Jeff Gordon

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Revision as of 21:00, 7 December 2008 by Djando (Talk | contribs) (Clown)


By Dominique Jando

Jeff Gordon was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1954. A former All-American Springboard Champion diver, he graduated from Clown College in 1979, and spent the following year somersaulting over elephants at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. In 1981, he joined the Big Apple Circus, where he worked on the ring crew, and also appeared as a plant in the audience for the Big Apple Circus’s trio of clowns, Carlo Pellegrini (Carlo), Michael Christensen (Mr. Stubbs), and Barry Lubin (Grandma).

Jeff’s first experience as a clown on the Ringling show had not been conclusive, but he felt much more comfortable in the intimate, one-ring European format of the Big Apple Circus. So, in 1983, he became a full-fledged member of that circus’s Clown Alley as "Gordoon," a new, and this time, definitive clown persona. Mr. Stubbs, Gordoon & Grandma would be, for the five years that followed, the iconic clown trio of the Big Apple Circus.

In 1989, in a quixotic attempt to run away from the circus and join a home, Jeff found himself on Broadway, playing The Dean in Bill Irwin’s Largely New York, a role he subsequently played on tour. He was back at the Big Apple Circus in 1991-1992, in Greetings from Coney Island, and 1992-1993, in Going Places, where he was the show’s lead character.

Then Jeff went on to perform in Asia, appeared with Bill Irwin in the Seattle Rep’s production of Molière’s Scapin, and was for several years "Le Clown Gordoon" at the French Pavillion of Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center. He then moved to San Francisco, where he was involved with the very successful Teatro ZinZanni. In 2000-2001, Gordoon was back to the Big Apple Circus, where he starred in Clown Around Town with Tom Dougherty.

Afterwards, Jeff Gordon participated in the Tianjin International Comedy Festival in China (2001), and toured with Circus Vidbel in 2004. He has since worked extensively on dates in the U.S. and in Asia. In 2007 and 2008, he was with Zany Umbrella Circus in Amman, at the Jordan’s Children Museum. He has done many Artist-in-Residencies in the Pittsburgh area, where he now lives.

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