Orenda

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Orenda
BornWilliam M. Dopp

Flourished1950s - 1990s
Orenda (fl. 1950s-1990s) was the stage name of Bill Dopp, when performing magic. He was also known as "Presto" the Clown starting in 1954.


Biography

Dopp gave his first performance as "Billy Dopp the Boy Magician" in Chicago. At the age of 17 he presented his first full evening show in Brookfield, Illinois, as ORENDA the MAGICIAN. Bill used that name when his father who was studying Indian Lore discovered that orenda meant magic.

He was the original "Health Magician" and in 1933 he presented his "Health Show" under the sponsorship of The Chicago Tuberculosis Institute.

In 1934 he went to work for The Good Teeth Council For Children and toured the nation as "The Tooth Magician" lecturing on Dentistry and using magic to illustrate.

In 1938 he turned to School Assembly Programs and earned his living this way for over 30 years.

As Presto, he specialized in company picnics and as a clown M.C. for large stage shows. In 1965, he went to Conneaut Lake Park in Pennsylvania as the official clown for this major amusement park. After two years he joined the staff of Geauga Lake Park in Cleveland, Ohio. When this park was sold in 1968 he turned to booking and became associated with the Greater American Entertainment Corporation of Sarasota, Florida.

After three years of constant travel as a booking agent, he semi-retired to Nashville, Indiana. When a new station in Louisville was searching for a host for their children's show, Dopp applied and the Presto was the first program on the air for this new station airing on February 28, 1971. Presto the Magic Clown Show was a daily mix of cartoons, magic tricks, viewer participation and birthday greetings[1]His wife June operated the puppets on the show.[2][3][4]

A publicity photo as "Orenda" can be seen on the Conjuring Arts Research Center" exhibit "The Many Faces of Magic" (the same photo can be seen in the cover story about Dopp in New Tops, May 1974)[5]

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WDRB
  2. Cover, New Tops, May 1974
  3. [http://zh-cn.facebook.com/group.php?gid=375843783958 I Grew Up In Funsville Facebook Fansite
  4. http://www.louisville.com/content/where-have-you-gone-presto-clown
  5. http://askalexander.org/displaypdf.cgi?did=9752&pgnum=1


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