Sundial: Why this radio anchor ran away to the circus as 'Jacques Ze Whipper'
Jack Lepiarz never got over leaving the circus.
Until he was six, Lepiarz toured with his dad, who was a clown and a circus performer in New York. His dad was sharp as a whip — and performed with a whip. Lepiarz took after him.
Lepiarz eventually went to school like other kids. He got a serious job as a radio journalist for WBUR, Boston’s NPR member station, and covered serious stories like the Boston Marathon bombing.
But on the side, Lepiarz was performing — just like his dad. He started doing tricks with a whip at Renaissance fairs. He drew on a squiggly mustache that made him look like a wooden nutcracker and called himself Jacques Ze Whipper with a French accent.
The audience loved it. Lepiarz realized he missed it.
Videos of him performing got him noticed by the TV show America’s Got Talent. Millions saw him crack a whip at Simon Cowell, and millions more continue to watch his videos on YouTube and TikTok.
And so, Lepiarz ran away to the circus.
He quit his job in public radio in February and went on tour. He drives from festival to festival all over the country and wows and disarms crowds with his whip and his wit.
He’ll be at the Florida Renaissance Festival in Deerfield Beach until March 26. But first, he stopped by our studio.
On the March 21 episode of Sundial, Carlos Frías talks to Lepiarz about his longtime love of performance and what he’s hoping to do in his next chapter.
On Sundial's previous episode, Puerto Rican artist iLe told us how love, feminism, politics and family inspire her music. The Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will be wrapping the U.S. tour for Nacarile this Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.
Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.
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