East Haddam News|
| ARTICLE REPRINT || September 2019 |
Bubble Master Enjoys a Sparkling Career
By Nancy Thompson
For The East Haddam News
Casey Carle knew when he was in college that he wanted to be an entertainer.
The big question was what he would do.
After earning a degree in drama with honors in fine arts from the State University of New York at Geneseo and learning to be an actor, director and stage manager, he knew he wanted to work on stage. He earned a degree in fun arts from the Ringling Brothers Clown College. In the late 1980s worked as a clown with the circus, juggling and riding around on a unicycle, but what he enjoyed most was using bubbles to entertain and amaze his audience.
After a few years acting and directing professionally he combined his many skills as an entertainer and his extensive knowledge about bubbles to thrill audiences - young and old - in a variety of venues throughout the U.S. and internationally.
"I've been everywhere from libraries to Lincoln Center and from schools to The Science Channel," he said with a smile.
He's performed in Switzerland, Russia and Brazil, among others, and has won a five-day bubble championship in Japan.
At a late-summer performance at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Carle, dressed mostly in black with a red vest, tie, hat and socks, walked through the theater minutes before the show began, greeting audience members. During his warm-up he explained that his bubbles are not the garden-variety type. "They're bigger, they last longer, are more playful and vibrant and, of course, more character-driven," he said.
The show itself, which drew laughs and applause from children and adults alike, was fast-paced, spontaneous, hilarious and unerringly professional.
Of all the possibly ways to entertain, why bubbles?
"I'm a theater person," he said. "I'm an entertainer by nature, and bubbles are the medium I chose to delve in to. Soap bubbles have so much personality and energy. I like to play off whatever they do. I'm never up there alone."
He said he mixes three different ratios to make a variety of bubbles, ranging from tiny to person-sized. "The skills you can do with them are jaw-dropping. They're a blank canvas," he added. "The solutions have to work on cue, like having another actor on stage. But in this case I can trust they're not going to forget their lines! And I love the art part. I never get tired of the beauty of the visuals I create."
Each performance is unique, and that's the way Carle wants it.
"I want each show to be the only show," he said. "Not yesterday's show, not tomorrow's show. I want the audience to feel that it's 'their show', not 'a' show."
He continued, "I never set out to make a kid show. I want everyone in the place to be entertained."
In addition to his work on stage, Carle has worked as a consultant to Cirque du Soleil and the SpongeBob Square Pants Broadway musical, to corporations including Fisher-Price, Pepsi, Disney, Old Navy and ESPN, and with the publishers of "BubbleOlogy: A Hands-On Science Kit," an award-winning book for children.
Among his friends and fans is Mike Mathiasen, a local business owner, who has known him for more than 25 years.
"He is the type of friend that I would ask for help when moving," Mathiasen said. "He is a loyal, reliable and a brutally honest friend."
He said he's most impressed by Carle's energy level, his curiosity, his corniness, and his contagious youthful personality.
"He attacks everything he does work, or play with the same high intensity energy level," he said. "He doesn't have to be the best, but he has to always do his best."
Mathiasen said he believes those attributes - and Carle's ability to connect with his audience, children and adults alike - are what make him a great performer.
Carle, whose wife, Kandie, is a professional performer and the producing artistic director at the East Haddam Stage Company, grew up in a large family on a single lane dead-end dirt road with a creek running parallel. He's been in East Haddam since 1992 and is currently living on another single land, dead-end dirt road, with another bubbling brook in his backyard.
"I've traveled the world, but I'm a country boy at heart," he said. "I like to surround myself with nature. I love the arts and the village feel of this community. When I'm driving and performing, the synapses are firing all the time. It's all about coming home and turning off the senses."