Bay City Reds
Pino and Raz
Dance Your Ass Off was the “gym” where I trained for my first acrobatic act, forty-five years ago. The owner of the infamous nightclub, Stu Goldberg, performed in circuses as a teenager and offered to train Wendy Parkman, Billy Kessler and me on the dance floor early Sunday mornings (most days, Stu was still counting money from the night before when we arrived).
Over a decade later, I joined the Pickle Family Circus and got a second acrobatic education from Lu Yi. One of the acrobats who came with the master trainer from Nanjing told me later that after my first rehearsal, Lu Yi was excited, “I have never had such a big base (the acrobat who holds up everyone else).” After the second day, he said, “He’s so big but so weak.” At the end of my first week, Lu Yi said, “He works hard. Everything will be good.”
And everything was good for the next decade as Lu Yi created acts with my clown partner Diane Wasnak and me, as well as bigger acts with the whole cast. He also became a friend and a mentor.
Now, another former acrobat, Devin Holt, has co-written a biography with Lu Yi and we’re doing a reading together. Join us at Books Inc. Alameda on March 1 at 7pm. For more information click here.