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Tomás Kubínek - clown, international performer, certified lunatic and master of the impossible


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Who certified you as a lunatic?
It was many years ago by mail order off the back of a match book.

How would you describe your performance to people?
A brillant one man show of absurd stories, death defying experiments and spontaneous hilarity, affordably priced and once seen, cherished for a lifetime.

What effect does your performance have on people?
My performance has the usual effects one can expect ; mass hypnosis, attempts on my life, marriage proposals... Mainly I've been told that my work is funny and life affirming. So people laugh and feel good and that has a ripple effect and hopefully they don't do bad things to each other.

Would you say then that what you're selling is mental health?
I like to think I'm giving it away for free and in reality I'm getting paid for sitting around in airports waiting for connecting flights.

What is your vision of what you want to offer audiences, and how has that vision changed over the years?
It has just kept getting deeper and more specific and it seems to be about sharing a craziness and beauty from deep within.

How do you get that hair of yours to stand up?
Wella Balsam and highly focused intimidation tactics.

That invention with the shoes, how did you come up with that?
That was just a closetful of old shoes, a bit of twine and some spare time.

How do you come up with your ideas?
I usually phone my friends and ask them if they have anything new or exciting in their lives and I just use that, or, if I'm pressed for time, I steal something funny from the cartoons in the morning paper. No one gets hurt and I look good... Other than that, things are always popping into my head and I shake them out onto bits of paper and then sometimes they end up on stage.

So how do you know if your audiences will respond to some new idea of yours?
I consult astrologists and bookmakers... If I believe in something enough and it amuses me, the audience goes with it too. Over the course of numerous performances a new idea keeps being refined and shaped. It's all very delicate, instinctive work. Faith and listening are a big part of it.

You've played your shows in many different countries. How do the audiences respond differently around the world?
The differences are as subtle and complex as the differences between the various cultures and really, I love them all. There can also be quite subtle variations in audience response depending on the makup of any given audience on any given day. I find everywhere I play though, that there is appreciation of anarchy, absurdity, humor and the poetic, just in differing degrees.

Do people in other countries understand you and your humor the same way?
In some countries where I am limited by language, I speak very little and communicate more with my hands. It doesn't achieve anything but it distracts them.

How do you stay so physically flexible?
I eat a lot of lard and sleep in a milk crate. That, plus the fact that I stretch alot.

What is important to you?
Looking for the number thirteen. I see it everywhere and all the time in numbers of my everyday life. I was born on August 13 and the number 13 has even been used three time in this paragraph. It's strangely everywhere.

You've gotten all these awards. What's that like? You must be quite proud.
I've come to expect them, really, and feel quite insulted if a week goes by without my receiving one.

What advice would you give to someone else wanting to do something unusual with their life.
Go towards what inspires you and ignore those who say it can't be done and find those who can help you on your path.

What would surprise audiences most about you?
Probably that I am twelve feet tall and have a 23 inch waist. But through clever use of mirrors and holding my body at specific angles to the theatre lights I look quite normal.

What do you think your performance leaves an audience with?
A commitment to greater discernment in choosing their next outing.

What is the wierdest question a reporter ever asked you?
Can I borrow a pencil and some paper?

What do you wish a reporter asked you that no one has ever asked?
Can I carry you back to your dressing room?

What is the best thing about your life?
The best thing about my life is being alive and doing something that is so personal and that I feel has a positive effect on people. That, and the ability to laugh.


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