Raz has recently returned from a year-long tour as the lead clown in Cirque du Soleil's "Corteo."
He will discuss and demonstrate the essence and beauty of the art of clowning, which reveals strength, human weaknesses and foibles. His unique perspective focuses on integrating traditional circus skills with clowning- The Commonwealth Club of California
Jeff Raz explores the intersection of circus, theater and music from many different angles - as a clown, an actor, a teacher, a director and a playwright. His 30 year career has taken him from remote Alaskan villages to Broadway, across the continental United States and to Europe and Japan.
Jeff is the founder and director of the Clown Conservatory, the only comprehensive professional clown training program in the United States.
A graduate of the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater, Jeff has performed with Cirque du Soleil, The Pickle Circus, Vaudeville Nouveau and Make*A*Circus and in such theaters as Berkeley Repertory Theater, The Goodman Theater in Chicago, Marin Theater Company, The Kennedy Center, TheaterWorks of Palo Alto, The San Francisco and Marin Shakespeare Festivals and Lincoln Center Theater in New York.
In 2007, Jeff spent the year playing the lead character in Cirque du Soleil's "Corteo".
Clown Conservatory Director Jeff Raz names clowning "the second or third oldest profession" because it is so deeply rooted in nature and the human experience of natural forces -- cause and effect and gravity, for instance.
Raz insists that clowning is not "acting with makeup on" or "dancing with juggling clubs," but a deep natural imitative performance of the human experience.