Launched in 2010 by West Coast Program Director, Zach Fischer (the Great Zachini), the Bay Area chapter of the Vegetable Circus is taking the west coast by storm. Starting with humble beginnings passing out bananas on Earth Day, the Vegetable Circus West Coast has performed for over a thousand kids in 2012 year already. The Vegetable Circus teaches after-school programs or workshops, performs engaging assembly shows, partners with local farmer’s markets, and joins family-focused festivals and activities to spread healthy movement and eating education to all. Vegetable Circus Oakland features a dedicated crew of teachers and performers who are committed to teaching children about healthy lifestyle choices and habits.
Performers & Instructors
The Great Zachini began his veggie circus career as a fledgling little squash in Boston. Although a long time student of movement, getting mixed up with Hot Soup spun his life in a new direction, helping kids gain skills and confidence through circus. He also runs a parkour and urban movement program at Kinetic Arts Center, in Oakland, California. The Great Zachini has studied Capoeira in New York, Zen Martial Arts in Chicago, Circus Arts in Boston, and Acrobatics in the Bay Area. It’s his hope to keep expanding, in parallel, his knowledge of the world and the body’s capacity for movement. The Great Zachini would like to remind everyone that you are what you eat, from the organs in your body, to the hair on your head. With good food, we can make ourselves better people
Madame Spinach or “Mad Spin”, began her circus career many years ago in the Boston Hoop Troop as a hula hooper, hence the “Spin” in her name. Since then she’s added tumbling, partner acrobatics, parkour, juggling & clowning to her repertoire by training at various circus facilities in the Bay area. She helped the Vegetable Circus grow from a seed to a full grown plant during her service in Boston and then she transferred to Oakland, CA where she planted more seeds. As Creative Director of the West Coast branch, she has helped to design and implement an awesome stage show that is fun, nutritious and inspiring. Besides performing with the Vegetable Circus, she teaches upwards of 100 kids a week in various circus and movement arts programs in the East Bay. She is also half of Ninja Hoops, a performance and teaching hoop duo, that tours the world spreading innovative hooping ideas. She truly practices what she preaches in the Vegetable Circus and every day she eats amazing salads that contain every color of the rainbow. She has a strong affinity for bananas and giraffes, and likes to pretend that bananas are giraffe eggs. During her free time you can find her doing cartwheels while holding a hula hoop, wearing mis-matched socks and a sporting a clown nose.
Raised in central California by a family of eccentrics, Jamie studied theatre arts in Santa Fe, music in San Luis Obispo and education in San Francisco. Jamie completed two years of study at the Clown Conservatory at San Francisco Circus Center and has traveled the globe performing and teaching. He has worked with Flynn Creek Circus, Circus of Sound, New Pickle Circus, The Pickle’s School Tour, Sweet Can Productions and is one half of the award winning clown duet, Coventry and Kaluza. Jamie is also the co-creator the harmonica trio, Tin Sandwich. Jamie is very excited to be with working with Cirque du Veggie (as he likes to call it) and loves turning kids onto vegetables. Among his favorites are carrots, cauliflower, artichokes, beets, and any leafy greens. Of course then there are plums, watermelons, and blackberries…not to mention almonds, cashews and sesame seeds, garbonzos, pinots and the noble lentil. The list goes on and on.
Natasha Kaluza AKA Gretta Garbanzo has a degree in Theater Arts, a Graduate Certificate in Dance, and Holistic Health Certification all from UC Santa Cruz – go banana slugs! She completed the first and second year of the Clown Conservatory at the SF Circus Center, and has since been performing and teaching, locally, nationally, and abroad. Natasha has worked with Sweet Can, The New Pickle Circus, Pickle Circus School Tour, Circus of Sound, Flynn Creek Circus, Smirkus, Circus Bella and more. She is also one half of the award-winning clown duet, Coventry & Kaluza. Natasha fit naturally into the Vegetable Circus cast with her background in educational performance and her love of vegetables! Favorites include: broccoli, beets, rainbow chard and brussel sprouts. Favorite movement activities include: handstands, swimming, hula hooping, dancing and pretending to be a kangaroo. She believes that a healthy and flexible body = a healthy and flexible mind, and that being a healthy person helps keep the planet healthy!