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2001 Ringling Clown College Reunion in Las Vegas

Go to Reunion Page 2
Clown College Grads Links Page

January 22-24 I flew to Vegas for the first time to attend a reunion
of graduates of Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Clown College

Attendees from the Class of 1981 - Our 20th Anniversary

From left to right:
top row: Donald Ganz, Eric Heath, Thom MacNamara,
bottom row: Albert Alter, Deanna (Ulibarri) Fleming, and Donna Wood 

We had some wonderful meetings during which we reminisced and heard stories about some of the greats who are no longer with us.  We also set up the beginnings of an Alumni Association and ensured the promise of reunions to come.  

Many of the graduates are full-time entertainers and they brought their costumes and props with them.  Monday and Tuesday evenings were taken up by incredible displays of juggling, outrageous humor, feats of gymnastics and balancing, and some unusual bits of comic desperation.

It was a wacky and wonderful experience, especially being a guy with Tourette's Syndrome in a room full of circus clowns.  Never have I been so invisible in a crowded room before!  Every person in attendance was certifiably (by clown college diploma) a comic genius of some kind, and each was trying to be the funniest one in the room at least for a moment or two.  

With my neurological disorder, I have a variety of words that I suddenly shout, especially in the dead spots.  Amongst this group of people, when I suddenly shouted "BOING!" in my operatic voice nothing happened.  People glanced at me and guessed it might have been a joke gone astray..

For the first time in years I wasn't the "funniest" one in the room!  For once the people around me were barking, flailing, and shouting out weirder things than myself.  Heck, they made me look normal - even boring!   Is that all you got? Boing? What's so funny about boing?

Just for kicks, we did a publicity gag for a local car dealer and stuffed as many clowns  as we could into a new Volkswagon.  I believe the final count was 23, in full wigs, costumes, and SHOES! (above and below right)

Above, master clown, Frosty Little (class of '68) winds up to deliver a slap during a performance on Monday evening.  

At right, a Clown College Japan graduate and unwitting assistant that he pulled from the crowd,  on Tuesday evening.

Go to Clown College Reunion Page 2

My Tourette's Syndrome Page

 

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Dragon Wings LLC
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