ian a. wallace
trained by richard pochinko
i was led on a path of facing my biggest fears...........ultimately became my life work, which is to
continue telling this story..................

Maarten van der auwera
trained by Jan Henderson
I was born again. I found my essence,through the three masks I made, and so gave birth to my
clown,thanks to Jan. She was my midwife,and I will always be grateful to her for that! From than
until now,everytime I am in clown it is like being totally new. The world explodes in colour and
form, emotions and thoughts,...  It makes me settle down in my heartspace, there is no other
way. And through this heartconnection,I come in contact with everyone,everything...For 15
years now,I am in the wonderfull position of visiting children in hospitals and old,often demented
people in homes,celebrating,loving and taking care...It is an intense proces that I share with
them. I give a lot,and get a thousendfold back. This has become the basic of my work. This goes
beyond theatre,it has nothing to do with "entertainment"(I leave that,with respect,to hollywood) It
has to do with being utterly human.This may all sound a bit "new age",but this is what it is for me!

Sara Tilley
trained by nion (ian a. wallace) and Sue Morrison
How hasn't it influenced me? In the most obvious way, I was so inspired and moved by this work
that I subsequently trained with nion to teach it to others. I have used this work in my own clown
performance, in straight television and film acting, in design, and in my writing. I consider the
Pochinko work to be a central source of creativity from which any and all artistic expressions can
be accessed.  It has also profoundly affected me as a person. I can say that this work is subtly
present in all aspects of my life.

Sandra Laframboise
trained The Spirits
the sacred clowns of the first nation

Michael Rudder
trained by Richard Pochinko
Richard and I met when we were both working on the musical Hair in Toronto. Through him I
came to know Ian and all of the amazing people that came together to study clown techniques
with Richard at his very beginnings as a teacher, first in Toronto on Queen Street, and later in
Ottawa in an unused part of the NAC. I spent the next four years studying fairly intensively with
Richard and that amazing group. Through the neutral mask, I came to have my first paranormal
experiences since childhood, vivid experiences of previous or other lives. Working with the
character mask, I came to understand, once again vividly, that form follows function. That the
flow of life energy in our physical forms creates our thinking patterns and emotional ranges, and
molds our physical bodies, and thus our reaction to every occasion or event, and even our
physical health. Recent developments in science, medicine and healing modalities only confirm
what we learned in this rich environment in the early seventies. The insights I gleaned from
studying the circus skills such as tightrope walking and juggling are timeless, and active within
me to this day. Richard passionately sought out and investigated every cutting edge physical or
theatrical technique, and immediately brought them back into our workshop. His gigantic
curiosity and consistent generosity was a lesson in itself.

Timothy Edwards
trained with Sue Morris - Clown through Mask, Richard Improvization class GBTS
I did the program with sue until the final performance where I was not able to attend due to my
sister wedding. so I was christened a "Clown Stil-born". to this day if some one counts 1,2,3,4 I
am conditioned to revert to my clown mask East of East.  I have tried other esoteric traditions
and they all end up the same way, loss of the master and the Dark Night of the Soul a al Saint
John of the Cross. I was introduced to clown by taking Richard's Improvization class at George
Brown Theatre School and we did work with colours and a walking through time where I met
myself in the future. It is not as hokey as you may think because in us we carry the wish or
desire for the future and these manifest based on unconsious thought in the present.

David Balser
trained with EtienneDecroux
I was directed by him at The Caravan Farm Theatre.
He allowed me to explore and release myself into the characters I was playing.

Robbie O'Neill
trained with Richard Pochinko
Richard taught me to appreciate the moment and to dare believe that there can be innocence
after experience.

Debra Silver
trained with  Richard Pochinko
In so many ways that it is hard to describe... learning to say goodbye was one of the most
profound and freeing... and neutral mask began a life of meditation... and on medical missions it
is a true gift!!

Danny Bakan
trained with  Jan Henderson, Nion, Richard Pochinko
I use my clown training everyday. In live performance, in music, in puppetry, in my teaching, in
my academic work and scholarship, in healing and spirituality. Now that I am working on my PHD
I am reconnecting to my early training and seeing the threads that weave throughout my life.

James Burke
trained with  Ian Wallace
This work opened a whole new aspect of my life. It has given me strength in performance and in

Bruce Horak        
trained with Mike Kennard, John Turner
The character "Cancer" which developed into a full-length show, was profoundly influenced
by this work.  Approaching, with humour, the darkness in life and showing the light in the world
has been
the mission of the work.  It has asked more of me than any other form and it has given more
back to me than any other work i have ever done.  For it - i am profoundly, and forever grateful.

Alan Merovitz
trained with Richard Pochinko
It's a little bit hard to be specific other than , I carry the 7th Mask with me in my life and I often
have the clown creep into my musical performances in a very irreverent aspect. It gets me into
big trouble when performing with classically trained musicians and those with a stuffy attitude
about the interaction that SHOULD be a more conscious respect for the audience. The "Take",  
is always ready! The send up is very present and the satiric is there too. It is an inter-active feel
that requires the audience to be very here and now and I must be . A heightened awareness in
the moment.  That's it for now . More will come pouring out as I have time to just let it be.

Martha R Leary
trained with Richard Pochinko
I am a speech language pathologist.  I work with people with autism.  This work has informed my
practice, for example: by helping me to see the possibilities for communication in the routine
interactions of people; teaching me to seek alternatives ways of viewing a situation; and
celebrating the humour and ingenuity of people who do not communicate in conventional ways.

Sara Tilley
trained by nion (ian a. wallace)
i am writing a book based on my great-grandfather's letters, and was having trouble owning the
voice and the story...so i made a mask, going backwards from key words/phrases in his writing...
i have been writing while in the mask, it is a really intense process for sure - and the writing that
has come out is very distinct, strange, mysterious...so i am keeping on moving the mask work
into all aspects of my artistic life, it is a centre of creativity from which i can move in any direction!

Bembo Davies
trained with Richard Pochinko
Bembo wrote "Ian: it's the middle of the night, having slept all day due to a potential cold caught
in arriving in our dirty snow after three weeks in Australia's cicada shower, I have to decide what
to do with the turkey defrosting in me fridge. And now this... I do want to think about the seeds
planted.  For me, a quintessential clown persona who always baulked at the professional role
(due to trauma around name?), it had to be profoundly elemental and non-cognitive. -- I think I
learnt empty handedness; the lesson of the place of submerging the self to the forces at play,
that the clown could follow any impulse and get the goodiest of goods. In the piece I played in
Sydney last week -- coming to Vancouver sometime soonish ?-- a moment that stuck with me
during my ' research into the power of the Human Gathering' was one of those typical empty
moments: swirling in the always half-panicky transition from one necessary unit to the next, I
threw out to one woman (there were few out there but of high calibre) in particular - "This is
going very well, nugh?" She nodded. This glue, this human glue that makes the performance
uniquely tonight's, is the thing. That I finally got my first proper suit in order to summon up the
presence of my ancestors, that I speak erudite volumes as I madly deconstruct the realm of the
after-dinner speaker, it is the clown that carries the evening: straining at the bit, emerging from
every last crack in my persona, sabotaging everything for the sake of a newly discovered
thread. I'll get a snippet of it out soon - but under Extracting Enthusiasm in the Age of Crisis you
can glimpse the territory... http://

Bev Couse
trained with Richard
comments = I remember Richard telling us the masks would act like tapes, unravelling things in
you for the rest of your life: so true---I was there in '84, in New York, in Central Park, with
amazing fireworks going off over the water: we were just a bunch of Canadian clowns awed by it--
I remember some kids had come down from Harlem; their fireworks were burning rags they
hurled around in circles. Cheryl performed her show there, and a famous Russian clown
/director was very impressed with the work. It is true that the seeds Richard unleashed have
rippled out not just into the Canadian theatre community---I see the effects in so many situation,
so many levels: what a rich honour it was to study with him . Thanks for putting this website
together.  bliss..................................

carmen orlandis-habsburgo
trained with richard pochinko
the Richard training is still a cornerstone of my life.
I was very successful as Blip in the Toronto scene.From 1992 0n, I trained in other forms of
shamanism and spirituality.  After a heartattack in 1999, I retired from performance.I am now a
pure delight maker and live in the ten thousand directions love and light to my old friends!

Audrey Crabtree
trained with Sue Morrison
comments = I use this work as an actor, director, clown and human being.   I work with adults
and children in compromised situations where the clown must live in the moment and be present
with my feelings in order to discover and play with the audience.  It has been a great release for
myself and the audience.   This work has offered more free play, and a great depth to my
emotional life and the human experience.   I am a co-founder and director of the NY Clown
Theatre Festival dedicated to creating clown community and showcase the range and potential
of the art of clown.  Thank you Sue and Richard!  Thank you webmaster for connecting this

Robin Craig
Working with Richard and Ian in 1972 was one of the defining experiences of my life, if not the
most memorable.  It was my first professional job and I joined a wide-eyed, enthusiastic group of
young actors to learn, create and tour a show for young audiences exploring the myth of
creation.  It was mind-boggling and one of the most satisfying personal journeys of my life.  
Richard's charisma, and expertise and most importantly, his acceptance and delight in all of us
as individuals allowed us to explore a part of our souls that had, until then been uncharted.  We
learned the power of the mask in all of its intricacies and through clown, discovered the freedom
to explore both joy and grief in their purest forms.  Richard assisted us in removing the shackles
of self consciousness and judgement.  I am so pleased that Ian will continue Richard's work.  A
true legacy and even better - immortalization.  Thank you Ian.

Crystal Verge

Richard Pochinko was one of my regular instructors at George Brown Theatre School in 1979.
He taught us clown and directed one of the shows that year, “Can You See Me Yet” by Timothy
(Tiff) Findley. Fitting that title given the nature of Richard’s classes and how much I struggled in
them. I hated clown. Hated it. Dreaded class. I wept through the vast majority of them, but I had
gotten to know Richard and Annie Skinner outside of class and I adored Richard and I trusted
him when he said stay with it. I was just a kid, 18 yrs. old and I had grown up in an extremely
violent home. Richard’s classes were like sending a taproot down into that. Some days were
brutal, I felt so exposed, not story wise at all, we never went there, but it might very well have
been the first time I stood in front of people, soul visible.

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