Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Clown School

(Red Skelton and Lucille Ball)

When my daughter told me she was going to go to clown school, I thought, Okay, what new adventure is this? Is she going to join the circus? The rodeo? What’s up with this?

After a few chuckles, she explained to me what clown school is — a school for performing artists to learn the intriguing history of clowns, a variety of new acting skills, and a way to incorporate playfulness and fun into theatrical acting.

The Clown School, located in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California, is one of the top clown schools in America. People from TV and film attend the school in order to further their careers. My daughter, who is a professional singer and performer, has been taking their online classes, and she loves it.

One famous TV clown was Red Skelton, but Lucille Ball was also considered a clown. Her comedy routines, playfulness, and ability to make people love her and laugh, are legendary. I Love Lucy re-runs are still on traditional TV and streaming.

Clowns have been around for thousands of years. In 2400 B.C., Ancient Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty saw priests assuming the role of clowns in order to promote social and religious concepts. Jesters were common in China as early as 300 B.C. They were used in India as interpreters in 100 A.D.

Greek and Roman theater featured clowns and mimes. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, fools and jesters entertained members of the public and the royal courts alike. They were often used to promote religious concepts for the Church. In the 14th century, clowns began to appear on tarot cards.

The Aztecs were employing court jesters for entertainment when the Spanish arrived in 1520 A.D. The Commedia del Arte established the tradition of the three Zannis in 16th century Italy, which included the character of Harlequin.

Among Native Americans, clowns were used to make social and religious statements. Their antics made people laugh and think about the message the clowns were trying to deliver.

The first circus clowns were brought to England by Philip Astley in 1768. And Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), a British entertainer, expanded the role of the clown and earned the title “Father of Modern Clowning.”

For more information about The Clown School, click here: http://www.theclownschool.com.

Have a fun-filled, happy day!

Dawn Pisturino

September 28, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Bela Lugosi: From Jesus Christ to Dracula

(Bela Lugosi as Jesus Christ)

Before he became indelibly inked with the image of Dracula, Bela Lugosi worked as a theater actor in Hungary. He performed with various repertory companies from 1902 until 1913, when he was accepted into the National Theater in Budapest. He stayed with the company until 1919.

According to Lugosi, one of his most memorable and important roles was portraying Jesus Christ in the 1916 production of The Passion Play in Debrecen, Hungary. He was so taken with his resemblance to the traditional image of Christ that he had several photographs taken which still survive today.

In 1927, Lugosi appeared as Count Dracula in the Broadway production of Dracula. His performance and interpretation of the character were so captivating that he was hired to reprise the role in the 1931 Universal movie a few years later. The movie made him a star, and he was forever typecast as a horror icon, even though he would have preferred to move on to other roles.

Bela Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956 in Los Angeles, California and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. His iconic portrayal of Count Dracula lives on in the minds and hearts of all of his fans. Visit his official website: http://www.belalugosi.com.

Dawn Pisturino

April 11, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Gallantry, a one-act opera

Presented to you by CHAMBER OPERA PLAYERS OF L.A., with Ariel Pisturino and E. Scott Levin:

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Video Clip: SUSANNA’S SECRET

THE PRODUCTION WAS A BIG HIT, AND I’M SUPER PROUD OF ARIEL AND SCOTT FOR THEIR INITIATIVE, CREATIVITY, AND HARD WORK.

Good Job!

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SUSANNA’S SECRET

741236_10200175067315166_774457785_o735507_10200175067395168_1763698850_oARIEL PISTURINO (my daughter) and her friend, E. SCOTT LEVIN, recently formed CHAMBER OPERA PLAYERS OF L.A. Their first short production will be SUSANNA’S SECRET, a comic one-act opera written by E. Wolf-Ferrari in 1910. Originally written in Italian, the opera has since been translated into contemporary English. Ariel and Scott are both well-educated, highly-talented performers with the gumption and creativity to succeed. I am enormously proud of them both.

SYNOPSIS: A man who suspects his wife of fooling around discovers the real secret behind his wife’s strange behavior.

Starring ARIEL PISTURINO and E. SCOTT LEVIN. Directed by JOSH SHAW, Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Project.

BUT COME OUT AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!

January 25-26, 2013 at 8 pm

ST. MARK’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1020 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91202
213-260-0007

performances in the Parlour Hall with reception to follow

ADMISSION FREE! Donations appreciated.

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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