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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – April 13, 2020

The second week of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition was so much fun. Now we get to see all this great talent every Monday instead of waiting for a whole month. Of course, I miss the LIVE performance at Dixon Place but in the meantime, this is so special! Screengrabs are certainly not a good replacement for good quality camera files but we have to live with what we have at the moment. Here goes week #2!

Keith Nelson opened the show with his ‘Chinese yoyo‘ act. Here is the wonderful top spinning meditation. How long could you look at a top spinning?

Book Kennison juggled with a ceiling secured camera so the viewers had a curious angle to view his juggling routine. Original music and unique viewing angle.

Filling in for another act Michael Rosman performs a rather complicated stunt. Lighting a gasoline-soaked marshmallow that’s sitting on his shoe with his flaming ukelele and then kicking the marshmallow up to be caught by the Nutella spread on a graham cracker he is holding in his mouth. It all worked out well! Thanks for that Michael!

Tyler West is one of my favorite performers. He always gives his show 100% no matter what. Tonight he performed a ‘pantomime’ with an Eric Satie soundtrack. It was surreal and lovely. Great skills mixed with emotion and joy.

Cardone performed a wonderful array of great card manipulations. A master card trick magician (among other great magic skills) and ventriloquist.

Rachel Hipszer balanced on her hands (did an amazing one-arm planche) and many other amazingly beautiful acrobatic skills.

Keith Nelson never stops amazing me with all of his skills. Always learning new routines and doing them so wonderfully. Here he balances 4 delicate glasses on a 3 layer pyramid.

Pinch and Squeal (Jason and Danielle Tilk) performed a lovely duet singing and playing the banjolele (cross between a ukulele and banjo) and accordion.

Paprika Leaverton performed some lovely hat tricks and magic for the viewers.

Coney Island Chris (Chris Alison) stunned the viewers with his strange ‘eating glass’ stunt. Chewing on a GE light bulb and swallowing the glass particles was both strange and funny. He claims to have learned his skills in a ‘How-to internet Sideshow course’.

The entire production of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition depends on donations from the fans viewing the show. Here are the methods you can use to help make this wonderful tradition continue weekly during this quarantined time!

If YOU want to participate as a PERFORMER in this show contact Keith at the email address above. Always open to new acts from all over the world!

Elizabeth Munn performed a hysterical romp singing and dancing in her narrow hallway. Performing upside down on a chinning bar and all the time keeping up her song.

Here is Elizabeth in the last moments of her song!

Thanks to all of the folks that made this wonderful show possible!


Next Monday at 7:30pm! The show must go on no matter what!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show – Quarantine Edition – April 6, 2020

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus has a long history and it is their ‘fortitude’ that has kept them going all these years. This is especially true during these times of ‘pandemic’ and ‘shut-in’ life. To continue the over 10-year-old tradition of the Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show they had to come to terms with a new ‘venue’ to present their show. The internet! (Previously presented in the wonderful Dixon Place venue) So here are highlights from the 1st (of many to come) Bindlestiff Quarantine Edition! (please excuse the image quality as they have been screen grabs of the video!)

Bindlestiff co-founder Keith Nelson hosts the new ‘Quarantine Edition’ of the Variety Show

Magic Mike performs his classic color changing coloring book.

Hat juggling was featured by Kathyrn Carr

A surreal clown routine was delightful from Benjamin Domask-Ruh

Michael Rosman brought an exciting highwire act with fire and his two dogs to the backyard stage he created.

Butch and Buttercup showed off their delightful acrobatic skills.

Marcia Curran helped clean up the ‘virtual stage’ from a past mess at Dixon Place.

Nelson Lugo showed us his magical skills with the ‘shell game’ routine.

Keith uses his bullwhip to cut the cigarette from the audience volunteer’s mouth.

TruDee dances with her enchanted ‘colored ribbon’ for the show.

Brad Shur and his puppet dance on the wire.

Bruce and Matthew Lish create some comical havoc trying to perform a balloon stunt.

Zeroboy creates a ‘sound effect’ world with his voice acrobatic talent.

Keith Nelson performs the classic ‘sideshow’ sword swallowing act.

Miss Ekaterina encourages the viewers to dig a ‘foxhole’ to stay safe. Like her favorite animal.

Nigel Blackstorm performs the classic ‘linking rings’ to heavy metal music.

Keith encourages performers to consider performing on the ‘weekly’ Open Stage show. By contacting him you can arrange to be one of the performers on upcoming editions.

Ellia Bisker explains to the viewers that their help is needed to continue producing the show weekly. Here are a few methods for making ‘tax-deductible’ contributions.

Kyla performs a beautiful aerial on the rope with grace and finesse.

In the final minutes of the show Keith THANKS all the folks that made it possible to broadcast the 1st Quarantine Edition of The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show.

Stay tuned for the NEXT WEEKS show.

Click here for more information!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dixon Place Music Performing Arts Photography Story Teller Variety Arts Video Women

March 2020 – Bindlestiff Open Stage @Dixon Place

So. for starters we are now in ‘Lockdown’ in New York City. The next Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show will be broadcast to you on the internet. I will try and take some screenshots for those folks who won’t be able to watch. Here is last month’s show in pictures!

Bindlestiff’s co-founder and host for the show Keith Nelson takes the first slot in the show for his ‘Chinese yoyo’ routine.

Maks and Chelsea perform their hysterical antics.

In the spirit of vaudeville Keith takes his time winding the string on his top.

Keith gives an example of how ‘folks’ use to have longer attention spans and looks at the top.

Mariko Iwasa invites an audience member to be part of her performance ‘tea’ ceremony.

The volunteer clad in a Japanese kimono and waiting to sample the tea that Mariko is pouring.

Delaney Bayes performed a beautifully lyrical juggling routine with grace and finesse.

Keith threw a potato into the air and caught on a fork. Nice move!

Ellia Klein was amazing in her contortion act.

Mark Gindick came on stage with a ‘singer’ persona but it changed when Michael Bongar intruded.

And then he recruited an audience member that was blown away by Michael Bongar leaf blower!

Molly Siksin performed on the trapeze with skill and abandonment.

Cassandra Nemser was very vocal (she sang Opera) while escaping from her straightjacket.

Miss 360 performed a deLIGHTful hula hoop routine.

Cleo Carol Knopf sang an original song about her ‘hero’ Bernie Sanders!

Jean-Taé S. Francis performed a charming ‘rola-bola’ act.

Surprising the audience with his Spider-Man costume was aerialist Shawn E. Shawn.

~On April 6th, 2020 The Bindlestiff Open Stage Show will be Broadcast on the internet~

I hope you enjoy this new VERSION of the show! Stay tuned for more information.

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Dixon Place Magic Music Photography Physical Theater Variety Arts Women

Feb. 2020 – Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show

Every first Monday of the month the folks at Bindlestiff Family Cirkus put together a variety show with everyone invited. New performers and seasoned ones can all try out their acts on the lovely Dixon Place stage. This month was short and sweet! Only 9 acts!

Hosted by Keith Nelson of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus organization. A great performer with numerous skills from many performing arts disciplines. Here he is opening the show with his ‘Chinese yoyo’ act.

Luther Bangart followed Keith with some lovely poetic club juggling.

Book Kennison and Logan Kerr slowed down the evening with a musical duet.

The next act was something new for the delightful and very funny Joel Jeske. An excerpt from his new one-man show ‘The Artist Will Be With You in a Moment“.

Host Keith attempted to catch an imaginary bottle of water on an imaginary umbrella.

He did catch the small urn on the stick!

The charming and very talented mentalist Robin Channing startled the audience with his amazing skills. I thought of a word and told him my birthday and he had them written down on a post-it during his drive to the theater earlier that night!

After intermission, the show began with some political song from aerialist/singer/choreographer Cleo Carol Knopf.

The next act was Jacob D’Eustachio who recently returned from his working with UK based Giffords Circus. I photographed Jacob in 2009 performing at the Bindlestiff show and now he is back in NY for more juggling/comedy mischief.

Jacob started by juggling some machetes and then handed out lemons to quite a few audience members and ask that they throw them at him. He did cut a few in half with the machetes.

Recently relocated to NY, Rich Potter is a clown with lots of performing history up north. He is trying out material in NY. Tonight he performed a ‘surreal’ piece of comedic physical clown.

The last act of the evening was aerialist Nina Gershy musically accompanied by Book Kennison and Logan Kerr.

Every first Monday of the Month at Dixon Place! Lots of great acts and always surprises.

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American Circus Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Clown Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Magic Photography

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – November 2019 – Dixon Place

The people that make this show possible are sometimes not known or seen.

One of them is Marcia Curran – Stage manager for the Bindlestiff Open Stage (and many other shows)

Here she is with Yoyo master Justin Weber before the show.

Also, one of the vital people that makes Dixon Place work is Mike!

Mike Griffiths is one of the people that makes Dixon Place tick like a well-oiled clock. His official title is “Marketing & Audience Development Associate”. You know he works hard at that!  Along with Production manager Rob Lariviere who makes all the shows look and sound great!

There are quite a few other people you should know. Check them out here.

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Bindlestiff Open Stage master of ceremonies Keith Nelson starts the show-off.

Keith gets the show going with his ‘Chinese yoyo’ act.

The acrobatic duo Aryn Shelander and Jeffrey Stilt were amazing in their skills.

They were accompanied by two lovely violinists ~ Irene Fong and Melissa Tong

In between the acts, Keith entertains the audience with his favorite past time.

Rich Potter brought his ‘ghoulish’ Zach Flash character to juggle for the audience.

The lucky audience volunteer got to give Zach (Rich Potter) a smooch.

In keeping with tradition, Keith got to try out a new juggling routine with a flying bat.

The lovely Lauren Elizabeth performed a ‘staff’ act.

Great skills mixed with costume and makeup made this act wonderful.

Jeff Moche performed some amazing mentalist magic tricks using audience volunteers.

The card tricks were very mind-blowing and intelligently challenging to the audience.

Keith practices putting out a match with his whip cracking.

Lisa and Julian danced up a storm for the audience.

Magic Brian performed 2 charming audience volunteer mentalist tricks.

Standing back to back he drew almost exactly with the audience volunteer drew.

Yoyo master Justin Weber made his yoyos doing amazing things.

His finale was to jump rope using his yoyo.

The first Monday of every month at Dixon Place – Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue!

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Aerial Acts American Circus Circus Comedy Juggling Music Performing Arts Photography The Connelly Theater Variety Arts Video

Bindlestiff’s “brooklyn abridged” show at The Connelly Theater

Bindlestiff’s own Keith Nelson begins the wonderful show!

Ermiyas Muluken (from Ethopia) performs his amazing ‘ladder act’.

The multi-talented Cassady Rose Bonjo performed her ‘hula-hoop’ act.

Flying high above the stage was the remarkable Kenneth Stephen Neil.

Bringing the audience back to the sideshow Keith Nelson performs ‘blockhead’.

What goes into the head must come out. Keith removes the nail from his skull

Angela Buccinni and Yoni Kallal perform their wonderful acrobatic duo act.

Esther de Monteflores manipulates the cigar boxes with finese.

Cassady Rose Bonjo performs another of her many skills.

Esther de Monteflores performs a lovely and very unique slack wire act.

Ermiyas Muluken performs a ‘wild’ high rolla bolla act.

Curtain call for all the incredible performers at the ‘brooklyn abridged’ show.

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Composer/Music Director – Sxip Shirey

Audio Design – Kris Anton

Band – Sxip Shirey and Nathan Repasz

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For more information/tickets!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Circus Comedy Juggling Magic Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Variety Arts

Bindlestiff Open Stage ~ Mirror Tent at Big Apple Circus ~ 1/7/2019

Guest Photographer/Blogger Maike Schulz

On this special The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue was hosted at the Mirror Tent at Lincoln Center on January 7th. It was an amazing lineup of great acts. I am posting the work of photographer Maike Schulz who has specialized in shooting circus worldwide for many years. Her work is stunning!

Bindlestiff Co-founder Keith Nelson hosted this wonderful evening of variety arts.

Opening the show with his ‘Chinese YoYo’ act was Keith Nelson.

One of my favorite acts is A.J.Silver who performs a great lasso and whip cracking act.

TruDe was next to shake up the audience with her hysterical comedy dancing and cavorting.

Yoyo master Justin Weber does the most amazing moves with his Yoyo and Diablo.

Magic Mike made a ‘rare’ appearance performing his ‘classic’ type magic tricks(schtick).

Butch and Buttercup (Angela Butch and Yoni Kallai) performed an amazing acrobatic duo.

Keith performs many ‘sideshow’ stunts and this Kendama Blockhead is one of them.

After intermission the suave and handsome Wilfredo took the stage to entertain.

The comedy/juggling brother duo Collin and Shane Miclon added more humor and skill to the night’s festivities.

Zero Boy added his own brand of ‘audio gymnastics’ to the evening.

The final act for the night was the traditional vaudeville 8 plate spin by Keith Nelson.

You can see more of Maike’s wonderful photography at her website or in the upcoming Limited Edition Rob Torres Tribute book which you can check out here.

The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue happens every first MONDAY of the month at Dixon Place!

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Clown Comedy Photography

The Clown UnMasked Series – A Comprehensive List 2010 – 2016

The Clown UnMasked

In 2010 I had a concept in my head one day that I should photograph my favorite subjects (Clowns) without their performance costume and makeup and match it with a performance shot. The ‘Unmask’ shot would be black and white and the performance shot in color.  I decided to call it The Clown UnMask. I began shooting in Feb. 2010 with one of the funniest clowns I know and admire. Glen Heroy.

I followed up with many more (almost 50) until I stopped shooting the series in 2016. Here is a comprehensive list of the performers (with links to the original posts) I documented in my ‘hallway’ studio. In the order in which I photographed them. Full post are reached by using the links. Some portrait are provided for visual excitement!

(The wall came down in 2016 so the series was discontinued)

Matt Mitler

Clowns ExMachina

John Leo

Eric Davis

Hilary Chaplain

Audrey Crabtree

Keith Nelson

Ambrose Martos

Joel Jeske

Amy Gordon

Rob Torres

Patrick de Valette

Tiffany Riley

Dick Monday

Julie Ferrier

Fred Blin

Tanya Elchuk

Nina Levine

Hew Parham

Mark Gindick

Peter Daniel Straus

Kevin C. Carr

Jeff Hess

Chris Allison

Drew Richardson

Lilli Sukula Lindblom

Mona Ray

Thom Monckton

Sampo Kurppa

Jenny Lee Mitchell

Michael Trautman

Jennifer Sargent

Maja Bieler

Helen Donnelly

James Godwin

Avner Eisenberg

Summer Shapiro

Neil Arthur James

Gustavo Pace

Didi Sanchezco

Kenny Raskin

Mooky Cornish

Adam Kuchler

Barry Lubin

Daniel Passer

Angela Delfini

Armitage Shanks

Matt Roper

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dixon Place Performing Arts Photography Video Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – October 2018

What  a great night of Variety Arts!

Bindlestiff Open Stage Host Keith Nelson starts the show off with his delightful ‘chinese yoyo’.

Alexandra Sack & Ellie Klein perform a lovely contortion act.

~ ~ ~Keith has so many circus and variety art skills and one of his favorites is the ‘yoyo’.

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Therese and Liz Bolick with the ‘Bolivian Bonker Bird’ puppet act.Obviously the ‘Bonker Bird’ did not get along with everyone! Very funny act.

~ ~ ~Billy Hedglin Taylor had the audience roaring with his Disney character impersonations.More fun with his ‘Goofy’ impersonation and a song from ‘Frozen’.

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Leah Orleans and Etienne McGinley are the ‘Acrobatrix’ and they are funny and talented!

Acrobatrix are skilled in acrobatics and in comedy duo work.

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Aaron Bonk cracked the whips with so much control and skill. Cracking the whips and then flipping them in the air and cracking them again after catching.

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Angela Butch and Yoni Kallai performed a comedy acro duo that was wonderful.

With sheer muscle and a great sense of comedy these two were so much fun to watch.

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Zero Boy entertains the audience with his vocal acrobatics. Tonight he worked on the ‘gangsta’ routine “Jimmy Z” with audience suggestions.Zero Boy was ‘dressed to kill’ as ‘Jimmy Z the moiderer‘ with suggestions from the audience.

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The host Keith Nelson performed his ‘vaudeville’ plate spinning act as the finale.The camera captured this shot with all the spoons heading for the appropriate aluminum mixing glasses.

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue happens the FIRST MONDAY of every month at Dixon Place!

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Some Videos from the show!

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Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Show Comedy Dance Dixon Place Juggling Magic Performing Arts Photography Women

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue – August 2018

Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety RevueHost for Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue and coproducer Keith Nelson starts the show.

Keith opens the show with his very skilled ‘Chinese Yoyo’ act.

Conjuror Nelson Lugo entertained the audience with a wonderful adaptation of classic magic trick. 

His magic skills are excellent and telling stories about his dreams got the audience going.

Keith returned in between acts and introduced his top spinning act.

Zero Boy shared some improv with aural acrobatics with the audience.

Utilizing mime skills and storytelling Zero Boy communicates stories to the audience.

Jason Applebaum brought poetry to the Variety Revue.

Keith loves to play with fire in his sideshow act. Here is a plain wooden match which he decides to eat to the amazement of the audience.

Lou Johnson brought some good ole classic juggling to the show.

Lou Johnson made it a fun act with his ‘amused’ look.

Barbara Gentile and Emily Blue made a beautiful aerial act for the audience.

Stagehand (for the night)  (And mighty wonderful performer) Adam Auslander encourages the audience to contribute to the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. A not-for-profit group.

Slight of hand magician Greg Dubin (The Great Dubini)  fooled the audience with a great trick.

The audience volunteer watched as the card she is secretly selected rises out of the deck before her eyes.

Lou Johnson juggles with real fencing swords.

Keith Nelson flips an apple and knife into the air and when they come back the knife lands in the apple.

Venatrix performed a wild burlesque act with a red heart filled with liquid.

Keith always surprises the audience with one of his wicked sideshow acts. Here he picks up the yo-yo with a fishhook stuck in his tongue.

Marcela Duarte performed a wonderful dance piece that ended in the air.

Great show with wonderful talented performers. Every first Monday of the month

at Dixon Place – The Bindlestiff Open Stage Variety Revue.

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