PIERSON TO PERSON
About This Show
Longtime documentary and non-fiction TV producer Brent Pierson talks with a variety of colorful people about everything from living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment business and other interesting fields to creative expression, pursuing one's passion, and the many nuances of the human condition.
Most Recent Episode
DOWN TO CLOWN
DON COLLIVER was working as a non-fiction TV producer when he decided to make a highly unconventional career change and became a professional clown. This episode was recorded three days before Don flew to New York to join the award-winning performance art company Blue Man Group. (44:36) EXPLICIT Many thanks to the composers of the music featured in this episode royalty free through Creative Commons licensing: 1. "Saunter" by Poddington Bear - soundofpicture.com 2. "Curiosity" by Lee Rosevere - leerosevere.bandcamp.com 3. "Second" by Paolo Pavan - paolopavan.info/_s_news/ EPISODE NOTES: Several of my TV producer friends and colleagues have exited the business, but nobody’s exit strategy has been nearly as unconventional as the switch DON COLLIVER made by becoming a professional clown. Now, if you’re imagining Don wearing big floppy shoes and making balloon animals at children’s birthday parties, stop right there. As Don explains in his PIERSON TO PERSON episode DOWN TO CLOWN, his style of clowning is a theatrical art form that allows him to explore a wide-range of human emotions and express himself in a way that is cathartic for the audience: “When I feel an emotion I share it with the audience completely, right into their eyes. Not to be angry at the audience, but to show I’m angry and I know you’ve been angry, too.” The purpose of this expression, Don says, is to make people feel less alone in the world. “People are relating to it, so we’re kind of all in it together. We’re all lonely together, or we’re all sad together, or we’re all transcending together. It’s very personal up there, and the fact that it works is just a miracle.” But clown shows like the ones Don performs in don’t work for everybody: “Some people are really uncomfortable with someone sharing emotion because we spend a lot of time not acknowledging what we’re feeling.” Don remembers one friend who came to see him perform and told him afterwards it really wasn’t her thing: “She was like, ‘I didn’t like your show. My family doesn’t like to feel emotions.’” This is not to say that feeling emotions comes easier or more naturally for Don than it does for anyone else. “In this work, the things that block you are the things that block humans period. What am I not dealing with? What’s my childhood baggage that I’m lugging around? It just comes right into your face the moment you start doing this work, and you are forced to de