Monday, September 05, 2022

Roncalli: Busy Bee

Bernard Paul, Angelo Munoz and Francesco Carol performing the classic entrée Busy Bee on Circus Roncalli in 1991.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Arturo Figueroa: Rola-Bola

Arturo Figueroa performing during the Come In of the Ringling Red Unit's 119th Edition in 1989.

Arturo performed with all three Units of the Greatest Show on Earth, and is currently the ringmaster of Flip Circus, a new show from Circo Hermanos Vazquez.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Elmo Gibb: Advance Clown

Elmo Gibb giving a morning TV interview to promote Clyde Betty's run in Ladsen, SC in, I believe, 1990.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Anatoli Akerman

From Anatoli's website:

Anatoli Akerman is a clown, physical actor, and a true and passionate artistic soul. He is one of the most intuitive comic performance artists in his field.

Among his career highlights, he was a member of the creation team and performed as a clown in Cirque du Soleil’s “KA” in Las Vegas and later in Cirque’s “ZED” in Tokyo, Japan. He has toured with the world-renowned Circus Roncalli and was cast as a clown in Walt Disney’s feature film Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton.

He has thrilled thousands on stages worldwide, including Cirque du Soleil at the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Tokyo Disney ResortWintergarten Varieté in BerlinFriedrichsbau Varieté in Stuttgart, Cirque Bouffon tour of Germany, Pomp Duck Circumstance Dinner Show in Berlin, Circus Roncalli tour of Germany & Austria, and many more…

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Danise Payne’s Memoir Available Now!

Danise Payne’s memoir, Elbows In My Ears: My Life With Little People, Tigers, and Wardrobe Trunks, was released yesterday, just in time for International Clown Week! I picked up my copy last night and can’t wait to dive in!

                                  PURCHASE HERE

Like many other African American women, Danise Payne graduated from a university and headed out into the world. But she finds herself spellbound on a different path and discovers her life's song includes elephants. 

Enter the circus. 

Elbows in My Ears uncovers a never-before-told tale of a black woman with a career among little people, tigers, and wardrobe trunks. Travel with Danise on a compelling journey inside the massive Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. View an all-black production called UniverSoul Big Top Circus. And witness her life as the first African American woman clown in a circus in Europe-a culture that is uncomfortable with women clowns. 

This intimate memoir reveals the author's encounters with prejudice, exclusion, and her fight for acceptance. It delivers adventures of hilarity and perseverance. What a testimonial to triumph over naysayers! Enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at a traditional circus that will capture your imagination.

If you love stories that inspire you to live the desire of your heart regardless of obstacles, this must-read account invites you to join the pomp that caught national attention. 

About the Author

DANISE PAYNE holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and is a circus clown with twenty-five years' experience. She graduated from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1978 and toured with the Red and Blue Units of The Greatest Show on Earth. She has performed with five circuses and became the first African American woman clown in a circus in Europe. Ms. Payne was featured in Ebony magazine, on Entertainment Tonight, and NBC's Today show. She is a member of The Circus Fans Association of America, the Circus Historical Society, and the Screen Actors Guild. She and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Discover more:

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Happy Birthday Scott O'Donnell!

All of us here at Clown Alley would like to wish Scott O'Donnell a very happy birthday! Scott has performed on circuses in Canada and the US, performed on AND ran Vidbel's Olde Time Circus, was Boss Clown and later a talent scout for Ringling, worked in management for Big Apple Circus, and is currently the Director of Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI.
On top of all of that, he is an amazing friend and fantastic clown!

Here he is performing the classic boxing gag on Vidbel with Mike Snider, John "Eggroll" Kane, and ringmaster Billy Martin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022