Clown Cabaret

   December 12, 2011

The Shop at Fort Fringe - 607 New York Ave NW

featuring: Toasty Poocracker, Rachel Hynes, Paco Fish, Rich Potter, Karen Beriss
Emcee: Matthew Pauli

*performers subject to change*


Matthew Pauli

Matthew Pauli, co-Producer of Clown Cabaret, is a 1991 graduate of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and has been clowning ever since. He appears regularly at corporate events, street festivals, fairs and picnics and in his stage shows. His work as a clown has taken him around the U.S. and as far as Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since 1999, he has been proud to be part of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Program, performing at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. For 6 years he toured with The Big Apple Circus sharing the role of Grandma with creator and International Clown Hall of Fame inductee Barry Lubin.

Matthew Pauli Clown Cabaret

Karen Beriss

Karen Beriss

Karen Beriss, co-producer and emcee of this month's Clown Cabaret has been a professional magician for over 15 years. Performing at trade shows around the world, her magic and dry sense of humor - combined with corporate messaging skills - have captured the eyes of the press including National Public Radio, Market Place and The Wall Street Journal. She is super excited to have just joined the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program performing at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Karen is a regular at The Comedy Zone in Washington DC. She trained in improv and acting with Second City in New York. And she has performed for celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Kirstie Alley, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, the Washington Capitals and Robert Goulet. Most recently she worked with Leon Redbone. Plus, Karen’s mom thinks Karen is funny – so it must be true.


Rich Potter

Rich Potter is a co-producer and frequent performer for Clown Cabaret. He's studied with Ringling Bros, Maine's Celebration Barn Theater, and Nouveau Clown Institute in Barcelona, Spain, and still hasn't attained his dream of knowing anything.

His appearances on the David Letterman Show, at the Vice Presidential Mansion, in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and other venues domestically and in dozens of other countries have gotten him a laugh or two.

Rich Potter as Guido, Clown Cabaret
Photo Credit: Izolda Trakhtenberg


Jonathan Burns

Flexible Comedy: Jonathan Burns

Born with the gifts of flexibility, curiosity, and goofiness Jonathan now uses these talents to entertain audiences around the world.



Toasty Poocracker

Toasty Poocracker is an actor, educator, graphic and web designer, and clown. Recent acting credits include a national tour with the American Shakespeare Center of The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, and Henry Vin repertory; Richard III and Pride & Prejudice with the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ; Proof with TheatreFest; A Midsummer Night's Dream with the American Globe Theatre; and the film Cult of Sincerity, recently broadcast on PBS. He has also taught workshops and classes in Classical Text, Acting Shakespeare, and Clown as a teaching artist for the Shakespeare Theatre Company and at other venues including Broadway Theatre Workshop, Knox College, and The Center for Baroque & Renaissance Studies' summer program. A proud member of AEA! He received his MFA at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University. BFA, Montclair State University.

Paul Reisman

Paco Fish


Paco Fish, Clown Cabaret
Photo credit: Jay Simpson

Paco Fish thrives on duality. A former scientist, Paco is a dynamic performer of spoken and physical comedy, burlesque, boylesque, stilt walking, juggling, and any other medium where he can find a stage. Most of Paco’s characters exist in multiple forms and his acts are visual representations of the transitions between these coexisting identities. Whether playing the aggressive lion with a heart (and thong) of gold, the go-go dancer working part time as the Grim Reaper (also with a thong of gold), or the bride of indeterminate gender, Paco dismantles assumptions and defies convention with humor and passion. Paco began performing on stage with the Baltimore's underground Stolen Heart Cabaret in 2005 and was a member of the Gilded Lily Burlesque troupe from 2008 to 2010, when he left to create Sticky Buns Burlesque. In 2009, Paco competed in the Burlesque Hall of Fame's "Miss Exotic World" pageant in Las Vegas, and has performed from Boston to San Francisco and Montreal to Kansas City.


Milo the Magnificent

Milo the Magnificent is thrilled to try out his brand new act on stage for the first time ever. He has previously performed in front of dresser mirrors and at his aunt's house. Prepare to be astounded!

Alex Vernon-Milo the Magnificent


Rachel Hynes

Rachel Hynes Clown Cabaret

Rachel Hynes is an actor, director and teacher of physical and devised theatre. She spent seven years creating a myriad of clown characters and cabaret acts with Seattle's Live Girls Theater, among others. She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of avante garde performance group Helsinki Syndrome. Helsinki Syndrome has appeared in On the Boards Northwest New Works Festival (Seattle), Ontological-Hysteric Incubator (New York) and Camden People's Theatre's Sprint Festival (London). She was most recently seen laughing on the streets because she imagined 1,000 kittens parachuting out of a plane. But really, imagine them in free fall, the moment before they pull the ripcord. Rachel is a proud graduate of LISPA, the London International School of Performing Arts.


Sarah Olmsted Thomas is a fourth generation artist. She creates and performs original dance and theatre pieces. She is also a professional actor and has worked with Faction of Fools, Washington Shakespeare Company, Synetic Theater, Young Playwrights' Theater, the Maryland Shakespeare Festival, Ambassador Theater, and Factory 449. Sarah studied clown with Le Samovar École de Clown in Paris and physical theatre with the Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia. B.A., Sarah Lawrence College.

Sarah Olmsted Thomas
Photo credit: Colin Hovde