My life as a clown

I’m the clown on the right, silly! The first and only time I had seen the real circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, I was but a wee little lad. My grandparents from Lynn brought me to Boston Garden, and I was amazed by an even littler lad named Michu, who in the mid-1970s toured with Ringling as "The World’s Smallest Man." (the Hungarian-born Mihaly Meszaros (1940-?) later put on the ALF suit(?!) and showed up in Big Top Pee Wee) Anyhow. I looked up to Michu (literally/figuratively/whatnot) because he turned his short stature into star status. That was the closest I got to Ringling until 1997, when a newspaper I worked for outside of Seattle sent me to Clown College auditions for a first-person assignment. Since I performed with a Seattle improv troupe at the time (Fresh Art Entertainment, now defunct, with several members now appearing in TheatreSports!), it seemed like a fun and natural fit. Didn’t get the Ringling job. If I had, I probably would’ve gone, just for the adventure (and perhaps the stories I could tell and write afterward). But a Seattle clown company offered me a job after the audition, trained me in the art of clowning and sent me on birthday parties and company picnics that summer (including Microsoft’s big shebang, in which I did not see Mr. Bill Gates but did...

Read More