What do you look for in applicants to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College®

An overactive funny bone and a heart the size of Alaska! Improvisational ability, a sense of timing, and a sincere desire to be a clown are also necessary characteristics of a potential applicant. Previous professional clowning experience is not required.

Where is the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College located?

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College resided in fixed locations 1968 through 1997. Today Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College is offered in venues and at designated times in different locations throughout the United States which are advertised through different media.

How long is the program when students are accepted?

The length of the program varies on a variety of facts such as the number of students, the current skill set of the students as well as the needs of the three touring units of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

What are some of the classes at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College?

Character development, improvisation, makeup, pantomime, gag development, prop and costume construction, acrobatics, dance and the physical skills of slaps and falls, stilt-walking, unicycling, juggling and arena choreography.

How often do you conduct open auditions?

Auditions are only one of the ways that we recruit and evaluate performers that could potentially tour with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. We hold auditions when we are in cities where there is a talent pool from which to draw, when our talent scouts are available to evaluate candidates and when we have a desire to potentially bring new clowns to The Greatest Show On Earth. Individuals are also invited to contact us if they are interested in becoming a clown. More information can be found here: www.ringling.com/clownauditions.

What happens when candidates are selected at an audition to continue being evaluated?

They will have an opportunity to see a performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and a more detailed application will be filled out. From there, potentially, another meeting and an intensive training session will be held. During this process, the opportunity will be evaluated on both sides and it'll be determined if it's a mutual fit. If there is a fit, a one-year contract will likely be offered.

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