TEARS OF A CLOWN

Inspired by a true story, Tears Of A Clown is the soulful saga of the life and times of legendary comedian Cole Black.  Heralded by his fans and his peers alike as, "One of the funniest men in the country," Cole has always been an underdog-even when he was on top of the world.   Set “under the Hollywood radar,” in the fabled Black Comedy scene of Oakland and Los Angeles, Tears takes an uncensored, voyeuristic look into the flip side of stand-up comedy.  An expose into the world of funny business, "Tears Of A Clown" examines the subjects of dignity, loyalty, love, betrayal and reversal of fortune, as told by a real-life “player” in the thick of this intriguing and unpredictable world.
 
WHO IS COLE BLACK ?
 
Cole Black, (played by real-life comedian Don "D.C." Curry (Two Degrees, Next Friday, Friday After Next) is a man with three lives.  An Oakland native, he's the funniest, most well-respected comedian in the Bay Area.  He's a local stand-up legend on the verge of national superstardom.  He has two people in his life who are worth their weight in platinum-his loving wife, Carolyn, played by actress Tami Roman and a trusted manager, Wayne Dixon, played by the film's writer/director Tony Spires.
 
 
Cole is also a leader of sorts-a motivator.  His leading skills are put to the test when he faces the biggest challenge of his life,  Cole is destined to find out-in different manifestations, that everything in a comic's life ain't always funny.
 
Lastly, Cole is a cat who's already had his 15 minutes of fame.  Unfortunately, during the last 7 and a half minutes, he crashed and burned-and had to start over from scratch.  Cole Black has to prove to everybody, especially himself, that some people get more than just one shot at making it and that 15 minutes is just not enough.
 

Cole Black is a metaphor for every man (or woman) who, by his own hand, has fallen from grace and once again has to prove his worth-against ever-increasing odds and people who just don't care anymore.  Anybody who's had to go up against the machine, who's had to be a proverbial David against a gang of Goliaths, has at least a little bit of Cole Black in 'em, Spires adds.  "Tears Of A Clown is about self-realization - a 'gut-check.'  Everybody has experienced at least one of those during their lifetime."

 

 
REAL-LIFE BACK STORY
 
"Though I've only dabbled as a stand-up back in Oakland in the late 80's, as a long-time comedians' manager and producer of the longest-running Black comedians' showcase in the country, I've been Cole Black," asserts the film's writer/director Tony Spires.  "I've managed some of the biggest names on the circuit and through the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival which I founded in 1987, I've worked with almost everybody.  Boasting an unrivaled alumni roster of urban comedy celebs the likes of Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, film stars Chris Tucker, Mike Epps, Nick Cannon, D.C. Curry and TV stars D.L. Hughley, Mark Curry and Sheryl Underwood, Spires and wife (and producing partner) Rhonda have seen it and lived through it all.  "Man, this comedy game is no joke!  It's a hard hustle.  The highs and lows are death-defying.  It's definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart.  It's like being a flying trapeze artist-without a net," the theatre writer/actor/producer-turned-comedy promoter-turned filmmaker added.
 

"It's like leaving home for the big city on a one-way ticket, with one suitcase and no family.  It's like cursing out your boss and quitting on payday- because you know you're better than that-with no plan B," Spires quantifies.  "For people who aspire to be in show business, it's like what coming to Hollywood-without an invitation-is really all about.  Everything is against you making it.  You may as well be in a foreign country and not speak the language.  Few things are harder than coming to L.A. without credits., but people do it everyday.  Cole Black is like that.  He's a man who believes in himself.  By the time he's done, everybody will be a believer.," Spires expounds.  Just like the adages, 'you're not in Kansas anymore' and 'you can never go home', 'trying to be Cole Black', may get added to the list of ways to tell people to "get real."

 

THE COMEDIANS

"Over twenty of my favorite comics grace our camera lenses and our stages with their real-life routines in this picture.  These are some of the funniest cats out there, famous or not," Spires boasts.  Everybody knows that D.C. is a star headliner who brings the comedy pain every time he picks up a microphone.  Most people know that T.P. Hearn is off the chain.  But there's a lot of cats out there-road warriors-who're headlining rooms all over the country.  The diehard comedy fans out there know many of them by name.  They're professionals; incredibly funny, in their own right.  They're just not household names yet.  We've got a lot of them in our picture."  The film features these comedians as actors and stand ups: T.P. Hearn, master ventriloquist Willie Brown, master impressionist Vincent Cook, along with stand up veterans Derrick Ellis, Rodney Perry, Gilbert Esquivel and Dante.  The film also features stand up from:  Tony Roberts, Edwonda White, Evan Lionel, Joey Wells, Tony Tone, Marc Howard and many more.

"We've made every effort to make our movie as funny as it is thought-provoking and as entertaining as it is truly "independent."  It's a comedy that's presented much how life is, funny a lot of the time but full of drama.  Tears Of A Clown is based on events that really happened.  I'm just not naming names.  They've been changed to protect the guilty," he muses.  "  Cole Black is a real person.  So is his new found protégé, Kenny Lang."  A pivotal character, Kenny Lang, is portrayed by veteran film actor and the film's co-star William L. Johnson (Two Degrees, Blue Hill Avenue, Doing Hard Time, Motives).  "William is a fine actor but this has to be his most challenging role.  He had to learn to do stand-up in real life in order to become Kenny Lang.  William nails him!" Spires shouts.  One of Spires' favorite actresses is Gigi Bolden, who plays outspoken comedienne, Lotus Jones.  "Gigi is also a fine actor but like William, she's not a stand-up-and like William, she completely nailed her role, Spires adds.  Gigi is always going to deliver the goods.  She does it again in Tears Of A Clown."

 

 
THE MUSIC
 
Tears Of A Clown features an exciting score by leading Arkansas rappers/producers King Pimpin & See Right and is highlighted by a soulfully diverse soundtrack with tracks by Gary, Indiana's neo-soul vocalist/song writer Brotha Bill (aka William L. Johnson), Paul Tillman-Smith's Oakland-based Jazz/R&B band Park Place (featuring Lenny Williams, Donnie Williams, Latoya London, Pharoah Saunders and many more), Pittsburgh Hip Hop producer/rapper Smash (featuring L.V., Gia Kalil, King Pimpin and more) and southern hip hop artists $entury 21.

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Don DC CurryWilliam JohnsonTami RomanTony Spires

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