Wednesday, January 03, 2007

From Marcelo "Peppo" Melison

Hi there, Pat:

I wanted to write you for the last past weeks, I really need to say a huge THANK YOU !!! for the incredible opportunity you are giving me through your blog... But... let me explain myself a little better...

My name is Marcelo Melison, aka PEPPO the Clown. I'm from Argentina, but I emmigrated to Canada seven years ago.
I'm a collector like you, I'm looking here and there for photos, books, newspaper clippings, whatever... I don't exactly remember how I did it, but like a month ago I met your website. Oh dear... How can I make you understand how incredibly happy all the photos and video clips made me?

I saw the one and only Grock on stage for the very first time in my life !!! (almost twenty years ago I met a guy at work, he was from Switzerland, and somehow he mentioned Grock's name, he saw him when he was a child, back in his country... I almost drove him crazy asking him about Grock's act !!!). I saw the Banana Man, a longer clip of his act (I saw a very brief moment of it in the PBS video "Vaudeville" and I loved it... Then I met his official website and because I loved what I saw in some of the photos, I made a huge papier mache hand, like his... children love it !!!). And so many photos, bits of information here and there that inspire me, give me ideas, or, simply, just make me happy...

As I mentioned, I'm from Argentina, so I grew up watching and absorbing the European tradition of clowning (which is the one in use in those small one ring circuses) which means, lots of verbal comedy, some "violent" stooge-like slapstick, and music, a lot of music... Argentinian Clowns usually play "normal" instruments like saxophone, violin, guitar, trombone... and crazy ones like bellows, bicycle pumps, car horns, metal discs, saws, etcetera.

I had the good fortune of meeting a clown who was born in his family circus, he was THE Clown in my book. He took me under his wing and he taught me so, so, so much, that you couldn't believe it. He was a very generous man, he was in his seventies when I met him; he passed away before I moved to Canada. So, when I came to this country I had to study the American style of clowning, with more exagerated costume and make up, more visual action, and pantomime. Quite a learning process !!!.

So, Pat, all this long message to say, again, THANK YOU for all the great work you are doing by helping other "clown scholars" like me to do research and get inspiration for more nutty stuff to be enjoyed for "children of all ages " (I just love that definition).

If you are interested, I can scan some photos of Argentine clowns from my collection and e-mail them to you. Some of the explanatinos could be interesting to you, I think.

Dear Pat, please take care, my best for you and all the people you have in your heart. May God bless you and all the children you make happy. Hope to know from you soon !!!.

Your Brother Clown,

1 comment:

becky said...

Peppo says it all for me. Even tho I am not a clown, I am an old woman who has become just fascinated with the clown history and in stumbling across this blog was absolutely thrilled. I inherited some old circus clown photos and have duplicates of some. This site has helped me identify a couple of the ones that I did not know who they were. I wish to thank you also for this blog and all the information.