When it comes to her passion for acting, her pursuit of physical comedy and her current career as a clown, Gentry Piper Roth proves that the apple does not fall very far from the tree.
“My grandmother is a clown and I grew up learning clown makeup and tricks,” says Roth, who currently does clown performances in Long Beach and Hollywood. “She clowns in Cape Cod [Massachusetts] for local events, but also does clown for hospice … [so] I guess you could say clowning is in my blood.”
Majoring in theatre performance at VCU helped Roth hone her acting skills further and also exposed her to other invaluable opportunities. One of Roth’s most memorable experiences was the chance to go abroad to Belgrade, Serbia and study with the DAH Theatre (http://www.dahteatarcentar.com/index_eng.html), where she and other students created an ensemble piece and performed it at the ancient ruins of Greece.
After Roth graduated from VCU, she made the cross-country trip to Northern California to attend the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre (http://www.dellarte.com/dellarte.aspx?id=4), where she was accepted into the professional training program. When that program was complete, Roth found herself at another crossroads.
“I wanted to continue my study of clown and applied and was accepted into ‘Giovanni Fusetti’s (http://www.giovannifusetti.com) Clown Intensive: Red Nose’ [a clown-intensive program] in Boulder, Colorado,” Roth remembers. “Simultaneously, I was accepted to perform at the New York Clown Theatre Festival (http://bricktheater.com) with my clown partner, Rebecca.”
Living in Los Angeles now, Roth is familiar with the ups and downs of the acting industry and knows that remembering her background and inspirations are more important than ever to stay grounded.
“I always remember my roots and why I came here,” she states. “Richard Simmons (http://www.richardsimmons.com/site/index.php) was an inspiration to me; while I was growing up, my mom would play his tapes. Through all the negativity that can be found in the wild city of L.A. and the world, he is a great reminder to remain positive, healthy, to respect myself and others, and to always dance and have fun. Some think it is naïve to have big dreams, but I think it is important to hold onto what you believe in, your potential, and to who you can become.”
Roth’s ultimate goal is to combine classic clown with film. One of Roth’s goals, though, slightly echoes her grandmother’s work as a clown.
“I’m hoping to work in hospitals as a clown,” she shares. “I also have a vision for creating a clown ‘Pied Piper’ where it’s like a mobile dance party in the streets of L.A. I want to take comedy to the streets and bring smiles to all ages.”
-Kelli Shiroma (Interview)content
Skills // Licensed Driver, Clown, Partner Acrobatics, Whistling any song, Singing, Banjo, Puppeteer, Mask Performance, Southern Dialect, Standard British RP Dialect.
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