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Gaetano “Guy” Totaro

2010/05/01 23:00 Featured Volunteers

Gaetano Totaro is a performing “Jack of all Trades”. As an Actor, Narrator, Character Model, Musician, Clown, Magician and Fire Artist he really puts the TALENT back into “TARENTO”!

By Deb Wenig.

They say ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and if that’s the case, our Featured Volunteer this month Gaetano Totaro, should have a new title: “Doctor of Smiles”! With the slogan “Changing the world…one smile at a time”, Guy has been a great supporter and smile-maker for the Tyler Foundation. “If I bring even a little joy into the lives of the Shine On! kids and families I feel like I’m a little bit closer to achieving my goal,” he said. Kim Forsythe shares that “Guy is quite simply, very, very special. The kids can’t get enough of him! Aside from the fact that he is a true professional – it’s so clear that he loves what he does and the children feel that. Even more importantly, he really “gets” the Tyler Foundation philosophy of empowering kids. With Guy, it’s not all about him – it’s about inspiring the kids to really explore and discover the great things they’re capable of!” It was great having him at this year’s Shine On! Music Festival.

A native of Los Angeles, Guy is married to Suzuyo and has a three-year old son. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Acting/Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University in 1989. There he was introduced to the Italian physical comedy style Commedia dell’ Arte. He is a Class of 1992 graduate of the world famous Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College. One of his many talents includes an old-time vaudeville clown character, “Uncle Guido” that he perfected on the streets of San Francisco. Arriving, as many of us do, unexpectedly in Japan, Guy free-lanced in a variety of performance-related jobs for five years until he was lured back to the U.S. and, notably performed with the Commedia dell Arte Troupe at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas.

Guy is the proprietor of the aptly named company, Gaetano Company, KK. Ironically, the kanji GAI 外 and TANO楽 imply funny foreigner – which is the perfect description for Guy himself! His Tokyo-based company provides a wide variety of entertainment services for all audiences. While the focus is on children and families, Guy also caters to the humor needs of corporations and “grown-ups.” Guy will be making the Tyler Foundation children smile and laugh at the upcoming Shine On! Music Festival. He knew Kim Forsythe through their mutual work in the foreign acting and narration community in Tokyo, and worked with the Tyler Foundation on the big fundraising event Mystery a la carte when Rachel Walzer cast him for the role of Peter Montgomery. According to Guy, “It was at that event that Kim and I started to talk about how else I could help out given my specific bag of tricks.” Since then he has been doing more hands-on events for the kids and families such as Sports Day and Arts and Crafts Day. When asked about a moment that captures the essence of his work with us, Guy said, “Every time I’ve spent with the kids has been memorable, but I especially remember the look of pure joy/bliss on one mommy’s face as I was doing some silly schtick with her child. The girl was laughing hysterically and it almost looked like her mom was floating.”

Today, this multi-talented man is an actor, narrator, character model, musician, clown, and fire artist! Having returned to Tokyo in 2005, the ever-versatile Guy keeps busy in commercials, music videos, and as a voice actor. He is very proud to have been Suntory’s Super Hero/Spokesmodel, ‘Mr. CC Lemon.’ Guy said, “one of my favorite on-going roles is as the leader of the comedy jazz band ‘The Infinite Happiness Orchestra.’ And then there is the time he devotes to the Tyler Foundation as well.

Guy noted that “Everyone involved in the Tyler Foundation is an inspiration to me – Mark and Kim, the staff and volunteers, and especially the children and their families. Every time I look at my healthy son I am reminded at how lucky I am. If you too are blessed with luck, then please give whatever you can – goods and services, time or money to our brothers and sisters who aren’t as fortunate.” Well, Guy, the Tyler Foundation is very fortunate to enjoy your heart-warming merry-making and smile-provoking talents. You truly are a Featured Volunteer!

For more about Guy and Gaetano Company KK please visit www.supagaijin.com.