true tales from the clown in charge

The Circus Freaks Blog


A call for help with #clownspotting

I’m beginning work on some much needed clown PR, in hopes of getting a sane voice out there to offset some of the insanity that’s been in the news of late.

I’m starting locally, and I’d love to hear both publicly and privately from clowns in the DFW Metroplex*, specifically on productive ways we can do some good.

*and beyond, as amazingly that’s already happening.

If you are a clown, reach out now.

If you know a clown, please put them in touch with me.

If you’re a fan of clowns, help me start by posting some positive things on social media using the #clownspotting hashtag. We need a unified voice that shows the value of the work clowns do.

If you’re afraid or dislike clowns, I’m sorry you learned that lesson. I’m sorrier still if one of our ranks did something specifically to inspire that fear. If you’d like to talk about that, I’d be interested in hearing your perspective as well.

Please reshare this post. We need all the help we can get.


Conversation with Clowns

Turkish Coffee

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down for a pot of Turkish coffee with the host of the newly launched Avert Your Eyes podcast, Michael Gibson.

As tends to happen when you combine a clown, a journalist, and an ibric full of tasty caffeine, the result of our meeting was a fair bit of philosophical rambling with only a few naughty words tossed in for proper emphasis.

Direct Link:

Road Trip!

Russ on penny farthing - Photo by Gomez Bear

I’ll have a more official listing up soon, but I wanted to share the news as soon as it was official. Thanks to the wonderful folks over at CirqueLouis, I’ll be spending the weekend of November 5th in Louisville teaching my Variety Performance Clinic!

Facebook event page:


Why do some acts work where others stumble?

Performance Skills! That nearly invisible “can only tell if it isn’t there” magic that can elevate an idea into a memorable, show-stopping act.

Above and beyond your raw skill, these are the tools you need as a performer to effectively communicate your stories and passions to an audience.

In this two-day “intensive but not intense” workshop, Russ Sharek will deconstruct and demystify these critical concepts, along with supporting material from the worlds of clown, mime, improv, sketch comedy, classic theater, and circus.

Variety entertainers only get a few minutes on stage. Come learn how to make every second count.

Camera Backlog

I just discovered some wonderful new video editing software. To celebrate, I’m slowly working my way through a small mountain of footage from recent shows.

These will be more formally posted soon, but for now enjoy!

Meet the Paper People

2016-08-17 The Paper Man

Class photo, including a trio of paper people, from a recent experimental movement workshop I taught at the Bath House Cultural Center.

In one session these talented performers brought three living, breathing, and dancing paper puppets to life.

Afterwords we dissected everything that happened, and found new perspectives on applying it all to physical theater and clown.

It was a grand (and admittedly risky) experiment, and I am both thrilled and grateful to have such amazing students to lead me through learning how to teach these concepts.

I’m still sifting my notes and formalizing the structure of the workshop, but I’m excited to have a new teaching method to explore.

Third time’s the charm #EVILpie2016

I taught a few of my workshop students the fine art of pie throwing. At the end of the workshop, I let them take a few shots at me in return.

It took three attempts, but they finally got me. 🙂

NOTE: This was a workshop which included an extensive safety lecture. Please do not try this without proper training, and NEVER pie an unwilling or unwitting participant.