When Lorenzo Pisoni isn’t moonlighting as the buff DA in Pine Valley with the odd face-off with Erica Kane, you can catch him onstage clowning around. From age two, Pisoni spend 20 years in the family business, The Pickle Family Circus, and he has turned that experience into the Obie Award winning show “Humor Abuse” which is opens this week at The Philadelphia Theater Company.   

Pisoni talked about life in circus, the soaps, not to mention his Shakespearean roles in a phone interview last week. “I’m doing my part to clean up Pine Valley.” He deadpanned.  “Those writers have to create so much content, it’s incredible to me. Their skill is to keep things in ACT IV all of the time.”

By now, he has run away from the circus, and his clown past is almost a footnote in Pisoni’s stage career, starring as Jay Gatsby at The Seattle Rep to Shakespearean leads at The Public Theater.  But his physicality, is part of his regular repertoire.

“It can help build the character so much.” he said. Pisoni said that Pickle Circus was a “precursor” to Cirque du Soleil because “We didn’t have animals. And were very environmentally aware and raised money for community causes. My parents hired very smart people who knew the world outside the circus also, so it was not so closed off. For a kid, it‘s great seeing it all the time, but it wasn‘t always fun and games.“

He later performed with Cirque as a juggler, aerialist, acrobat and ringmaster.  All skills he incorporates in his sleights of body onstage in Humor Abuse.