Mark Gindick: Death Defying Schtick

About the Show

The only clown who’s achieved featured-performer status in the circus “trifecta” of the Big Apple Circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Cirque du Soleil — Mark Gindick presents a highly personal performance about circus and clown life. Part masterful and hilarious clown-show, part memoir, part TED-style talk, Death Defying Schtick traces how a lawyer’s kid in the New York suburbs fell in love with physical comedy and by his late teens was touring the country with Ringling Bros.

Rich with humor, honesty and historical sweep, Death Defying Schtick showcases a major American clown’s deeply personal journey through the top touring circus companies. Gindick relives how he got into the circus, thrived and then, after a series of setbacks, almost left it forever. Audiences will gain insight into the day-to-day life of the circus, the artistry of high-level physical comedy and, most of all, this performing artist’s compelling roller-coaster ride of a life story, complete with loss, love, heartbreak and near magical coincidence.

Mark Gindick’s collaborators are co-writer Adam Koplan (FCT Founding Artistic Director, The Flying Carpet Theatre Company) and director Jessi D. Hill (FCT Interim Artistic Director). The Flying Carpet Theatre Company received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to develop Death Defying Schtick. The show is currently being workshopped for its premiere and touring in 2023/24.