Wednesday, January 14, 2009


How did television take everything that I really love and turn it into six and a half minutes of something that I really don't?




GothamTomato said...

What is this, a new reality show?

And BTW, the only person who can say the line, 'so you wanna be a clown', correctly is Frosty.

Pat Cashin said...

It looks like a pitch to make a pilot for a reality series.

I hope this thing never sees the light of day and the PBS series is nothing like this.

Something like this done on Kelly-Miller? Sure. A Shrine show? Absolutely. At Big Apple? I HATE IT!

Anonymous said...

So wrong on so many levels

Matthew said...

I can assure you that the PBS thing is nothing like this.

I have no idea what this is.

Mark Lavender said...

Unfortunately, some people find a venue to express their Point Of View of the world as they see it (from a dim and dreary place, it would seem)... and again, unfortunately, some folks don't get there first and show 'em how it oughtta be.
Pat? Might you conjure up a documentary of sorts?
You know things and stuff.
Collaborate with Ken Burns?
It could be a near-fetched idea! Eh?

Anonymous said...

wrong on so many levels we have enough reality shows but to exploit a true art,what can I say

Mark Lavender said...

Reflecting on my last comment, I wasn't kidding.
Think of it... clowning... circus, as told from the point of view of those who love it.
There'd be lots of willing collaborators out there.

Anonymous said...

As someone who taught stand-up comedy for 3 years at Temple University in Philadelphia, I've got to say that comedy (like magic) looses it's "wonder" when it's taught. It makes people think that anyone can learn it (wrong), that anyone can do it (wrong), that it is a skill and not an art (wrong). It is very usefull in awakening the heart of someone with a yearning, but it is harmfull for the less than interested general public.
It takes away the "wonder".
When a budding magician reads a magic book, they salivate and say "Thaaaat's how to do it!"
and begin to practice and polish.
When the less than interested general public reads a magic book,
they smugly say, "Oh, that's how it's done, that's no big deal" And the art is demeaned.
It's the old story - "When you disect a frog, you learn of it's inner workings, but the frog dies"
If this show leaves the general public with the opinion "These are
a special breed of people, I could never do that" then it's a positive. If it leaves them with an "I bet I could do that" smugness, it's a negative. And especially if it presents a lot of baaaaad rainbow wig/halloween costume clown auditioners (and we know reality shows never do that)
it's a negative as well.
But then there's always the "any publicity is better than no publicity" school of thought (which I have never agreed with).
Pat, I differ to you. If you disagree, please don't post this.

Mike Naughton said...

Everybody thinks that their cousin is in show business because he has an accordion.

I have seen amateurs walk onstage in full makeup, clothed and wigged from head to toe, then later when they walk about with out make-up they are INSTANTLY recognized because their "transformation" into a clown was unsuccessful. They still walked and talked humanlike.

I have seen professional clowns entertain in the ring and later, backstage, when they are back into civilian clothes they are hardly recognizable because their "transformation" into a character was so complete that themselves "disappeared".

For the record: I can play the accordion.


The video is now a "private video" which means that people can't just see it. Apparently somebody noticed you posting it Pat.

Anonymous said...

This well may be a "sample" of an independent film/documentary by brothers,Matt & Mark Weber, who filmed Clownfest in Sept. 2007 and followed up with a video interview on Barry Lubin, December 16, 2007. This is my guess. I have not seen the video but I would have to think that it is meant as a... sampler.

Clown training doesn't necessarily turn out clowns. I dare say that many who attend Clownfest do not grow at all but it does afford many people who have talent and drive the opportunity to learn. Even the late Ringling Clown College did not turn out all super clown gems. If these people who ask for training apply thenselves they do grow.

As for myself, I never had that clown training oportunity in my early days. But I was able to go on and become a featured circus performer and producer. I have over thirty-five circuses under my belt, and more.

I initiated and still produce Clownfest. Clownfest is going into it's twenty-eigth year. Once this video clip is put into context it will be better understood. I also worked with the Weber Brothers to produce a make-up video, "Clown-Faced", with tips on make-up application and design from some seasoned professionals.

If I learn any more about that video clip I hope to report it here. Thank you, Vincent Anthony Pagliano Professional Oaf, ie; "VAPPO"

Mike Naughton said...

If clown training doesn't turn out clowns, then is it true that Medical School turns out bus drivers?

If a bus leaves St. Louis at 3:24 am and a train leaves Brooklyn at 5:54 pm, which passengers will have tuna sandwiches for dinner.

I missed the boat to Logic.

Mark Lavender said...

Mike, there were/are days I still can't decide whether to walk to work or carry my lunch.
And why do doctors "practice" medicine? Didn't they go to med school to get it right? :D

To roughly paraphrase someone: Being in clownface and costume no more makes one a clown than standing in a McDonald's makes one a hamburger.(No offense, Ronald) You either is or you ain't got "it".

Mike Naughton said...

When I attended Clown College in 1974 it was after an audition and lengthy application, plus 4 years of waiting till I was 18 to attend.

Clown College trained enrollees to be "professional circus clowns", it was 100 per cent scholarship, all we were responsible for was our transportation, meals and lodging.

Ringling picked people they thought had "potential". Local clown classes pick people because the prospective student can write a check that doesn't bounce.

Suggesting that all clown schools are similar is the same as comparing a Correspondence Course with Yale University.

My grip is that the "hobby clowns" (including Shrine Clowns) have destroyed the secondary market for the professionals, dates such as the shopping centers, company picnics, Christmas shows, etc.

My grip with the Shrine Clowns is that they have forced out the real pros -- all to accommodate the members of the Shrine who are in the Clown Unit (politics) and to keep the Circus budget low (money).

I am very fortunate that I am still in the business, I know many very talented people who have left because of the above unfortunate issues. Our loss.

-- you did not have to go to RBBB Clown College to be a good clown, it was a huge first step into the business -- the diploma is no guarantee of success.

Anonymous said...

Wanted to click on this video to see what everyone was talking about but when I did the screen went black with the words imbedding disabled by request.
Anyway, I think there are alot of valid comments here. It makes me sick to go to local fairs,etc and see "what" is out there calling themselves a clown.

Mike Naughton: remember the definition of a gentleman, "One who can play the accordion, BUT doesn't. Seriously your other comment was interesting...,I had known Greg Desanto for a number of years when he was on RBBB, but had never seen him out of character. Later on when he was on BAC I was in the backyard and he came over wearing street clothes and said "Hi" His voice of course was a tremendous help, but I think my initial reaction was good grief, so that's what you look like.

Paul G...just a fan

PS Hey ! DeSantos please move back to the Northeast.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Vappo,

Will you please elaborate on the 35 circuses that you have under your belt.
Please name them and tell us the length of each engagement.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Anonymous said...


What's with all of the people who feel the need to post their comments, but do not have the ____ to post their names?

It is pretty popular on this site.


Anonymous said...

Earth to Captain Vappo....

Earth to Captain Vappo...

Earth to Captain Vappo...

we have lost contact with Captain Vappo...maybe he is gonna end up in the Hudson with the plane.

Anonymous said...

The balls belong to the person who claims to be in 35 circuses when I can only name about 15-20 in the entire country!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous,

There was a time, a few years back, when there were a lot more than 15-20 circuses in the country. Also, the U.S. is not the only country that has circuses.

Vince is referring to dates, and shows, that he has worked for over the years.

Since you are being so critical here...the big question is, what shows have you worked that you are such an expert?

If you are going to sling the sh__, have something to back up your posts.

Are you the same anonymous who was knocking the Cole show a month or so ago?


Anonymous said...

Why can't the good Mr. Vappo respond for himself? He must be off doing more circus dates.

Stating that a performer has 35 circuses under his belt IMPLIES that he has worked for 35 circuses; a little dodgey I might say.

Mr. Vappo needs to remember that this blog attracts many seasoned performers who are not so easily impressed with self-glorification, specifically self-written press releases.

I've been around a long time and I never heard of him and I have worked on many circuses, not 35 here or abroad.

I was also here a few years ago and there weren't 35 circuses back then either.

I've seen a tape of Super Circus in Montreal -- yawn, yawn, yawn...Mr. Vappo doesn't just stop the show, he brings it to a screeching halt.

Please spare all of us the dribble and drabble.

Anonymous said...

Well, speaking for myself and myself only, I have been in this country since RIngling was under canvas. I, too, am most curious about the Vappo posting of 35 AND more circuses. It does appear to be intentionally misleading. The blog contributor requested more information, which is of interest to myself and several old-timers. With the exception of the smaller mud shows there was never a large amount of major date producers. Back then the producers were fewer in number but they did have "seasons" of sizable length.
Now there were fair dates and night club dates, but I am talking about circus dates.
Since tv is so disappointing I am waiting for this topic to be fully explored so the few old-timers and I will have something to distract our aches and pains.

Anonymous said...

I appologize, but I still do not get the fact that no one has the nerve to post their names.

If you are so well known, and seasoned, than everyone should know who you are and give you the respect you deserve. With the way that you speak, we ALL should know you. And for those of us who were in the business for a while, should have worked with you.

I know, and have work with, MANY of the people who post on this blog. I consider them friends, and respect their thoughts and opinions. And for some reason, they all post their names with their comments.

I read this site on a daily basis for one reason...because Pat has put togther a REAL site for CIRCUS clowns, and I feel that it is a great way to celebrate the past as well as the present. Both seasoned professionals, and first of mays, talking one language...circus.

I will be the first one to appologize for even responding to any annonymous comments. I have a bad habit of defending what I feel is right, and the people who deserve to be defended. I do not like sitting back, and watching people get bashed for the "enjoyment" of others. So once again, I am sorry for getting involved.

Pat, thank you for the opportunity of being able to voice my feelings on these subjects.

-Dan McCalllum

Anonymous said...

I've been away for a few days...what gives with the Vappo-35 Circus date story?

Heat Merchant

Anonymous said...

I believe I am not the only anonymous blogger regarding this topic.
I have been fortunate to come to America and work around the world, I am not a clown but many good friends are.
I don't see any problem in asking somebody to provide more information about a statement they made and presented to be a fact. I didn't know that the clown in question was so successful that he can afford to hire a press agent.
Retired and waiting but not holding my breath. Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

I don't read these blogs. I am busy booking and contracting. but, Pat Cashin suggested that I give an answer, so......

Dear, dear folks and anonymous,
It looks like I woke up a sleeping clown. Why is this about me? Why would I make a statement to a clown blog that I could not prove.

To say I have been on over thirty-five circuses is not an exaggeration. Been there done all of that, and more. Over the years there were many different shows out of all sizes. I was on many tours in the USA, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Canada. On many of them I stood alone without a back-up alley. Danny McCallum was with me as the Ringmaster on several of the runs.

You might say I've been around, my first stage appearance was at the age of one year and ten days at the Palace Theater in Buffalo, NY.

I've even performed before two kings. Plus, I've even performed twenty-three times in Times Square, NYC! Yes, there is much more but I'm not out to impress anyone. I've been clowning since 1976. Yikes was it before anonymous was born?

Several of the shows I produced myself like the tented "International Ambassador Circus" in Kingston, Jamaica. Yes, it had the top names I the business on that run. Then there were my productions in Singapore, Malaysia, Morocco and more.

I don't have to prove myself to anyone. If you want a copy the list I have it and will mail a copy to anyone... simply leave your "given name" and address.

If you never heard of me, no problem. I didn't do all of the shows to please anyone but my audiences. This wasn't about me in the first place. It was about being exploited by a film company. Now it has turned around to exploitation by my peers, ha!

I came into the circus world with a background in corporate advertising and I know how to get things done. If you really want to get pissed off you should hear how much money I was paid in a day! Ugh!!!! Ha!

By the way if anyone is interested in the '71 Airstream I toured in it is i good condition and it is for sale.

Smiles to all and to all that you do...
Vincent A. Pagliano, Clown, Producer