Saturday, September 12, 2020

Uncle Junior Project: Robert "Onionhead" Dunn

Photo credit: The Washington Post

Robert "Onionhead" Dunn, a thirteen year veteran of Universoul Circus, is just one of the African-American circus artists whose story is being told through the Uncle Junior Project.

From their website:

"The Uncle Junior Project lends an opportunity to discover and honor the achievements of the many extraordinary individuals and groups in the African-American circus community.

TUJP is a digital exhibit that is:

  • inclusive of all groups of people

  • told by those who lived it

  • presented in an accessible format

  • true to both the positive and negative

Through interview-driven documentaries, powerful historical imagery, and personal essays; the exhibition profiles performers of African descent."

On the site you can find a short video interview with Onionhead as well as Danise Payne. The ICHOF has also recently supplied the UJP with video materials for Bernice Collins.

Please check them out at

Leo Acton

Leo Acton on tour with the Culpepper Merriweather Circus. Leo graduated Ringling Clown College in 1996 and toured with both the Red and Blue Units before appearing with shows such as Circus Gatti, Loomis Bros., and Culpepper, which he has been on for several years.

Photo credit: Kirk Marsh

Friday, September 11, 2020

Cirque D'Hiver Bouglione: Rob Torres

I apologize for this being belated, but yesterday would have been Rob Torres' 47th birthday.

He started off graduating Ringling's Clown College in 1991, spent years as a road and advance clown for Clyde Beatty, street performed, worked for Disney, and then put himself on the world circus map by blowing people out of the water at the Budapest Circus Festival in 2008.

After that he worked all the best shows in Europe until he passed away in 2018, way too young and at the top of his game.

Here is probably his most well known act presented during his third and final contract with Cirque D'Hiver Bouglione in Paris for their 2017/2018 show, Exploit.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Cirque Du Soliel: The Pablos

The clown characters, "The Pablos", first appeared in the Cirque Du Soliel show, Alegria, and then joined La Nouba in Orlando from 2014 until the show's closing in 2017.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Circus Vargas: The Italos

Italo Fornasari and his family performing their musical entrée on Circus Vargas in 1987.

Kinoshita Circus: Jessi and Tucker


Jessi Hoffschildt and Aaron Tucker are currently touring Japan with Kinoshita Circus. They are two of the lucky few who are still able to perform during this pandemic.

Jessi and Tucker both began their circus careers on Ringling, and both have appeared for many seasons with Kinoshita.  

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Ringling: Sideshow Clown Car 1977

Members of the Red Unit Clown Alley perform a Sideshow themed clown car for the 107th Edition of the Greatest Show on Earth in 1977.

I can make out Lou Jacobs, Frosty Little, Richard Mann, Mike King, Anthony Chino, John McHugh (?), Ruthie Chaddock, Kathy Herb, Garry White, Serf Rocha, Barry Lubin, and Tim Doody. Missing is Lenny Wolen as the fat lady.