Local Rubber Soul Yoga studio owner and dreamer, Cal Clements, and his clown troupe of performance artists will entertain you with comedy, music and a whole lot of spontaneity. The Thunder Dreamers are Cal as Baggy Wrinkles, Morgan King as Mobius T. Dobius, Parker Nayman as Parko Larko, and Michelle Carver as Droopy Wiener (or Droopy Earlobe, depending on the audience). They are based here in Athens, Georgia. Cal is the director and the rest of the troupe have all trained under him. Cal’s Adventure Club teaches and trains interested people in yoga, clown school and a whole lot more.
CCFF: Tell me about yourself and your clown troupe, The Thunder Dreamers.
Cal: We are inspired by the contrary clowns of the Native Americans. They do things backwards or the opposite of what is obvious. While we don’t exactly do that, we do our version of misbehavior.
CCFF: What can we expect from The Thunder Dreamers performance?
Cal: We almost always play trumpets in the way that some people like to sing in church–loudly and with no concern for tone or pitch. Actually, we do TRY to be beautiful musicians. But it is hard to play the trumpet while riding a unicycle.
CCFF: What has been your inspiration when you do your performance art?
Cal: In the mid-19th century, San Francisco saw a uprising of eccentricity. People got up to all kinds of antics. We’d like to do our part to make the community more bizarre. We want people to say that Athens is a cesspool of lunacy.
CCFF: Out of all of your accomplishments, which one is the most important and defining of them all?
Cal: There was a moment when the Model T failed to start. Instead we marched along the railroad tracks, in pouring rain, and performed for no one.
CCFF: What led you to become a yogi and a clown and to teach others your passions?
Cal: My best friend and mentor, Jeremy Ayers, showed me this path. He loved yoga, clowning, activism, non-violence, and dressing up. (Or dressing down.) I spent most of my life emulating him.
CCFF: How did you originally hear about the Classic City Fringe Festival?
Cal: Well, first I attended a Fringe Festival in Toronto. When I heard that Athens was starting one up, I put a clown troupe together expressly to prepare for it. I’m delighted that there’s an event that encourages boundary crossing and all things strange and wonderful.
The Thunder Dreamers will perform “You can’t play here” but will in fact loudly play a bunch of horns here, there, everywhere with an abandonment of tonality due to an abundance of feeling! Will the show be great? Quite possibly. It is not a carefully scripted, meticulously rehearsed machine. They will perform spontaneously and without much preparation for that is what clowns do. So when everything is falling apart, that is when The Thunder Dreamers hope everything will come together! It is going to be an adventurous and entertaining time!
[Spotlight written by: Kari Bjork (CCFF Volunteer Staff)]