Rich Potter, a Maryland native, has been performing for nearly 20 years in over 20 countries.
He was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Laurel, Maryland (motto: "We're on the map 'cause we shot George Wallace!"). As many children do, he spent his formative years playing games, reading comic books and eating paste.
An exemplary student, he was put into the advanced classes where his creativity flourished in the form of rude cartoons of his teachers performing bodily functions. It was during this time when he learned to juggle by correspondence course via The Higher Learning Academy of Wasted Youth. This led him to begin performing at parties, festivals, and other events as a clown, and dabbling in this thing he'd heard of called "street performing."
He then enrolled at University of Maryland to try to obtain a degree in either Rocket Science or Liberal Arts in 2 years. He leaned toward the Liberal Arts side because, as he said, "It isn't Rocket Science, you know." This plan got interrupted in 1986, when he got a call of acceptance to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, a school with considerably more competition (and considerably less prestige) than Harvard.
Education: The Sequel
Upon graduation from this intense "boot camp for clowns", he was approached by Santa Claus who said, "Richard, with your nose so red; won't you guide my sleigh ahead?" Rich turned down his first offer and instead accepted a contract to work as a clown with Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus for 3 years, touring the U.S. and Japan, including a brief engagement appearing with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, California.
And the rest...
As his success grew in the world of Circus clowning, he became increasingly concerned for his safety via renegade clowns conducting random drive-by pie-ings.
He left the circus in Japan to tour with with his one - man comedy juggling show around Asia and Europe for many years, performing in 5 languages. He is a master of communication, regardless of language.
He has since settled to the Baltimore/Washington area, spending a couple of years working various jobs ranging from Monochromatic Image Duplication Engineer (photocopy guy) to Web Designer. He realized this was not his true calling when he found himself drawing cartoons of his bosses performing bodily functions.
Now, creating comedy with a vengeance, Rich finds himself performing (and travelling) again. He was seen at Las Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain in 1999, Key West Sunset Festival in 2000, Easton, Ohio's Town Center 2002-2005, and many other events in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C. and Maryland.
He was recently seen on Late Night with David Letterman (Dave said he was "really something").
He still finds time to draw cartoons, but fewer of them entail bodily functions.
Entire contents of this site © 2005 Richard E. Potter
except Photography © Bill Cornett