Special Projects Dan Kamin


Dan Kamin performs worldwide for theatres, colleges and symphony orchestras. On film, he created the physical comedy sequences for Chaplin and Benny and Joon, and trained Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp for their acclaimed starring performances--Downey was nominated for an Oscar, and Depp for a Golden Globe Award. He also created Martian movement for Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! and played the wooden Indian come to life in the cult classic Creepshow 2.
Despite these impressive credits, Dan's artistic beginnings were humble. At age twelve he began his performing career as a boy magician, struggling to entertain audiences of hyperkinetic, sugar-crazed children at birthday parties. Attending Carnegie Mellon University to study industrial design, Dan's hopes for a normal life evaporated when he saw the eye-popping movement illusions practiced by master mime Jewel Walker. He promptly became the sorceror's apprentice.
The great silent comedy films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin added more fuel to his fire, and soon Dan was touring the country with his first original show, Silent Comedy...Live! Undeterred by the fact that vaudeville was long dead, he cobbled a new vaudeville circuit out of colleges, theatres, and corporations, for whom Dan often appears as a keynote speaker. His Comedy Concertos, blending comedy with classical music, have become popular with symphonies worldwide. And as Mr. Slomo he strolls through arts festival crowds in eerie slow motion, terrifying the very children who tormented him as a youth.
Dan returned to his comedy roots to write Charlie Chaplin's One-Man Show, revealing the secrets of Chaplin's comic art. Hailed as a breakthrough work, the book boasts a preface by another Chaplin fan, Marcel Marceau. Dan's new book, The Comedy of Charlie Chaplin: Artistry in Motion, updates his earlier book and features an account of how he trained Downey for his Oscar-nominated performance.
During recent seasons Dan has toured his solo show, Comedy in Motion, throughout America, his Comedy Concertos transform traditional concerts into exciting theatrical events. They have become popular with symphonies around the world, including Singapore, Shanghai, Malaysia, Winnipeg, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Dallas. Clever scripts, solid musical selections, and Dan's amazing movement skills combine to provide an enticing gateway into the joys of classical music.
Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony (Pops)
A full evening of comedy and music that's been drawing record crowds! First a classical concert goes horribly wrong when Dan shows up as The Classical Clown and wreaks havoc. In the second half Dan introduces two timeless Chaplin comedies, Easy Street and The Immigrant, accompanied by terrific new symphonic scores by Grant Cooper, music director of the West Virginia Symphony. This program brings both classic comedy and classical music into the 21st century. Running time: 2 hours.
The Classical Clown (Family or Pops)
Watch the sparks fly as The Classical Clown battles the maestro for control of the orchestra! It's a symphonic showdown set to the usually serious sounds of Beethoven, Grieg, Britten and Stravinsky. By the time this merry Comedy Concerto is over the clown has conducted, the conductor has become a clown, and even the audience has gotten into the act. Running time: 60 minutes.
The Horrible History Of Music (Pops)
This hysterical history of horror music through the ages showcases your orchestra playing scores from famous film chillers, then joining with famous "horrologist" Dr. Daniel Kaminski for an uproarious exhumation of the musical remains of Beethoven, Paganini, Handel and others. Running time: 2 hours.
The Lost Elephant (Family)
Elmer the Elephant has escaped from the zoo, but the zookeeper is determined to track him down! Dan creates a jungle full of animals out of a few simple props and actions choreographed precisely to the music. This program is guaranteed to captivate even the youngest children, introducing them to classics like "Flight of the Bumblebee" and "William Tell Overture," along with great short pieces by Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Handel and others. Originally commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony, The Lost Elephant has become one of Dan's most popular programs. Running time: 50 minutes.
Musical Structure and the Curious Stagehand (Educational)
Presented by the Pittsburgh Symphony for over 30,000 school children, this program features Dan as a surly stagehand who disrupts the concert. He's preparing the lighting for a rock concert that evening, and he doesn't hide his contempt for classical music. The conductor, however, draws him into the concert by explaining classical music structure, which the stagehand reinforces with lighting effects and magical illusions. For the climax the stagehand accompanies "Pictures at an Exhibition" with a light show.
The Haunted Orchestra/
The Magic Orchestra (Family)

A concert morphs into a horror movie! Nerdy Mr. Kirby, from the National Institute for Children's Entertainment (N.I.C.E.), doesn't believe in the magical power of music. But when the conductor waves his magic baton, strange things begin to happen. Kirby's clothes fall apart! He is transformed into a marionette to accompany the famous Alfred Hitchcock theme music! Kids and adults alike will be delighted by Dans antics as he is "haunted" by the timeless music of Grieg, Leroy Anderson, Strauss and others. The music and Dan's uncanny movements are the only special effects needed to make this a magical concert for kids. Running time: 50 minutes.
Stop the Music! (Family)
A policeman threatens to arrest the orchestra because they're making too much noise! Can the conductor convince him that they have the right not to remain silent? They can, because every time they play the cop is involuntarily drawn into the music, and acts out its themes with precisely choreographed comic action. There's crime and punishment and even a Keystone Kops chase, as the orchestra proves decisively that music is not noise. Running time: 50 minutes.