By Renee Pinckney
3:31 PM CDT, August 29, 2012
Calling all clown enthusiasts.
If you harbor any fantasies of running away and joining the circus or have always inspired to entertain children, you may now have the opportunity.
Ringling Bros. is hosting an open casting call at Joffrey Tower, at 8 E. Randolph St., in search of new clowns for its traveling show.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College began in 1968 by Feld Entertainment founder Irvin Feld to preserve the art of clowning.
Since its inception, nearly 1,300 people have received diplomas, with graduates touring with The Greatest Show On Earth, performing on stage, in film and in other areas of the performing arts.
While no experience is required, there are a few tips from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College before your big audition.
So before you grab your red wig, nose and oversized shoes--consider the following:
What does Ringling Bros. look for in a potential clown?
An overactive funny bone and a heart the size of Alaska! Improvisational ability, a sense of timing, and a sincere desire to be a clown are also necessary characteristics of a potential applicant.
How long is the program when students are accepted?
The length of the program varies based on the number of students, current skill set and the needs of the three touring units of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.
What are some of the classes at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College?
Character development, improvisation, makeup, pantomime, gag development, prop and costume construction, acrobatics, dance and the physical skills of slaps and falls, stilt-walking, unicycling, juggling and arena choreography.
What happens if you're selected following the audition?
They will have an opportunity to see a performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and a more detailed application will be filled out. From there, potentially, another meeting and an intensive training session will be held. During this process, the opportunity will be evaluated on both sides and it'll be determined if it's a mutual fit. If there is a fit, a one-year contract will likely be offered.
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