Clown Gym started in 2014 as a collaborative, member-sourced experiment in play. Over the years it has grown into one of New York City’s most reliable sources for affordable high-quality actor training.
Julia leads most of the classes, in addition to welcoming lots of guest teachers from a wide range of backgrounds and pedagogies. Julia’s approach to Clown comes from her years studying with and apprenticing Chris Bayes at The Funny School of Acting, and as well as her training with Philippe Gaulier in France, and Dody DiSanto and Isabelle Anderson at the Academy for Classical Acting.
Clown Gym continues to build a thriving learning environment and community. We have a strong ensemble of regular members, but always welcome brand new folks eager to grow and play.
Thanks to these amazing artists, our guest teachers over the years:
Aitor Basauri of Spymonkey, Ambrose Martos, Audrey Crabtree, Billy Schultz with Dancify That, Carter Gill, Cat Meuller, Chiara Cimmino and Valerio Vittorio Garaffa from Teatro del Disio, Chris Tramantana, Daniel Passer, Devin Shacket, Emmanuelle Delpech of Pig Iron Theatre Company, Gabriel Levey, Geoff Sobell, Hilary Chaplain, Ilyssa Baine, Jean E. Taylor, Jim Calder, Joe Galan-Kaiser, Joe Tuttle, John Towson, Justine Williams, Keith Nelson of Bindlestiff Cirkus, Lenard Petit, Lindsay Brill, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell from Happenstance Theatre, Michael Bauer, Owen Scott, Sophie Amieva, Tracy Einstein, Virginia Scott, Zach Fine, and Zach Zucker.
Julia Proctor is an actor, clown, teacher, and community builder. In 2014 she founded Clown Gym as well as “An Unapologetic Mess: a clown show!,” a monthly mess at the People’s Improv Theatre, sharing her own work and mentoring emerging artists. She completed an MFA from Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting, and has studied with some of the most prestigious clown teachers in the world including Philippe Gaulier and Chris Bayes, with whom she completed a pedagogical apprenticeship. Julia is an improvisor, and trained with the People’s Improv Theater’s Improv Program. She’s a member of the Funny School of Good Acting’s Commedia Company, and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity. She’s an adjunct faculty member at Pace University, a visiting professor at Middlebury College, and teaches clown at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Julia believes theatre, especially theatrical clown, is a powerful tool to build community through shared visceral experiences.
Special Thanks to Founding Clown Gym Members
Emma Simon, Alex Ristov, Billy Schultz, Devin Shacket, Owen Scott, Erin Roy, Royce Hufford, Megan Stern, Tracy Einstein, Joe Galan-Kaiser, Leslie Roth, and Erin Frisbee.
And of course, an extra special thanks, to Chris Bayes.