Clown Cabaret


Clown Cabaret is a six-times yearly show that will showcase the bizarre, fun, interesting and silly world of Clown. 

Clowns are terribly misunderstood these days.  Our goal is to change that.  With highly skilled, well-trained performers, Clown Cabaret will not only expand the audience's understanding, but give them the opportunity to laugh, cry, and, maybe, throw a pie in someone's face.

Clown Cabaret was founded in 2010 by DC performers Karen Beriss, Matthew Pauli and Rich Potter in order to give clowns an opportunity to try new material in a supportive and fun spot with a great audience. Variety performers can showcase new material and develop old material and, most importantly, play. 

Join us at our next show!

The Clowns

Karen Beriss

Karen Beriss 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.

Matthew Pauli

Matthew Pauli 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.

Rich Potter

Rich Potter has performed in 21 different countries, and is still welcome back in most of them. David Letterman called him "Inspirational." Tipper Gore merely thought he was "Fantastic." But what better way to describe this veteran of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disneyland, Renaissance faires, corporate shows, arts festivals, and state & county fairs? His unique physical comedy combined with an ability to sound like an idiot in nearly a dozen languages has opened doors all over the world (poorly manufactured latches may also be responsible).

His 2010 command performances at Catalunya, Spain's "Cabaret Cabron" inspired him to pitch in with Washington, DC's fledgling Clown Cabaret. Rich is a graduate of the Ringling Bros'. Clown College, Avner Eisenberg's Eccentric Performing course, and Spain's new Nouveau Clown Institute.

Photo credit: Silly Human Tricks Photography

Technician/Guru: Sean Eustis

Sean Eustis comes from a long line of second strings, mostly D's and A's, but is First String Guru for our lighting and sound. He can sometimes be found directing or acting with local theatre troupes while providing last minute encouragement, advice, patronage and applause to almost anybody who stays in one place long enough to receive it.

Sean Eustis,