'Let's face it. You've gotta be a man to wear tights!'
Rick and Dave Nelson
From the late 70's through the early 90's, various celebrities jumped atop elephants, got into cages with tigers and flew on the flying trapeze on Circus of the Stars. Although the 'stars' ran the gamut between C and D list celebrities, there were also a few A list actors who joined as ringmasters and special guests. In addition to many young TV stars of the time, a few classic movie stars including Tony Curtis, Vincent Price, Angela Landsbury, Lauren Bacall, Glenn Ford and Lana Turner also showed up.
I think I first caught part of one of the last episodes in the early 90's which featured Mama's Family hottie Allan Kayer riding a turning wheel high in the air outside. I had already had a crush on Allan, so seeing him rolling around in his red tights was a sight to behold. Recently, I was checking out some episodes on Youtube and saw many of favorite hunks that I have featured over the years have pulled on their tights to join the circus.
Given the show is not on DVD, and most people's copies would be old VHS recordings there are not a lot of great images that I could find. There were a few promotional shots out there, but would have loved to found higher quality recordings of some of the episodes, especially ones with some of my favorite hunks.
I did find another episode featuring Kayser from 1989. This time, Kayser is looking hot wearing his white tights walking the high wire. I added a clip below, but the entire show, as well as other clips can be found by searching Youtube.
Storytellers are my favorite artists to feature and photographer Robert Colgan has visually revealed some of the most poignant stores that I have had the pleasure to view and imagine. Robert's stories are rooted in history, utilizing architecture, location and dwellings in the telling of the tale. In photography, dead space is usually referred to as the space around the subject being shot. With Robert, this space around his model becomes the focus with dead and forgotten spaces, least monetarily, resuscitated within his images.
If you check out my Quaternate piece featuring Robert's work on FH, you will transported to stories of abandoned houses and farms, electric and water plants, and and underground bank safe and long closed Ohio Penitentiary. Although the models featured are important, they are not usually the focus of the story. Instead, Robert uses his models as a co-writer, guiding us through the story and location, reminding us of the life and energy the now dead space once held.
FH will remember model Michael MM from his previous turn guiding viewers through Robert's work on the train tracks, water plant and electric company. (Location, Location, Location) Michael is more than just a physically beautiful guide and co-author, he is the perfect model to help to ell Robert's stories. Michael elegantly blends, interacts and physically connects with each room and each space. He is fearless laying on carpets, sitting on furniture and stepping into bathrooms, nakedly interacting within spaces many full dressed people would stay far away from. Michael doesn't look like he is posing in an old run down space, but instead, interacts with his environment as if he were apart of it's history, long before it was abandoned and forgotten.
Bringing life and light to forgotten spaces is only part of the story Robert is telling. It is also about the time when the space was lived in and utilized, a time when it's architecture, magnitude and uniqueness was appreciated and considered important. Looking back, was no more significant than it was last year, with the toxic political situation having many of us, Robert included, feeling introspective and solemn about a time when so many things that we valued, were not in peril, and deemed unimportant and worthless by those sadly now in charge.
'I began to feel an ominous darkness descend on the world. It's difficult not to let your emotions flow into your work, but I began to seek those photographic situations that played off of our rapidly changing and destructive human nature.'
'This past year the feeling was exemplified by the destruction of a beautiful home and its property that had always held a sense of mystery to me. Always hidden behind a stone wall and a thick forest, you could only catch glimpses of the house. Later research revealed that it belonged to a local doctor and had been in the family since its construction in the '30's.'
'Suddenly one weekend, as I drove by, I was shocked by the loss of many of the trees and the house was exposed for the first time in years. Exploring it came next. It had been abandoned. Many of the owners items were still lying about. But there were also signs of heavy damage and markings by the fire department indicating that it would be burned soon as a drill for the firemen.'
'I felt sad that the history of this house and its occupants would be completely erased. It felt emblematic of our societal norms. So I sent out an emergent request for models - Michael was the only one to respond. We only had one brief shot at it and even that was interrupted by local residents equally curious about the mansion in the woods nearby. We were lucky that no police showed up. I later heard stories of others not so lucky. A week later, the house was destroyed - a stone shell the only sign of its existence.'