Meet Our Medical Clowns
Calvin Kai Ku
Calvin Kai Ku, variety performer, has performed in the prestigious WuQiao Circus Festival in China, events in the U.S. including eBay, Oracle Open World and HGTV, as well as the San Francisco Symphony and the ISES Gala. Through the culmination of his many talents, he now performs his signature comedy pole act. Additionally, his new passion is spreading laughter through his work in hospitals of San Francisco.
Julie Douglas is a Bay Area actor, deviser, teacher and clown. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Julie has performed here in the Bay Area with SF Shakes, Shotgun Players, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and more. She is also a core actor with the site-integrated theatre company We Players where she has performed in Ondine at Sutro Baths, Macbeth at Fort Point (2x), and Odyssey on Angel Island. Before getting her MFA and moving back to the Bay Julie lived and made theatre in Chicago as a company member of The Moving Dock Theatre Company and performing with various Chicago companies. She was previous a medical clown with Clown Zero and can be seen performing in clown cabarets around the Bay. Julie is overjoyed to join the Medical Clown Project, to be back in hospitals sharing her love of laughter and play.
Acrobat, comedienne, and Circus Arts instructor Olivia Hallie Lehrman enjoys creating original circus theatre pieces, both solo and ensemble. As a teacher, she has taught all ages, from Brooklyn to China to Haiti. Her pedagogy focuses on finding the most alive parts of each participant, and allowing that passion to clear out any obstacles in its way. Her work integrates physicality, communication, and relationships between partners. Swinging from Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus flying trapezes to character work with Naropa University Masters students, she has trained within a tight community of friends in Colorado, California, and New York. Her most inspirational teachers, Giovanni Fusetti and Marshall Rosenberg, both see each student as a whole person with countless stories within them. Olivia has attended Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre and Vassar College.
At the age of 21, Michelle auditioned for Ringing Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus on a dare. Three days later she boarded the Red Unit Ringling circus train and began the first of many tours of the United States. Michelle first met Jeff Raz in 2008 while at the Clown Conservatory where she was continuing her clown and circus skills education in San Francisco. Michelle has since toured with Culpepper and Merriweather Circus and performed for a season at Circus World Museum. Currently Michelle is working from her home base, San Francisco for the Medical Clown Project and Velocity Entertainment.
Ross Travis is an Actor/Creator, Bouffon, Physical Comedian and Circus Performer specializing in Chinese pole. He recently co-created and performed in Inversion: Circus Disobedience (2017) and Salvage (2016) with Kinetic Arts Productions. He has been the ringmaster and Chinese pole artist for Flynn Creek Circus for their 2016 and 2017 seasons. He has toured two seasons with Circus Bella, San Francisco’s premiere one ring circus and has worked with Sweet Can Circus, Velocity Circus, Earth Circus, Vau de Vire Society and Le Cirque Boheme. Ross has performed in multiple shows with Firefly Theatre and Circus in Edmonton, Canada, including Craniatrium, Panache and Panache: Part Deux. Ross has a performance company called Antic in a Drain which has been touring internationally with The Greatest Monkey Show On Earth; a primate circus extravaganza that takes a satirical bite out of animal/human agency. Antic in a Drain is currently devising and creating its latest work called Bucko, which will premiere at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park in June 2017. Ross’ work has received numerous awards including the San Francisco Best of Fringe Award, Theatre Bay Area’s Titan Award and the Artistic Risk Award at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Ross is a graduate of the Professional Training Program at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, as well as the Professional Acrobatic Program at the San Francisco Circus Center.
Amelia Van Brunt
Amelia Van Brunt is a professional and award-winning actor/creator, clown, character extraordinaire and founding Artistic Director of theatre company Bad, Bad Bunny. Amelia performs regularly around the San Francisco/Bay Area and specializes in complete physical transformation and ferocious play in her characters. Amelia studied at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater for the Professional Training Program and later returned to complete a master’s thesis on clown. She is a core company member of Cirque de Bohème and also a part of the beloved San Francisco-based clown/cartoon troupe Fou Fou Ha!, with whom she helped create and perform the smash hit show “WHOA-MAN!” which was extended and performed internationally. Amelia completed an artist residence at the San Francisco Circus Center where she developed a one-woman show, In the Blue of Evening, produced by and under Bad, Bad Bunny which tours internationally.
In her life long career as a physical comedienne, Diane Wasnak toured for ten years as a clown and acrobat with San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, was featured in Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” and has performed internationally with various theatrical groups. Diane received her acrobatic training from LuYi, Master Trainer for the Pickle Family Circus and apprenticed with Master Mime, Tony Montanaro. Diane was MoCap stunt double for Jada Pinkett Smith in the “Matrix” games, and on stage Diane received major acclaim for her portrayal of “Puck” in Marin Shakespeare Company’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In 2006, Diane and her dog, Bonzer, made their Broadway debut in “Busker Alley” starring Glenn Close and Jim Dale. Diane was also the first woman cast in Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s production of “A Tuna Christmas”, in which she portrayed 11 characters. Her career spans three decades with many more credits in Stage, Film and Television.