Paul Margolis Photography


Little Top: Small-Venue Performers in New York City

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New York is a city of small theaters and performers struggling to find audiences.  Little theaters are often the way that aspiring stars can get their start, be seen and hone their acts.  I first became interested in these performers in the fall of 2008, as the economy slid into recession.  I needed something to distract myself from the horrific economic news, so I began to seek out circus acts, magicians, clowns and other performers whose performances were held in small venues, far from the theatrical mainstream.  I worked sporadically, sometimes shelving the project for months at a time, but I kept returning to it.  At first, I worked with both digital and film cameras, but finally I settled on using black and white film.  There is something very old-fashioned about live performers eating fire, doing slapstick or declaiming Yiddish in 19th century costumes that called out for a medium from the pre-electronic age.

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