Patrick Connor

Patrick Connor

3/27/24, 10:10 AM
Patrick Connor

Alumni Spotlight

Patrick Connor


my Roots

Patrick will be performing live at BCC on Friday, March 8, 2024 at 2 and 5 p.m. The performances are free and open to all.

Patrick Connor is going places — literally. Born and raised in Pittsfield, he recently moved back to the area with his wife and children after spending 20 years in Los Angeles, and his job as an entertainer finds him traveling around the world.

"I'm getting used to things here again," says Patrick, who is still unpacking boxes after the move. Known as "Fantastick Patrick," he is a graduate of Pittsfield High School and attended BCC in the early 2000s.

Fantastick Patrick juggling knives

Today, Patrick and his wife Veronica, who is a television and movie producer, live with their two daughters and baby son just down the street from where he grew up (and where his parents still reside). His family's Pittsfield roots are deep — Patrick's brother serves on the town fire department.

Those Pittsfield roots drew him to BCC, but not as one might expect.

I was a theatre major, but I had discovered BCC long before that. I went to circus camp there in the summer of 1993, when I was 10 years old. That's where I learned to do stunts like juggle and ride a unicycle. That really changed everything. I absolutely loved it.

In high school, Patrick says, he wasn't into athletics and wasn't a great student, so he didn't have plans after he graduated. "To be honest, I went to BCC because I thought, what the heck else am I going to do?" he recalls with a laugh. "It was close to home and I could afford it, so it seemed to make sense."

Today, Patrick calls himself "a one-man variety show." He plays music, performs circus tricks and tells jokes throughout his shows, which are geared to all ages.

"I try to change it up so it's not always the same jokes and the same show. I have a lot of fun doing it," he says. "So I might be juggling and then balancing plates and then riding a giant 10-foot unicycle, telling jokes and playing music the whole time. I have this little traveling guitar that people often mistake for a ukulele, but it goes with me everywhere."

He also includes a diabolo in his act, which is a large yo-yo spun and caught on a string held by a wand in each hand, and he can balance large objects like a ladder on his face. "I love to keep people laughing," he says. "It's why I do what I do."

In fact, bringing people joy is his goal. "We have so much going on in the world — it's nice to be able to just provide an hour of fun. If I can make even one person feel happier or feel better after seeing my show, then I've done my job. I've made a difference," he says. "Maybe that person will treat the next person they interact with a little better."

Patrick's show is fast-paced and full of variety, which keeps his audiences easily amused. "I love it when I'm entertaining a crowd, and I can see everyone's eyes on me — not one person is looking at their phone. That's what I'm talking about — just escaping the world for a little while and having fun," he says.

For many years, Patrick took whatever gigs he could get, including birthday parties and weddings, but his trajectory has changed.

"I want my show to be unique and fun, and I always want to learn new things in new places," he says. "That can be challenging, because I perform over 200 shows per year. I travel a lot."

Currently, Patrick is performing a series of headlining shows with Carnival Cruises. He also entertains at major corporate events, which he has done companies and venues like Facebook, Old Navy, Walmart, Pasadena Rose Bowl and Dodger Stadium.

"I'm also interested in acting gigs. I've worked in television and film, and I'm expanding on that," he says. He appears in episode 5 of a Netflix series called "100 Humans," and he also made an appearance on the 2019 Emmy Awards for a spot introducing the variety category with actor Adam DeVine. He currently can be seen in a national Hilton commercial.

Patrick is quick to praise BCC for being an important influence in his formative years as an entertainer.

When I came to BCC, I knew I loved theatre, and I got really involved. I wasn't expecting to enjoy classes like Western Civ, but I did. My professors were great — they encouraged me to pursue whatever it was I wanted to do. I actually started to love being a student, and I still do.

One mentor with particular influence was theatre professor Jen Jordan, who encouraged Patrick to audition for a summer stock program in Hershey Park, Pennsylvania. Patrick won a spot in the intensive program, where he and others performed five shows a day, six days a week, all summer.

"That's where I got really good and met the people who I worked and traveled with the rest of my life," Patrick says. "It's how I got my first job performing in a five-man juggling comedy show."

The future is wide open for Fantastick Patrick, who wants to expand his audience in the Berkshires and beyond. Immediate plans include headlining on a cruise ship in Hawaii and a tour of the Caribbean. Between those bookings, he will perform at BCC, where he will also lead workshops in the theatre department with professor Thomas Towne.

"I'm excited for any acting, directing and producing opportunities in the theatre community in the Berkshires. I'm definitely going to be doing some new and creative stuff in the area," says Patrick, who also plans to play original music in and around Pittsfield in the coming months and years. Most of all, he'd love to become a household name in comedy and variety.

"I hope people will be buying tickets just to see me, not because they might be on a cruise ship and I happen to be the entertainment or because I'm part of a bigger show. I want to be known as an entertainer people want to go see."

To learn more, visit Fantastick Patrick, Instagram or YouTube.