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


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Clown College Newsletter 1996

Below is an article from a newsletter put out by the RBBBC Clown College when it still existed.  All the Clown College alumni that were on their mailing list started receiving it in the mid-nineties.  It's purpose was to keep up with what was going on in the lives of RBBBC Clown College graduates. This was way before Facebook although, honestly, I'd rather have the newsletter. 

I don't know how long it was published but I think I got a couple of newsletters before before Clown College shut it's doors forever. The first newsletter article I'd like to share is about Tom and Tammy Parrish, who as husband and wife spent almost twenty years on the road with the Ringling Blue Unit. The piece describes their plans about life after the road. More articles coming soon.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Roundup

It's week two of the theater class Pammy is teaching at St. Phillips. Actually it's more of a musical theater class that she's teaching. The kids are doing great and really developing their confidence and performing skills.  Lots of breakthroughs have happened for the kids in just the past four days.

I did a couple of Doc Ed shows this week. One of them was a last minute booking that I was able to cover over at the Botanical Center. But the one I enjoyed the most was the one I did over at Valley Hi Elementary. The kids were making me laugh just as much as I made them. They also asked a lot of questions and normally I try to keep the questions until the end but in this case it felt okay to stop to answer their questions. Summer camps can also be a challenge because the kids are there to have fun and not in the mindset to learn about how an aquifer forms. I was pleasantly surprised because they wanted to learn so I took my time and let the show flow at a different pace. It worked out really well. 

I owe a lot of the success I've had with these presentations to the years I spent entertaining kids at birthday parties. You have to really think on your feet in those settings. I've had some rough gigs as many of us in this line of work have had. Some folks don't have much respect for those who entertain at birthdays but if you put one of them in that kind of environment to do a show they wouldn't fare very well.

And I don't want to forget to mention the voice over gig I got this week. That's the kind of work that will hopefully be a bigger part of our future. This afternoon I picked up a couple of dvd collections of Saturday morning cartoons from the 1960's. Some of the best voices ever are on those cartoons.

Anywho, that's all for now. Have a good weekend!  


Oh, The Fun We Had

Yesterday we all went to see the latest Madagascar movie where the brave band of former zoo residents find themselves seeking refuge in a circus train. Wonderful! It's a pretty funny movie and we'll probably see it again once it gets to the second run house. It seems silly though, but it made us homesick for the circus and the train. See the movie. Great characters and the Penguins are the hilarious as usual.


Why A Duck?

Yesterday morning I got to stop by Pammy's theater class once again because I had a mini- proscenium to set up for use in their weekly talent show. It's the same set up I used for my birthday party marionette shows. It's very portable and easy to set up and tear down.

The kids sang, danced, played piano and guitar. All in all a very talented group of kids. The kids also worked on a dance and did a script read through.  At the end of the day Pammy got a look at some of the costumes pieces the kids will be wearing for the show. The photo above shows the head pieces the kids will wear as part of their costumes. They looked great! Nicely made and the colors on each were very appealing. I can't wait to see what the rest of the costumes look like.

Good Comedy in Salado

Salado Silver Spur Theater
The Seven Year Itch
Opening Night 22 June 2012

Starting this weekend the good folks at the Salado Silver Spur will be presenting "The Seven Year Itch" the play by George Axelrod that became the classic film starring Marylin Monroe. Cast in the leading role as "The Girl" is former Ringling Circus clown and Le Theatre de Marionette puppeteer Melodee Lenz. Melodee is the classic triple threat. The equally talented and funny Grainger Esch stars in the role of  Richard Sherman. The Salado Silver Spur is just north of Austin, so if your looking to get away for a little while drive up to Salado, Texas to get acquainted with the Salado Silver Spur. For more information go to their website via the link below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Busy ,Busy, Busy!

Today was a very fun day. This morning the kids and I payed a visit to St. Phillips College to check out the theatre class Pammy is teaching. Part of the reason we were there was so that I could lend an extra hand working out a bit of physical comedy Pammy would like the kids to do for the show. 

The kids, by the way, are very talented and looked like they're having a very good time. Pammy had them run through a dance routine they'll be doing for the show and then they did a second dance the kids learned just for the fun of it. Both numbers looked great and the kids performed them with lots of performance energy and enthusiasm. 

The kids also did a pyramid and it looked nice. Lot'sa 'o' fun stuff happenin'. I'll there again tomorrow to help out with their weekly talent show. Should be fun!

A couple of hours later I was in a recording studio doing a voice over for a last minute gig. It was fun and I got to do a couple of voices. One had a Russian accent while the other was Spanish a la Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots. Fun, fun, fun. If the clients like the work it might mean more voice over work to do this summer. Keep your fingers crossed!

On the Road with Doc Edwards

Yesterday I was enjoying the afternoon teaching the kids all about the Edwards Aquifer and entertaining them a little too at a summer camp over at the Botanical Center. Tomorrow Doc Ed will be at Valley High relaying some helpful info about the good ol' Edwards Aquifer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kevin Barnes: Eco Magician

  Kevin Barnes' Eco-Magic Set.

Kevin Barnes is a magician based out of Las Vegas who travels around the country presenting his Green Earth Magic Show. I met him a few years back at the San Antonio Water System (S.A.W.S.) sponsored event: Camp H2O, where I was schedule to do my Doc Ed show. He was very friendly and we talked shop and exchanged stories until it was time for his show. It was a mix of stage illusions and prestidigitation. It was very entertaining and, of course, educational. 

Afterwards, he gave me a  "Kevin Barnes Eco Magic Set" for my kids. I thought it was a wonderful idea to have magic kits along with the show. I think they are meant for smaller scale presentations where the children would receive the magic kit as a gift so he didn't hand them out at that particular event. I don't know why I didn't post about it before but better late than never.
 Kevin Barnes and I at the Camp H2O event sponsored by S.A.W.S.

As a performer I've always thought it a good idea to have things like a magic kit or some special item that is specifically associated with your character or show. I think it makes it more fun for the kids. Rik Gern a.k.a. Bonzo Crunch of Austin, Texas gives out  t-shirts with a 1930's styled cartoon drawing of himself juggling his pizzas. As Doc Ed I've got a variety of goodies to offer. I have to say Kevin's is the coolest one I've seen so far.

For more on magician Kevin Barnes and his Green Earth Magic Show click on the link below to go to his website.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Doc Ed Shows

Here I am as my alter ego Doc Edwards edu-taining the kids this past Friday at the Witte Museum. Tomorrow I'll be at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens where I understand they have a lot of plants.
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