By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – There’s no one word to sum up what Doug Berky does, because he does it all.
He’s a mime, a comedian, an actor, a mask maker, a juggler. For some shows, he’s purely an entertainer. If he’s working with students, he uses his talents to educate.
He’s working this week with students and teachers in Tupelo, as well as making a stop to bring smiles to patients at the hospital, but on Saturday night, Berky will entertain at the Link Centre.
“It’s a lot of foolishness,” he said in a phone interview with the Journal. “For people who just enjoy a laugh, it’ll be good.”
Tupelo’s own improv group West of Shake Rag will open for Berky, and he’ll perform his classic comedy routine, “No Show.”
“It’s all loosely improv. I play with the audience a lot,” he said. “It’s like jazz; you know the song, but you play it differently each time.”
His “No Show” will include some of his smaller masks that he’s made. Berky makes masks for his own use as well as for theaters across the world.
He’s a master at so many crafts, but he can’t pick a favorite.
“It depends on the day. I really enjoy it when an audience is enjoying (the show),” he said. “But I can also sculpt clay all day and it can be a very meditative experience. It depends on what day it is.”
Whether he’s working with students or performing for big audiences, Berky aims to bring smiles to faces of all ages.
“I grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s with comedians like Carol Burnett and Red Skelton, where humor was family humor,” he said. “I want families to come together and enjoy the experience of seeing things they might not often see.”
GET THE LAUGHS
• What: Doug Berky’s “No Show,” West of Shake Rag
• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Link Centre Concert Hall
• Cost: $10/adults, $5/students
• Info: (662) 690-4011