Spotlight On: Cody Clark

codyclarkThe Scranton Fringe is a performing arts festival, returning for its second year September 29th – October 2nd 2016 to downtown Scranton. With over fifty productions/special events spanning twelve venues to chose from at the festival the task can seem daunting – we are here to help further introduce you to what the Fringe has to offer!

Cody Clark is a full-time professional magician based out of Louisville, KY! Currently touring the US at various Fringe Festivals Cody is gearing up to bring not just one – but two unique performances to the 2016 Scranton Fringe Festival. Despite his busy schedule – Cody found the time to answer a few questions for us!
1. You have two shows (Conductor Cody and Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking) in the 2016 Scranton Fringe Festival, tell us a bit about them!

(Conductor Cody) All aboard for this magical train adventure! Conductor Cody takes children (and kids at heart) on a magical train journey on The Comet Express. His magic routines are performed with train themed props and are used to explain bits of railroad history and the science behind how trains operate.

(Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking) In my one-man show/magic show, I utilize the arts of magic, theatre, and storytelling to give a first person account of living with autism. Starting from birth and ending in the present day, my show combines important moments from my life with magic effects which I feel perfectly express those experiences, making it kind of like a musical, but with magic. And since I feel that being autistic gives me “A Different Way of Thinking”, the visual experience of the art of magic gives my audiences a way to see exactly how I think differently than they do. At IndyFringe, the Indianapolis Star ranked this show in their Top 10 shows of the 2016 IndyFringe and the Chicago Tribune singled out my show in their article on the Elgin Fringe Festival.

2. What inspired the creation of Conductor Cody, a show being offered free to the public through a Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Grant? Did you know about Scranton’s history of steam powered engines and the Steamtown National Historic Site before applying to Scranton Fringe?

I grew up watching Shining Time Station, which was the show that imported Thomas the Tank Engine from Britain to America. It was set at a train station where Mr. Conductor would tell stories about Thomas to the kids dropped off at the station by their parents. Mr. Conductor was played by none other than George Carlin, and the unique character he created has stuck with me. So when I decided to develop a magic show that was geared specifically towards children, I took inspiration from Mr. Conductor and used it as an archetype to develop my show around. And since I am a train buff in real life, I am well aware of Scranton and Pennsylvania’s importance to American railroading. I am looking forward to visiting Steamtown while I’m in Scranton.

3. Tell us more about yourself and your background and what inspired you to start performing.

I am 23 years old and have been performing magic since I was 11 years old. My family, on a vacation in Gulf Shores, AL, went to the Bart Rockett magic show, where Bart called me up on stage to have me help him saw a woman in half. That moment on stage was so inspiring to me that I decided to learn how to do magic. I read books, went to meetings of the Louisville Magic Club, and started performing at a local comedy club’s magic night every month.

4. What other productions in the 2016 Scranton Fringe Festival are you most excited about / planning on seeing? Have you experienced other Fringes?

 I’m looking forward to “Like No One Ever Was” and Escape From Applebee’s. And I’ve done several. I started with the Slant Culture Theatre Festival in Louisville and have done Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Elgin, IL’s fringes and will be doing Classic City in Athens, GA.

 5. In six words (no more, no less) what would you say to encourage someone to attend Conductor Cody? How about six words for A Different Way of Thinking?

(For Conductor Cody) You’ll experience the magic of railroading
(Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking) I’ll use magic to humanize autism.