Archive for February 20, 2012

George Washington Birthday Parade

Today, I (Sir Toony Van Dukes) participated in the George Washington Birthday Parade with several of my clown friends from Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia and the surrounding clown alleys. We had great weather for February, clear blue skies and temperatures near 50. It was a fun parade.

Sir Toony Van Dukes

Sir Toony Van Dukes getting ready for the parade

Ringling Clown College Auditions in NY

2012 Clown College® Auditions Announced

This is a once-in-a–lifetime opportunity to audition to become part of The World Famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Clown Alley


11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
87 E 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017

Sign Up

Auditionees must be 18 or older and come prepared to show a 3-5 minute routine. This routine should display exaggerated facial expressions and body language, showcase any unique physical skills (juggling, unicycle riding, gymnastics, etc.) and demonstrate an understanding of their comedy, a sense of personality and a true desire to become a member of the world famous, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Clown Alley.

Auditionees should not wear any clown makeup and should not wear any costumes. Loose, comfortable clothing should be worn. It is preferred, but not required, that you bring a headshot and a resume to your audition.

Clown Forum

The first clown group I joined was the Clown Forum. I wasn’t a clown yet. I had no training, no costume or makeup, and hadn’t come up with a name. I was looking for something different and had stumbled upon two summer programs for clowns, Clown Camp and Moose Camp. I thought it would be fun spending a week learning how to be a clown and I couldn’t wait. The Clown Forum seemed like a good place to get started and meet other clowns.

The Clown Forum is a message board where clowns (and magicians, face painters, balloon twisters, etc.) can interact and share ideas. I quickly became an active member of the forum and found myself visiting almost every day. I have made great friends through my time on the Clown Forum. I highly recommend it to all clowns.

Circus Magic Convention

Just 12 days away from the start of the Circus Magic Convention. Steve “Salty” Kissell sent out an email update with some changes and special announcements.

  1. Danny Taylor will be joining us for the Thursday evening show with Don Bursell, you don’t want to miss this zany pair. Don is a Ringling trained clown that will bring the house down!
  2. For those that are signed up for Thursday-Sunday at Circus Magic, you can attend the Balloon Mania Day on Wednesday for only $5! This will be for beginning and intermediate twisters. Then you can step up your game with Ken Stillman with Advanced Balloons on Thursday.
  3. For those of you who signed up for Storytelling on Friday: Red Hawk’s brother Swamp Rat will be in the house in full Native American regalia sharing the history of NA artifacts at the workshop.
  4. Chagy the Clown has graciously agreed to perform on our Saturday evening show.
  5. Please consider donating clown or magic items to the Betsy Ellis Scholarship Fund. You may drop off your donation at the registration desk. Items will be placed in the silent and live auction.
  6. Mark your calendars for next year (February 21-24) as Jim Howle will be holding a two day performance and presentation class. At the completion of the workshop, his students will perform on the Circus Magic stage! AND on Saturday evening next year, you don’t want to miss Jim Howle’s final farewell performance! Jim is retiring from clowning to pursue his other love of painting. This will surely be the show of the century with special guests from his past to send him out with fanfare. You may register this year at Circus Magic for next year and receive a free pre-day intensive for 2013.

Ringling Clowns on the Radio

Clowns from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus join the Preston and Steve Show in studio on 93.3 WMMR in Philadelphia. They demonstrate riding the unicycle, juggling, and plate spinning.

Big Apple Circus – Circus After School

Video by the Big Apple Circus about their Circus After School program.

This Month in Clown Conventions

There are many regional and national clown conventions each year. Some attract 20-30 participants and others attract 100-200 participants. Conventions are a great place to meet other professional clowns, attend workshops, enter competitions, and try out the latest items from their dealers. I try to go to several conventions each year. Most are regional conventions that are close enough for me to drive.

So far, I have signed up to attend two conventions: Circus Magic Convention later this month and the Clowns of America International (COAI) Annual Convention in Kansas City, MO in April. There are two other conventions that I have attended the past two years and will likely attend again: Clownfest in Seaside Heights in September and the Mid-Atlantic Clown Association (MACA) Convention in November.

February 2012 Clown Convetions

Circus Magic Convention
February 23-26, 2012

Holiday Inn Patriot 3032 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Presented by Steve Kissell. Bringing Education Excellence to the Performing Arts! Come Celebrate, Laugh, and Learn at Clown Jamboree on their 19th Birthday with the special theme of: Tribute to the Wizard of OZ! Note, this year the convention is at a new location.

March 2012 Clown Convetions

World Clown Association 2012 Annual Convention
March 19-23, 2012

Town and Country Resort and Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA

The Annual convention for the World Clown Association.

Bubba University Clown Training
March 23 – 24, 2012

Hosted by the South Shore Joey’s
First Baptist Church
219 Adams Street
Abington, MA 02351

If you have ever wanted to be a clown or if you are a clown now, and need professional refresher training, here’s your chance. Your instructor is Bubba Sikes and he will be sharing over 25 years of professional clown knowledge. Remember, the FUN starts HERE.

Ringling Bros. Juggling Flash Mob in Times Square New York

On March 9, 2011, Ringling Bros.® took over NYC Times Square in a spontaneous juggling extravaganza, an event that has never happened before.

Also shown by the NY Daily News Channel

Clown Types from Clownfest

Four clowns at Clownfest 2010 talk about their clown makeup after the clown makeup demo.