Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.
July 2, 2019
Today’s person: Verka Zaskodna!
Over the many years I should have been more involved with the workshops taught by the San Francisco Mime Troupe a great many interesting and very talented people have come through. Some of them I never saw again, and some of them I was lucky enough to get a second chance to know. Verka is in the second group.
Along with Luz, Molly, and Zee, she was a member of Circus Finelli - the all woman, all clown, all hilarious, all insane circus I was ridiculously fortunate to direct for a few years. And in the first year Verka was the ringmistress of their “Slavic Cabaret,” a sort of Edith Piaf who juggles machetes kinda thing. She was wonderfully fatalistic, and slyly dangerous.
In the next show she played a loudly obnoxious audience member/tourist who has wondered into the performance space. She was so loud and outgoing most audience members thought she was one of them - albeit terribly intrusive. Annoyingly on the phone, screaming and joking, she bravely strode through the crowd, pushing people from their seats. They feared and hated her.
Until she had to juggle her machetes over an audience member laying on the stage.
This was the breath-holding moment every night, yet Verka was fearless. You have to be when threatening someone’s life for a laugh.
And then they loved her.
Verka is an amazing clown, who brings the loose insanity of an everywoman to our disjointed world. Dangerous and lovable.