This site features the theatrical creations of Bob Beuth, whose love of making masks and puppets began early on when he landed his first lead role in a children's theater production of “The Pied Piper” at age 13. He subsequently appeared in over 25 plays before moving to New York at age 19 to study with William Esper and to begin his professional acting career.
In 1981, Bob signed up for a mask-making class with Julie Taymor, who would go on to create the Broadway hit THE LION KING. In 1986 he relocated to Los Angeles, studied with the Groundlings, and began to work in film and television. He has guest-starred on such classic shows as MURPHY BROWN, E.R., FRIENDS, THE WEST WING, and in the films WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, OUTBREAK, IN THE LINE OF FIRE and HEARTBREAKERS, among others.
Continuing to work in film, TV and stage, Bob has expanded his work-life to include teaching puppet and mask-making through The Clown School here in Los Angeles.
Always interested in expanding his knowledge base, Bob has studied marionette-making in Prague with Mirek Tretjnar, Italian leather mask-making with Paola and Sarah Sartori in Padua, Italy, along with puppetry workshops with American artists Jim Krupa and Hobey Ford.
“BUT, BOB… I’M NOT AN ARTIST…”
"I often ask myself… How in the world did I, a regular American kid born in Albany, New York at the end of 1957 become an artist of the theater?
"Growing up, I loved making stuff, whether it was putting together small amateur radios, kits from the back pages of comic books or assembling the entire collection of all Aurora's Monster Models in the mid-60s. I could lose myself in these projects.
"At the age of 12, the glorious and magical world of the Theater opened up to me. Over the years I would always make my own props for my characters and would design my own makeup…. even creating latex jowls and a snout with whiskers of pipe cleaners for my role as the Cowardly Lion in a local production of The Wizard of Oz in 1974."
"I wore a bald cap and made myself a silver tooth as King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar in 1975."
"And in 1981, I stumbled upon an ad advertising a mask-making class… which changed my life. I was hooked. Always a hobby that brought me such joy, I continued to sculpt and make masks, even though I had no real idea why I was on this particular path. I just knew when I was working with clay I was happy.
"Almost entirely self-taught, I have never questioned my ability to make whatever was needed for any particular show.
"I somehow was blessed to have been born without that critical voice. If I was doing a show and something needed to be made for the production, I'd jump right in… not quite knowing HOW I was going to accomplish it but trusting that I COULD accomplish it in time. I have always felt lucky to have had no negative interject judging my efforts.
"That being said, I believe EVERYONE is an artist.
"So often, when I talk to people about their creative abilities, I hear them reply:
'I don't have a creative bone in my body.'
'I can't draw to save my life.'
…or the most famous excuse:
'My sister was the one who got the artistic talent in our family!'
I think all of this is ridiculous.
"It is my sincere belief that the only thing blocking creativity in anyone is the inner judge that condemns and criticizes any and all things they attempt to do.
"So… I say to you, YOU, too can be an artist.
"It might take time, it WILL take practice, and it might take longer than you would want. But! If you constantly apply yourself and practice and do EVERYTHING YOU CAN to silence that inner, critical voice… you can produce art to be proud of.
(The other great thing is…if you make something that is not very good…as I have many times…YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOW ANYBODY!!!). Just toss it and start something else.
"I encourage you to jump in, get your feet wet, and DO NOT JUDGE your results.
Soon, with constant application, I promise one day you'll be sitting there looking at your (sculpture, painting, book, or even culinary creation) and say to yourself with joy:
'Wow. I made that!'