Thursday, October 02, 2008


Mark Lohr (a MASTER pool player and a closed circuit television viewer) and Andrew "I Have a Date Again Tonight" Scharff on the stage of the massive Kimtom 2008 Clown Festival.

Andrew and Mark discuss how to get in touch with Starburst and whether or not Starkist has the dressing room key.

Andrew Scharff, between shows, intently focused on his Chinese language instruction. Andrew is fluent in several different languages, English is not one of them.

Riley Roam and Kenny Mikey. While Riley is a consummate professional it's really Kenny who "puts it all out there" in front of our Chinese audiences.

Christina Gelsone, Mark Lohr (back to the camera) and Seth Bloom have fun between shows discussing (in gramalot) how high-waisted a pair of men's trousers can or should be and whether or not to add extended nasal flute solos to their shows.

Ryan Combs and Steve Copeland redo their makeup, again, as Gregory Parks practices his water spitting and gibberish in the boys alley.

The highlight of the festival so far: We were treated to the rare opportunity to watch Steve work on his new Cirque-inspired, buffon-based character. This new character is known simply as "Monsieur Balloon-Nose". 

He describes this character as "a happy-go-lucky sort of chap. A 'will-of-the-wisp'. A true 21st century comic everyman that is a little bit you, a little bit me. He is a pure comic spirit that challenges audiences to join him on his journey of discovery, revealing hidden truths about traditional gender stereotyping in Native American trickster mythology as he explores universal themes of balloons, duct tape and noses. 

We identify immediately with Monsieur Balloon-Nose. We are him and he is us. He is each of us, if each of us is someone with an extremely oversized balloon duct taped to his or her nose."

Those of us fortunate enough to watch Steve's transformation sat spellbound. We laughed a lot, cried a little and, in the end, learned what it truly meant to be a man mincing around with something or other affixed to your face by some means.

As soon as this festival wraps up Steve will begin intensive work with Sue Morrison and premier new pieces featuring this "delightful and deliciously wicked" new character at the Plattsburgh Fringe Festival in Plattsburgh, NY.

Expect very big things from this talented young man.

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