Rich Potter's formative years were spent dreaming and drawing. Undiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder until his 40s, his travels have spanned 22 different countries. His appearances in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and on The Late Show with David Letterman weren't interesting enough, so one year, he completed a painting every day. Now he writes, performs comedy and produces a monthly clown cabaret in Washington DC. And other stuff, too.
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So, about 3 months ago, The Wife and I packed up our cats and moved to Brooklyn, NY, after nearly a lifetime in Maryland.
Three months. And I’m still unpacking. But then, we were in the house in Maryland for 24 years and I never fully unpacked there either, so…
My first act as a New Yorker was to rent a storage locker.
The Wife and I refer to it — not as something cute like “the shed,” or “the garage,” or “the attic,” but rather, “The Saviour.” Without it, we’d be crucified (or at least squashed akimbo) by all the plastic tubs full of our worldly, semi-useful belongings. As it is, I’m struggling to find wall in my tiny apartment office (which a couple New York friends have called “palatial.”) And our previous house was tiny, by suburban Maryland standards.
Since moving, I’ve been knocking on doors, meeting people, buying coffees, and exploring shows and venues. I’ve done some performing, including some traveling back to Maryland for extant gigs.
In Big Apple, however I’m gathering much information about what opportunities exist in this city of 8.6 million people, but there’s still a few fire hoses to drink from. Probably the most notable work I’ve done is a number of dates with The National Circus Project, teaching circus skills to children. Not the end goal, but honest work.
More later; just saying hi to the blogosphere. So hi!
This time Rich explores an ongoing gig, working as a frontman for a fortune telling booth at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Looking at crowd work, salesmanship, and the dilemma between the art and the mission.
So last week, I went to perform my comedy/juggling act a local juvenile detention center. At first, I thought it would be immigrant teens separated from their parents at the border. The revolving door quality of the facility makes it difficult to predict who will be in at any given time. All that could be counted on is the age: 14-17 year olds. Not my typical demographic, but I jumped in with both feet anyway, to “give back” to some who may not normally be exposed to the type of entertainment that I do. Hat tip to Alain Nu, the Man Who Knows, for connecting me to the fledgling program.
We explore the “Clown’s Eye view” of classic comedy movie, “The Blues Brothers,” (1980) and look at some of the ways that this modern era movie touches on timeless clown archetypes and situations going back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
This time, Rich is tired, semi-coherent, and is barely vertical. On the plus side, it’s the shortest podcast to date. Tune in next week when he’s more awake.
Recorded while walking down the double yellow lines down the middle of his neighborhood’s main road at midnight. A couple edits were to remove the sound of two moving cars encountered during the recording.
Come enjoy a moderately amusing unscripted stroll down a Mid-Atlantic American beach with Rich, as he talks, stream of consciousness, giving voice to his rampant ADD.
I did get *almost* through the entire podcast without using any “Explicit Content” words (Apple gets very indignant if you use “grown-up” words and don’t label “Explicit Content”). Well, around minute 13, I had to edit out a “shit.” But since you’ve just experienced it here, you won’t miss it in the podcast.
Happy “Wednesday!” So it’s a day late. I’m on vacation!