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Meet Russ Sharek of Circus Freaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Russ Sharek.

Russ has been described by reliable sources as a zen fool, benevolent supervillain, misanthropic community leader, clown father figure and Impish Cabaret Rasputin.

He prides himself on being a life-long student in the world of theatrical clown, eccentric performance and variety entertainment.

He has traveled around the world to study important things like pie throwing and human stupidity with living circus legends. His formal education includes spending time with impressive idiots from the New York Goofs, the Celebration Barn Theater, SpyMonkey, and the Why Not Institute in London.

When not on tour, Russ splits his time between performing with the Circus Freaks, developing strange bits of physical theater, and teaching almost everything he knows through the Bath House Cultural Center and Soar Creative, LLC.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The American view of the clown has been skewed, and arguably skewered, by negative depictions in popular media. The work we do is about human connection. That unfortunate and inaccurate negative connotation is something we have to overcome before we get a chance to do our job.

Fortunately, we’ve had some wonderful success with dismantling clown phobias. I sometimes think I’d be a therapist if I wasn’t spending all my time running around in baggy pants.

Most of our struggle is behind the scenes, and invisible to the public. Circus performance is a grueling physical discipline, and we train about five days a week on average.

Circus Freaks – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Circus Freaks is a performing ensemble that makes unusual acts of theater and other forms of professional-grade whimsy.

Over the years, we’ve become known for our interactive style of entertainment. We got our early start as street performers, and to this day we keep that idea of an intimate audience connection in the front of our minds when working at any scale.

In addition to creating cabaret-style acts, full stage shows and roving entertainment, we’ve recently added teaching to our offerings. Through a partnership with Soar Creative, we now offer classes in ground-based circus arts, theatrical clown, and various aerial performance skills.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Each and every time an audience member tells us they have revised their opinion about clowns for the better.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
John Allen Grant
Gomez Bear

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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