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)
What happens when you put a clown in a room with 1000 ping pong balls? KING PONG!
KING PONG’S PING PONG RODEO is a truly unique variety show that dares to ask: When is enough, enough? How much is TOO much? Why do Americans go so far? KING PONG combines two of America’s favorite pastimes, “spittin’ and shootin!’”
Michael Trautman has mastered the skills of working with Ping-Pong balls!
His pure joy of manipulating and playing with Ping-Pong balls is so contagious.
He brings together skills from many disciplines and weaves them together effortlessly.
Managing to put so many Ping-Pong balls in his mouth is hysterical.
Michael works with so many wonderful ‘vaudeville’ style routines in this show.
There is so much to see in this show and his character makes it all very playful.
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As of this posting you only have 2 more chances to see his wonderful show. Great for the entire family!
Maine Circus Academy combines the technique of traditional circus arts with the athletic precision and emotional storytelling of contemporary circus. By harnessing both traditional and “new” circus, Circus Maine is able to offer training that covers all bases — after-school classes for young circus dreamers, adult courses for people interested in a healthy lifestyle and a professional level training program that guides experienced students toward their circus career dreams.
Further, Maine Circus Academy believes in making our programs available to everyone. By offering opportunities to participants from diverse economic and social backgrounds via outreach and scholarships we strengthen our community and enhance the lives of all who come in contact with our efforts.
Circus Maine Academy is committed to bringing the next level of circus arts to New England. Between our comprehensive training programs and our regular performances, we are germinating the next explosion of circus culture. From private lessons with experienced coaches to classes designed to build skills and encourage collaboration with peers, the central goal of Circus Maine Academy is to help students maximize their training and take it as far as their heart desires, whether their goal is to build confidence or build a career. Regular student performances and access to coaches with strong ties to the industry are key to the Circus Maine Academy vision.
Pinion Productions produces our bi-monthly Circus on The Point cabaret, featuring a new cast of international circus artists for every show. In addition, Pinion provides circus entertainment for theaters, schools, festivals and special events throughout New England. Our growing list of corporate clients includes LL Bean, WEX, Camp Sunshine and Whole Foods.
Circus Maine opened their state of the art training and performance facility at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine in the fall of 2015. Thompson’s Point is a fast growing development located just off of I-295 by Portland’s train and bus transportation center. With Circus Maine as the focus, along with an outdoor concert facility, Bissell Bros. Brewery, a wine bar, distillery, and the site of a soon-to-be-built Children’s Museum and new hotel and convention facility, Thompson’s Point is already becoming a new destination in New England.
Hula Hoops galore sitting by the window at Circus Maine!
And last but not least is the ‘tight wire’ rig. This is a wonderful skill to learn for balance.
Three years ago, John Towsen, artistic director of the first NY Clown-Theatre Festival in 1983, hosted a clown-theatre reunion of performers from back in the 80s. When he made plans for a “second tri-annual” clown-theatre reunion this September, Audrey Crabtree suggested he stage a cabaret of older clowns as part of the 2012 festival. The happy result was the sold-out September 28th cabaret, “Return of the Old-Timey Clowns,” which featured twelve acts from a total of fourteen performers.
Area man John Towsen put on his best circus tie to host the festivities.
Hank Smith performs The Mime, a parody of mime clichés to the music of James Brown.
David Tabatsky somehow convinces himself he’s a black cowboy in If I Tell You Now, There’s No Surprise, and Really, What Fun is That?
The Tunisian Toe Tapping Twins with Liz Bolick (left) & Therese Schorn.
Storytelling and face painting come together in Story Faces by Christopher Agostino, a finalist for the 2012 Unique Artist Awards. The volunteer is none other than festival luminary Summer Shapiro.
Hovey Burgess introduces Jim Moore and his film, The Ridiculous Romantic.