Joining The Cirkestra

The first thing you hear in our production of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) was composed by Peter Bufano, a graduate of Clown College, a former Ringling Brothers Circus Clown, and now an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Peter talks about his journey from Clown to Composer and shares some of his secrets; his comic and musical inspirations; the difficulty of hitting moving targets; finding the music in a gag; how relationship and function is most important in finding the funny; and the importance of finding and maintaining community in music, in clowning, and in life. (Length 23:39)

Episode 590. Serious Actor Clown

Philip Earl Johnson stars in Enemy of the People at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and talks about the creation of his role in this new adaptation, and how he divides his time between theatre work and his other life as the RenFaire clown MooNiE. Featuring the fundamental virtues of conviction and truth, brushes with rockstar greatness, travels with Angels in America, the value of getting through 200 shows, the art of combining Ibsen with Charlie Chaplin, the magic of whistling, the inspiration of junkyard dogs, and the glory of scoring a leading role the old-fashioned way — by auditioning. (Length 24:17)

Episode 571. The Scary Clown

In this delayed Halloween episode, one scary clown discusses another. Former Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey circus clown Reed Martin (right) reviews the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It, paying particular attention to the accuracy and creepiness of the infamous Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgård, left). Featuring apocryphal stories, the possible origins of coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), the difference between successful and unsuccessful adaptations of Stephen King novels, attention to detail, really scary online groups, and the realization that maybe some irrational fears aren’t quite so irrational after all. (Length 16:50)