artist whose name belongs alongside those of Buster Keaton and Marcel Marceau.” Mel Gussow NY Times The New York Times Review
Bill Irwin and David Shiner are currently performing their new show “OLD HATS” at the Signature Theater. “one of the funniest shows of the past few years” the New York Post,
In 2014 American Circus Awards were created by Circus Now and The Big Apple Circus to spotlight particular achievements in the circus arts, while drawing attention to the creativity, diversity, and public relevance of circus to American cultural expression. Honorees are nominated by the Celebration Planning Committee and voted on by a select panel composed of various leaders in the circus arts sector.
Community Impact Award – Cirkus Smirkus
This award is given annually to a circus artist or organization that has succecced in harnessing and demonstrating the power of circus arts for community engagement and social good, and in bringing diverse audiences together through quality programming.
Elevating Circus Award – Dominique Jando
This award is given annually to an individual or an organization who has made a lasting contribution to increasing public awareness about the beauty, artistry, creative potential of the circus arts through their body of work, with particular attention paid to interdisciplinary collaboration or expression.
Evolving Circus Award – Bill Irwin
This award is given annually to an individual whose personal and/or professional contributions have made a significant and permanent impact on the circus field in America, with specific consideration of how the recipient’s work has influenced the perception of the circus arts by the American public and the arts and entertainment industry.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Hovey Burgess
This award is given to an individual artist, troupe, or company whose overall contributions to the field and community are substantial, undeniable and significant.
2003-04 Playwright-in-Residence Bill Irwin reunites with fellow clown David Shiner for a new work combining their inimitable magic, slapstick, and hilarity. Using music, technology, and movement, plus other tricks up their sleeves, Irwin and Shiner create another wild and remarkable outing of theatre for a new generation of audiences. Signature is proud to present this dynamic duo’s first collaboration since the smash Broadway hit FOOL MOON.
“Ebullient and Charming” NY TIMES
“One of the funniest shows of the past few years” NY POST
“Leaves the audience buzzing with joy!” Time Out