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Gale LaJoye

Actor / Mime / Clown / Physical Comedian

Gale LaJoye is known both nationally and internationally for his performances in Snowflake, his one man show, but he always comes back to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With Marquette as his home base since 1990, LaJoye has been on what he calls the “pursuit of a lifetime.” The actor, mime, clown and physical comedian wasn’t always such. It wasn’t until his pre-law major at NMU required him to choose between two courses – Humanities or Intro to Theatre – that he was made aware of his talent. LaJoye landed a role in Chekov’s The Three Sisters and role after role followed. When LaJoye performed in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest he recognized the unique relationship between performance and movement. LaJoye’s search to express a character through physical means was seemingly inherent. It also led him to Clown College at Ringling Brothers and the Barnum & Bailey Circus. LaJoye’s gift earned him a contract with the prestigious circus companies. However, it was a severe car accident that left him with a broken neck that made LaJoye even more aware of his body and the impact it could have on stage. With three years of convalescence and physical therapy and two years of rehearsal, Snowflake came to fruition. Closer to silent film than the broad physical comedy of vaudeville, Snowflake stands as a testament to LaJoye’s belief that one man can command a big stage. And through all his 37 years of performing, out of all the cities he’s seen, he calls Marquette home. For LaJoye, the area has always nurtured his creative process. It has also allowed him a stage whereon he can deliver his gift to others.

Snowflake is loosely based on Donald Stenglein of Marquette, a man the community embraced. LaJoye follows the inspiration and design process for creative problem solving when working on his performances: accept, analyze, define, ideate, select, implement, evaluate. His much-loved production has taken him to such places as Hong Kong, Scotland, Australia and Mexico. LaJoye toured Japan for six years, covering 300 cities and delivering 390 performances.

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