Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Clown Alley 1989

The above photo is from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Red Unit's Clown Alley from 1989-90. Pammy, wearing a polka dotted blouse and orange wig, is near the top popping out from behind the clown in a black tux and pink wig. The other clown performer I'd like to point out is the second clown in a black tux (with blue trim) standing at the bottom left. That's Ted Ferlo. The character you see was developed over time and on this tour he was the conductor for the orchestra gag, which occupied all three rings. The part was very physically demanding but what made his performance all the more impressive and amazing but could not have been appreciated by the audience was that he was doing this high energy gag with only one lung. Pammy would see him in the alley after the gag sitting at his trunk, breathing heavily. When she asked him if he was okay he responded that he had only one lung and he just had to sit there and breathe.

Years later Pammy enrolled into the Performing Artist's Musical Theatre Conservatory at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas. Ted Ferlo had been a student in the conservatory years before. It was here that Pammy learned from one of the instructors how he had lost his lung. It had happened downtown in an area known as the Westend, where one could find a variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. One evening while at the Westend with his fellow students, he was stabbed.

That's as much as we could learn from the instructor. He did eventually complete his studies at the conservatory ( a very demanding two year program). He followed that by completing the rigorous program of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College after which he was offered and accepted a contract with their circus. He was a pretty amazing fellow and by all accounts a very funny clown. Rest in peace Ted Ferlo.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ted Ferlo

A friend of Pam's from the road, Ted Ferlo, passed away yesterday in Rome, New York. Below is a link to his obituary on the Pat Cashin's Clown Alley site.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Laugh Long and Prosper

Today was a calm day. It was the kind of day that was conducive for a great deal of thinking; Thinking of Thanksgiving next week and all that I am truly thankful for having. It's easy to take things one shouldn't for granted. I've gotten better about it especially in the last few years. I guess getting older opens your eyes a little more. In these difficult economic times I'm grateful that I can still laugh and find humor in my world. I think it's important to end your day with laughter. It helps you live longer. Enjoy some vintage Laurel and Hardy. Here's to your health.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Doc Ed Update

Doing my thing in the library.

Stewart Elementary on a bright, warm autumn day in November.

Ol' Doc Edwards has just about wrapped up the year with his final two presentations at Stewart Elementary for two groups of 100 fourth and fifth graders. I had some technical difficulties with my projector but the good folks at Stewart came to the rescue with a backup projector. Hazzah to them.

Who knows what the new year will have in store for Doc but it will more than likely be fun.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Nutcracker

My kids are going to be in the upcoming San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet and Metropolitan Classical Ballet production of The Nutcracker. I've never seen a live production of the Christmas classic and seeing it will be all the more special because of my kid's participation. I've seen the Baryshnikov version on PBS for years and can't figure out why I waited so long to see it live.
I think I've even seen the Macaulay Culkin movie version. Ye gods!! The closest I came to seeing it live was being a party guest in a version done at the Irving Arts Center back when we lived in Dallas and that was a paid gig. Go figure! Anyway, don't be like me. See it the right way. See it live, por favor.
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