Page 12 Summer 1989
FRED ZEPLIN ROLLS AGAIN!
ENJOYS EVER-EXPANDING FIELD OF
JOY E. HEW
you ever wondered...
walking on air just an expression? If a 600 pound man flaps his
arms, will he fly? Was Superman a chubby child? Fred Garbo answers
all of these questions and more when he steps info the phone booth
and emerges as... it's a bird... it's a plane... no, it's Fred
"Zeplin" Garbo, the inflatable man! Latch onfor the laugh
of your life as he takes
you into the stratosphere of comedy with his latest creation, the
biggest and newest New Vaudevillian of them all to bounce on the
actually don't do jobs, I do adventures
-- and that's a lot of work!"
Garbo views his chosen profession as one adventure after another --
touring the world making people smile.
most recent conversation with Garbo is as he is rehearsing in
Westerly, R.I., for "Twelfth Night," a community pageant
celebrating the Christmas season that also involved performance
artists Randy Judkins and Tom Murphy. They provide the general mirth
for this show, playing the part of Elizabethan-style court jesters
in a bygone era.
34, considers himself always in partnership with his audiences and
approaches every show, workshop, performance and personal project
with a willingness to work for something special with the audience.
That attitude wins him friends and smiles everywhere.
1989 season is packed with a performance tour covering Canada,
Italy, the United States and Australia, Garbo said. His travels
include shows with Intemational
Children's Festival, the New England New Vaudeville Review and the
International Comedy Festival, to name a few.
demanding tour schedule and the desire to remain a contemporary
performance artist has Garbo determined that his work not be hung on
anyone peg. Instead he searches constantly for new, exciting
technique to bring the smiles to his audiences. "It's great to
make people laugh, but even better to make them smile," says
the juggler who performs relentlessly.
may be watching Garbo perform regularly and not even know it! For
five seasons now he has brought to life Barkley the Dog, one of Jim
Henson's most lovable and active characters in the acclaimed
Children's Television Workshop show, "Sesame
Street." As a huge orange and white shaggy sheep dog, Garbo
woofs, prances, barks and scratches in an incredibly realistic
and hours observing the antics and physical vocabulary of a dog have
gone into the interpretation of Barkley. Garbo prides himself on the
characterization because of the intense professional preparation
required to honestly and realistically play the part of a dog. The
physical demands of the immense costume present a challenge to Garbo
as well, forcing him to stay in top condition to operate it.
is serving as the guest artist-inresidence with our local community
theatre, teaching circus technique to cast members of the amateur
production of the Broadway hit musical, "Barnum." Garbo was
an original Broadway cast member and chief juggler, and he now teaches
workshops in juggling, magic, acrobatics, slapstick, mime and new
traveling with the techniques seminar, he hosts a summer workshop in
June near his home in Norway, Maine, called "Antic Arts
Workshop" with magician Leeland Faulkner.
terms his teaching method "experiential education," because
he simply guides students to an exploration of their own instinctive
abilities. Whether it be twisting balloons into animal shapes,
juggling scarves or imitating a chicken through the art of mime, he
encourages taking a chance on yourself. Students almost always
discover new personal capabilities, opening new avenues of personal
development. Garbo applies this same method of gentle, but persistent
nudging to his own constant search for better and better performances.
Fred Garbo, New Age Vaudevillian, a man of many characters.