In 1983 I performed with Penn & Teller on the Treetop Stage at the MN Renaissance Festival. In the beginning Penn was primarily a juggler, and Teller was the magician. The routine pictured here was called “Sharing.” Penn juggled two knives and an apple while Teller ate the apple.
I remember first seeing them as a patron at the Festival in 1975, when they were performing separate solo acts. I had already learned how to juggle and unicycle, but after seeing Penn’s unique juggling act, and Teller’s brilliant silent magic I was hooked. The next year I auditioned for the MN Renaissance Festival and was hired. Penn & Teller left only after my second year, but they were a key inspiration for me becoming a performing artist.
When Penn & Teller returned to the Festival 1983 as a team, I was working with my first clown partner, David Harper. We would perform most of the time at Witchwood, but our last performance of the day was at Treetop just after Penn & Teller’s final show. I remember backstage Penn looking us up and down from our handmade Renaissance slap-shoes, to our leather clown noses, and saying, “I get it… you two are natural clowns. It works.”
Today I invited David to put together a new juggling routine for an upcoming project to be announced soon.