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)
Every year I have the chance to photograph one of the most delightful and funny workshops held in NYC. NY Goofs. Here is a short video of an improv performed by 4 of the workshop participants during the final days of the workshop. They are having one this summer as well. Anyone seriously interested in clown, physical comedy and just plain laughs should look into attending. For more information: http://bit.ly/1vhsYrY
I was very interested in hearing the history of the NYGoofs. I had seen the name around for years and knew a few performers that worked with them. Finally a few years ago I began documenting their shows.
WATER FOR CLOWNS is the yet untold story of a troupe of traveling clowns during the depression who endure the harsh reality of show business when a drought prohibits the use of water in their routines. Our story follows a young meteorologist who is just about to graduate from MIT when he learns his dog Biscuit has been hit by a car driven by the parents of a guy who was about to graduate from veterinarian school.
The story of the veterinarian was told in Water For Elephants. Our meteorologist, Dusty Hinkle, gets his turn in the spotlight when he jumps on a train that leads him to the Martini Brothers Circus.
Combining the skills and spills of eight professional loonies, WATER FOR CLOWNS guarantees a night of surprises and visual delights performed by some of America’s greatest clowns. Perfect for all ages, this group of professional clowns and clown teachers gather at the end of the NY Goofs Ultimate Clown School and put together a riotous night of pure insanity and laughter.
Led by Dick Monday, the Goofs received the 2009 Golden Nose Award for Best Clowns, and have appeared worldwide in festivals, theaters and circuses, including Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
The cast includes some of America’s most accomplished physical comedians: Hilary Chaplain, Jay Stewart, Joel Jeske (2011 Drama Desk nominated for Room 17B with Parallel Exit; Live! with Regis and Kelly), Tom Doughterty (Big Apple Circus, Ringling Bros. Circus) Evelyn Tuths, Rob Lok, Mark Gindick(Big Apple Circus), Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday (Late Show with David Letterman; The Tonight Show; Sweet & Lowdown).
The show on OPENING NIGHT was hysterically funny, touching and full of heart felt moments.
Jay Stewart, Mark Gindick, Hilary Chaplain and Evelyn Tuths.
Tom Dougherty and his dog Lucy.
Jay Stewart(l) and Joel Jeske passing some ‘bucks’!
Jay Stewart and Tiffany Riley wash the dishes together.
Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday making moves.
Joel Jeske and Tom Dougherty making funny music.
Hilary Chaplain performing her piece FRANK.
Dick Monday a little ticked off at the failure of his juggling trick.
Tiffany Riley provides the Water for Clowns
Tom Dougherty and his companion Lucy on stage relaxing.
Chet Monday showing off his technical skills with charm.
Hilary Chaplain helps close out the show with some juggling skills.
Rob Lok preparing for the jump rope routine on stilts! He is crazy.
After jumping rope on stilts he proceeds to do a handstand on top of 3 chairs on stilts.
The cast all together ends the show on a high note of dancing and music. (Not visible is Tom Dougherty and Rob Lok)
He recruited, trained and created clowns to perform with The Greatest Show on Earth.
Dick and Tiffany split their time between Dallas and New York. (Mostly Dallas!) Between bring up two children and performing in hospitals and other venues in Dallas they are quite busy!
I just finished doing a video interview with Dick Monday about the NY Goofs and it’s history.
While researching for this post I found a quote from Dick that I thought was great!
“Utilizing the power of laughter to uplift the spirits of humanity is a huge responsibility and one that historically has been left to the clown. As a clown, I gladly accept this challenge and will strive to parody the power and enlighten the people where ever and when ever it is called for. This is what I do for a living. I’m also good at Ping Pong.” – Dick Monday