Whimsical Wednesday: The Journey to becoming Hugz the clown and beyond, Part 3; Now What?

Whimsical Wednesday: The Journey to becoming Hugz the clown and beyond, Part 3; Now What?

The summer ended, as summers do, and I was back at college before I knew it. Before I left to go back, a friend who happened to be the clowning teacher of the camp, came up to me and handed me a brochure. Do this she said! You are perfect for it. Do it for all of us who are to scared to take the chance. I looked at the brochure, it was for Ringling Bros.and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. A new dream had been planted.

Now there are many different training grounds for clowns, but there is only one true Clown College, and that is the one run by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Clown College was formed by Ringling Bros. in 1968 and ran for 30 years. The tuition-free school was created when Ringling Bros. realized that their clowns were getting up in age and if something wasn’t done, the art of circus clowning would be lost. Some would describe the dire situation thus: “The clowns could fall down, but would they be able to get back up?”

Auditions for Clown College were held nationwide, and lengthy applications were filled out for this special program often referred to as “boot camp for clowns.” Questions on the application ranged from general circus knowledge to “When was the last time you cried and why?” As for the audition, making a fool of yourself through improvisation was the order of the day.

The more I found out about the college, the more I wanted to go. The more I wanted to go, the reality of telling my parents I wanted to drop out of college and join the circus began to sink in. I tried to make college work, I was doing fine, could I really leave it for a dream and the possibility of never finishing college? I sent for the application, I spent hours writing and re-writing my answers. Did they want a serious answer, or was I supposed to be funny all the time? In three words describe how you walk into a room. I answered with “Right foot first.” The last time I cried was easy, I pretty much cry either from laughter or sadness on a daily basis.

I finally finished the application, I had told only two other people of my intentions. I was so scared to mail it and I was so scared not to. I had heard they usually had over 3,000 applications a year and 50 people were chosen. I was also informed it was 90% men, and very few women were accepted. I convinced myself that I would not get in any way, so off in the mail it went.

In November, I traveled from West Virginia to Pittsburg where I had my actual audition. I think I have blocked it out because I was so nervous so I have very few memories of the actual time. I do remember the “Head Clown” asking me if I would give up getting my college degree to become a clown. My answer then is the same it is now, yes, yes, I would. The next question was if I had support from my family. Well, I said, they do not actually know I am doing this. Why worry them if I do not get in. He gave me a knowing smile and then said “You might want to tell them, before you both trip over your big shoes”

next week: part 4; Family, Confetti and Clown College


5 Comments so far
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Reblogged this on My Favorite Spaces.

Comment by Talitha

Thanks for liking my blog enough to re-blog 🙂 it made my day!

Comment by Kari

Thanks for your comment!

Comment by Talitha

You’re making me be way too patient…

Comment by Ju

you are too funny, but the story is the story and you of all people do not want to hurry a good story!

Comment by Kari

Comment here!

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