Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hospital in Israel sets up "medical clowning" degree

Israel university sets up medical clowning degree

Wed Nov 22, 4:23 PM ET

TORONTO, Nov 22 (Reuters Life!) - An Israeli university is taking the notion that laughter is the best medicine seriously, setting up a Bachelor of Arts degree in medical clowning to help legitimize the profession.

Hospitals in many countries use clowning as a form of therapy to help patients' recovery or ease suffering, particularly in children's wards .

The 1998 film "Patch Adams" told the real-life story of a doctor from Virginia who believed humor and humanity needed to play a major role in patient care. Virginia-based Adams' Gesundheit! Institute, founded in 1972, organizes clown trips to hospitals around the world.

But Israel's University of Haifa said it was taking this idea one step further, making medical clowning part of academic studies in what other hospital clowns believe is the first degree of its kind.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Flea circus in Riverdale, NY-- December 3, 2006

A lot of people have been wondering when I'd be performing the flea circus in New York-- here's an opportunity to see the show for FREE! Come check it out, if you get the chance.



KILL DATE 12/3/06


Trained Fleas Perform In Riverdale

RIVERDALE, NY: This winter, the stars treading the boards at the First Annual Riverdale Jewish Arts Festival (December) will be rather difficult to see. That's because they will be insects. Trained insects. Fleas, to be exact.

The show, the Acme Miniature Flea Circus, is an authentic Victorian flea circus that features trained fleas Midge and Madge who perform spectacular circus stunts as seen before (and on top of) the crowned heads of Europe. Midge and Madge will make their Riverdale premier on Sunday, December 3, 2006.

Details magazine called the show "One of the top alternative circuses in the country." The New York Times said "The appeal is irresistible... Gertsacov is every bit the fantastical impresario, in his purple top hat and cash-register voice, introducing us to the wondrous insects itching (sorry) to perform" And the Los Angeles Times says that "Professor Gertsacov holds the audience (and the stars of the show) in the palm of his hand."

According to Professor A.G. Gertsacov, ringmaster and proprietor of the Acme Miniature Circus, flea circuses were popular entertainments during Victorian times, but had nearly disappeared since the advent of television. The last popular American flea circus was Professor Heckler's of Time Square, which left New York in 1957. The rumor is that Heckler thought that the nude shows were giving his fleas a bad name.

There are now only a handful of flea circuses still performing throughout the world. Gertsacov's is arguably the most famous. The Rhode Island native (now based in Yonkers) and his amazing insect stars have performed throughout the country, and in Canada, Chile, and Brazil. He recently spent three months performing in Times Square, less than two blocks from where Professor Heckler once had his fleas. Gertsacov has also been filmed for documentaries on the History Channel, the Travel Channel, and numerous news programs. He's even been a question on Jeopardy!

Gertsacov's educated insect stars pull chariots, dance on a tightwire, and perform other circus-like stunts. While he does not reveal his method of training (a proprietary secret, he explains) , he assures the curious and the civic minded that he uses only methods of positive reinforcement to teach the insects their routines. "I treat them as if they are my own flesh and blood," Gertsacov says. "And in some ways, they are."

Professor Gertsacov will bring his minuscule marvels to perform in their Riverdale premiere on Sunday, December 3, 2006. He invites all curious parties to come and see the show that was deemed one of the top shows of the world famous Spoleto Festival in 2004. But he asks that you leave your dogs and cats at home. Gertsacov quips, "I don't want anyone to steal the show."

Shows are the Riverdale YMHA, 5625 Arlington Ave, Riverdale, NY on Sunday December 3, 2006. Shows at 1 and 2 pm. Admission is free, but seating is limited, so please arrive early.

For more information about the show, or to reserve tickets, contact Erna Brout, Festival Coordinator at the Riverdale Y at (718) 548-8200.
Or visit
For press information, photographs, or interviews, please contact Flea Master Professor A.G. Gertsacov at 917-334-2502 or visit the flea circus website:

WHAT: Acme Miniature Flea Circus at the First Annual Riverdale Jewish Arts Festival
WHERE: Riverdale Y, 5625 Riverdale NY 718-548-8200
WHEN: Sunday December 3, 2006 at 1pm and 2 pm.
COST: Free (seating limited, please arrive early)


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Buffoon Anonymous1

Buffoon Anonymous1
Originally uploaded by kafclown.
Recent photo of myself before a show. I rarely wear makeup lately, and despite that fact, still remembered my Ringling Clown Makeup pretty well. The lines are a little rough, and the red around the mouth is a little less bright than it could be, but overall, I was pretty impressed.