Echoes from Center Ring--Book Looks at Rob Torres Influence

Circus News

Echoes from the Center Ring–New Book Looks at the Influence of Rob Torres

I first met Rob Torres in 1998 in my home in Portland Maine. Avner (the Eccentric) Eisenberg had brought Rob to perform that year at PHYZGIG, an annual festival of physical theater and variety artists. I invited the cast and participants to come to my home to celebrate New Year’s Eve for the post-show cast party. He was already a lovely performer to whom audiences gravitated, and over the years of our professional and personal friendship, I saw him grow into the master clown that he became.
Years later, our paths crossed again at the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival. I was chatting with Rob and, having forgotten about our first meeting, told him I was happy to finally meet him. Rob smiled sheepishly before reminding me that we had indeed met before – in my kitchen! I was suitably embarrassed, and Rob was typically generous with his forgiveness. It was that generosity that made Rob such a great clown. His signature routine was a simple concept where he “collected” the applause of his audience in a tiny box, and without words, got them to applaud on cue whenever he opened that box. It was a clear, engaging idea that empowered the audience and made them all part of his show.    ...
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MIchael Trautman

International variety artist Michael Trautman has been performing his one-man shows around the world since 1977. He has appeared in such prestigious venues as the New York International Festival of Clown Theater, Festival D’Ete(Quebec), the Just For Laughs Festival (Montreal), The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Milano Clown Festival (Italy), and the Prague Mime Fest. He was featured in 2018 on The Gong Show with Mike Myers, and appeared previously on WOW! The Most Awesome Acts On Earth, (ABC Television Special), CCTV (Beijing, China), and Le Plus Grande Cabaret du Monde (France 2 TV). Michael was the star clown in the national tour of OOPS! The Big Apple Circus Stage Show, and he was a featured performer in the musical production of BUSKER ALLEY, starring Jim Dale and directed by Tony Walton. In 1993-94, Michael was an Artist-in-Residence at MABOU MINES (New York City), where he created The Dark Clown. From 2016 until 2018, he was the Artistic Director of Circus Maine’s Youth Performance Troupe. Michael continues to tour his various solo shows, perform in Circus and Variety as a featured act and/or Emcee, and work with aspiring artists through teaching, training, mentoring, and directing.