Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The very happiest of birthday wishes go out today to Circus Sarasota's Jackie Le Claire.

Happy 29th birthday, Jackie!

K-STRASS: The Weird Yo-Yo Hoax Guy

A strange, strange man has been showing up on morning shows throughout the Midwest, claiming to be a yo-yo trick champion. He is not. He is actually terrible at yo-yo. Yet he keeps getting on the air.

Little is known about "K-Strass," who goes by Kenny Strasser, or sometimes Karl Strassburg. He claims to be from Wisconsin (except when he doesn't). He claims to be from a broken home, with his own addiction issues (except when he isn't).

All we know is that K-Strass has shown up on television six times in the past month, showing off his yo-yo "skills" and generally embarrassing the hosts...




KIDSONGS: A Day at the Circus

Monday, May 10, 2010


Zirk der Ruhe (bad German for "Circus of Silence") is the new circus stage show that Andrew Scharff, Mark Lohr and I have created for hearing impared audiences. We are joined in this new venture by Michael Rosman, Noelle Burke, Lisa Oberg, Moira Lee and Shelly Guy.

Our Facebook page is up now. Our website will be up soon and our fall tour will start just as soon as we are all finished teaching circus camp and Andrew returns from Myrtle Beach. In addition to our shows on the weekends we plan to have hospital programs in Neptune, NJ, Frederick, MD and Philadelphia, PA along with our literacy school and library shows throughout the week.

Our snazzy new logo was created by the amazing Mr. Sandy Weber, the very same Sandy Weber responsible for the new ICHOF logo.


TOM & JERRY: Colgate Comedy Hour (December 14, 1952)



Article courtesy of Don Covington

Ringling photo exhibit features
turn-of-the-century circus performers

By JANUARY HOLMES - jholmes@bradenton.com
Bradenton Herald
Bradenton, Florida
May 9, 2010

They were beautiful and exotic.

Turn-of-the-century circus folk were always known as such. They included clowns, aerialists, contortionists and glamorous ladies with the power to tame tigers.

But beneath the makeup, the costumes and the tricks, they were normal people living a celebrated, gypsy lifestyle.

That’s what can be seen in the Ringling Museum’s next exhibition, “Heyday: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier,” which opens Saturday. Glasier’s camera captured hundreds of these prolific entertainers during the late 1800s and early 1900s, when circus was king.

“The camera has an amazing, unrivaled capacity to record spectacle — and the circus was certainly spectacle,” said Peter Kayafas, co-curator of the exhibition and author of “Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier.” “It’s also clear that Glasier was drawn to people, perhaps to people who were on the margin of conventional society — i.e. circus performers or performers in general, who had some special approach to their craft.”

The Ringling’s Circus Museum collection holds 1,700 of Glasier’s images, but only 60 will be shown for the exhibition.

To coincide with the event, the Sarasota-based contemporary dance troupe Moving Ethos will interpret a handful of Glasier’s circus photos through a dance concert dubbed “The Center Ring” on Friday and Saturday at the Historic Asolo.

Through the lens

Glasier served as the official photographer for the Barnum & Bailey Circus, according to the museum. He had unrestricted access to all aspects of circus life. It may have been a epic assignment for a photographer since, back then, the circus was treated like a front-page news event in each city it traveled to.

“The circus was the largest, single, social spectacle at the time,” said Deborah Walk, co-curator of the exhibition. “It was a common denominator that gave people information about electricity, about hot air balloons. People saw their first car in the circus. The films were first debuted in a circus tent. So it was place where people came.”

But there was a part of the circus where the public couldn’t roam. That was the back lot, where Glasier shot many of his eye-catching photos.

His photo style: Portraits that depict a sort of drama or emotion. They focus solely on the circus entertainers themselves. No one else.

“If you look in the background, there’s never any people,” said Kayafas. “So it’s a private performance for Glasier’s camera and therefore for us.”

Kayafas notes that all of Glasier’s work was done with an ancient precursor to today’s instant digital cameras, which makes Glasier’s talent as a photographer stand out even more. His pictures were taken with view camera — a large, 15-20 pound box of wood with a glass lens, a frosted plate, shutter release and dark cloth that sat on a tripod.

For more information of the Ringling Museum of the Circus, please click the title of this post.