|In 1981, a week before my senior year at Syracuse University
began, I received a phone call from the Dean of Ringling Brothers and
Barnum & Bailey Clown College. I had been accepted. . .
So I put my affairs in order, taped my unicycle into a clumsy looking
box, and headed off to Venice, Florida.
It was an incredible time and I learned more cool stuff than my brain
(and body) could absorb at the time. Some of it's still sinking in,
Anywho, when graduation came, many of my friends got contracts and went
off to work for Ringling Bros. Some took contracts with other
smaller circuses. I went back to be a Cheerleader and then Coach
Cheerleading at Syracuse Basketball, Football and Lacrosse, but that's a whole 'nother
story. . .and possibly future page for my website.
|At left, the fat suit I wore in our graduation
performance/audition. I had to run full speed, jump in the air, land
on a mini-trampoline, and vault high enough in the air to straddle the
waist of a lifeguard on a tower.
We rehearsed the gag repeatedly, in our shorts and t-shirts and first
time we tried it with the "fat suit" I jumped into the air and
looked down for the mini-tramp, but couldn't see it - just a whale in an
aqua sea spouting up at me.
My feet landed on either side of the "sweet spot" on the
trampoline, in the springs! I didn't knock the guy off, so he
quickly comically propeller-armed and punched himself in the head and threw himself
off the tower.
After more rehearsals I finally got it right and the gag's final blow
off went great on graduation night.