Character Face – A Clown College Fantasy
Character Face takes us to the Venice, Florida Arena, where for thirty years Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus held their winter quarters and also ran their Clown College. Abandoned today, former Ringling Clown Nancy Osborn Berman visits and once again the arena becomes a place of wonder and magic, if only for a brief moment.
This film is dedicated to all Clowns, Circus Performers and Circus Fans who still hold onto the dream that is the circus.
Written, Directed and Edited by Nic Beery, (Clown College 1982)
Starring Nancy Osborn Berman, (Clown College 1982), Chuck “Chuck-O” Sidlow, (Clown College 1977) and Jonathan “Mitch” Freddes, (Clown College 1974)
Original Score by John Heitzenrater and as a bonus treat, listen to the score HERE!
Here is a short interview with Nic Beery in the Venice Arena immediately after the filming of Character Face. It is poignant, powerful and touching.
A nice article was written by Nancy Largent about Nic Beery and features his experiences at Clown College and in the Circus. Read it HERE.
The following photo galleries include the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College 15th Anniversary final Performance Program 1982, photos from Clown College 1982 ) and a couple from the road – Ringling Red 1983-1984, the 2012 Film shoot, and stark images of what the arena looks like today. The photo of the Sarasota Film Film Festival, where one of our films screened while we were shooting Character face in April of 2012.
First up is a selection of photos from the Character Face film shoot, April 2012. The photos show a visit from Tito and Papa Gaona and Orlando Bevington, who was responsible for granting us permission to be on the Venice Arena property.
The photo from the Sarasota Film Festival was taken the day after the Character Face shoot. One of our films, Finish Line, screened that day.
It rained right after we started the exterior shooting and we got a bit nervous. Thankfully, it stopped, but as we waited in our car, Chuck-O and Mitch regaled us with some hilarious and tawdry circus stories. Dave and I were glad it rained!
Here are some scans from the 1982 Clown College Program. Interesting to see the floor plan of the arena for Clown College.
Photos from Clown College, 1982.
And finally some stark photos of the abandoned and condemned Venice Arena as it looks today. A sad footnote to the arena is in 2001, while the 9/11 terrorists were taking flight lessons at the adjoining Venice Airport, they squatted in the arena. A terrible moment that affected our magical arena.
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