Taylor Albin (Boss Clown)
Never give up and always give it your very best, is a motto that Taylor Albin
has always lived by and he is living proof of. As a young boy growing up in
Mineral Wells, Texas, Taylor always dreamt of being a clown with The
Greatest Show On Earth®. Taylor recalls attending annual
performances of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®
with his family and with each visit, a growing passion to be a clown. As a
young child, Taylor would constantly watch the Ringling
Bros.® video “How to be a Clown” and aspired to be one of the
greats like Tom and Tammy Parish, Chris and Gina Allison, Michael Frum, Jeff
Schott, and Todd Zimmerman.
A sage of clown history at the age of 22, Taylor got his big break in April
2009 when he heard about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey® Clown College® auditions at Madison Square
Garden in New York City. After a meticulous audition and screening process,
Taylor was one of few to be considered for a possible clowning career with the
show. Nearly a year later, Taylor was the most excited person on the planet
when he received a long-awaited phone call to join Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey® Presents BARNUM
In just three years, Taylor has found become the new Boss Clown for
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® PresentsBuilt
To Amaze!SM and is excited to take on the new responsibility.
“What I enjoy most about being a part of Ringling Bros. is that I have
the honor and privilege to see kids so happy and vibrant, and for their parents
to be right in the moment with them. There’s something magical about seeing a
family forgetting their worries and just having fun! Your heart is filled with
so much happiness and joy,” explains Taylor.
Growing up in the small community of Estill Springs, Tennessee, Chris Sullivan
has always been surrounded by and had the support of his tightly knit family.
And although he is now away from his family at home, he considers himself lucky
to be a part of a new family — The Greatest Show On
The youngest of three children, Chris’ continual interest in the performing
arts led him to pursue the art of clowning. Having spent two summers at
Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp, in Maple Lake, Minnesota, with some of
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® former clowns,
including Steve Smith and Greg DeSanto, Chris was able to sharpen his skills in
juggling, physical comedy and circus-style gags. In the summer of 2010, Chris
participated in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey Clown
College® auditions in Dallas, Texas, and was invited to join
the cast of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®
Presents FULLY CHARGEDSM in the spring of 2011. Prior to
joining The Greatest Show On Earth®, Chris and four other
clowns traveled to India to perform for children. The five clowns performed in
orphanages, churches, on roof tops and in the streets.
“I believe in Charlie Chaplin’s adage: ‘A day without laughter is a day
wasted.’ So to be able to bring laughter to children and children at heart
while working for The Greatest Show On Earth® is something
I am truly excited about and proud to be a part of,” exclaims Chris.
When Children Of All Ages attend Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey® Presents Built To AmazeSM they
won’t be able to miss clown, D.J. Dean Kelley. His signature
look, including a huge cowlick that stands straight up on top of his bright
orange wig, is a sight to behold.
After attending every Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
performance in his hometown of Kansas City, KS, since the age of four, Dean was
inspired to become a clown after spending some with them during a show.
For Dean, who admits to being very quiet as a child, performing provided him
with a means to come out of his shell, and he discloses that his clown
character is, in fact, a “magnification of myself at a younger age.” While
attending Kansas City Kansas Community College, Dean took courses in theater
and began working as an actor and a clown, appearing in venues around the area
on behalf of major sports teams, museums and corporations.
In 2002, Dean auditioned for Ringling Bros.® in Anaheim,
CA, at the first open call for clowns held in 30 years. He was hired on the
spot to join the 133rd Edition’s Clown Alley. Often referred to by
his peers as the Swiss Army Knife of clowns because of his multifaceted circus
skills, which include juggling, stilt walking, unicycle riding, balancing and
spinning objects and making sound effects,. Dean also enjoys singing karaoke,
playing the trumpet and, on occasion, bungee jumping.
Excited to be on tour with Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
BaileyPresents Built To Amaze, Dean views his opportunity to
travel and perform with The Greatest Show On Earth, while perfecting
his craft, as both his calling and being a part of history.
“Growing up knowing what a treasure Ringling Bros. is to the world,
and then being able to perform in the show, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime
experience. It's something I have always dreamed of doing and I’m glad I have
the opportunity to do so.”
Oscar Liendo Jr.
Hoping to create his own family
legacy of performers, Oscar Liendo Jr. leads the way as he returns to The
Greatest Show On Earth® for his third tour in Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey® Presents Built To Amaze.
A first generation clown, the Laredo, Texan began performing magic when he
was 10, studied juggling when he was in high school, and was bit by the circus
bug by graduation. Immediately after graduation, Oscar enrolled and attended
the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, in the hopes that it would help him
fulfill his lifelong dream of joining The Greatest Show On Earth.
In July of 2009, Oscar showed off his skills at the Ringling Bros. and
Barnum & Bailey Clown College® auditions in San Francisco. Amazed by his
talents and his hunger to give a great show, Oscar was invited to become a
member of the renowned Ringling Bros. Clown Alley.
Although it was hard leaving his four younger siblings and parents back at
home, Oscar was excited to join his new, extended family when he made his debut
with BARNUM 200SM. Drawing inspiration from a legendary Mexican wrestler named
“El Santo”, Oscar hopes to be like him, and not worry about the money or fame
of performing, but that Children Of All Ages will enjoy his many talents.
LaRena Rose – “Rosie McQueen”
Sebastopol, California native, LaRena Rose, also known as Rosie McQueen, grew
up knowing that she wanted to be a performer of some sort. Having come from a
theatrical background, with a great uncle who was in Vaudeville, a great aunt
who was a clown, and a great great uncle who was in a wild west rodeo show,
LaRena wanted to be everything from a tight rope walker to an opera singer, an
actor on Broadway, a rock singer to a clown. Since the age of eight, LaRena has
been in about 50 different plays and musicals, but it wasn’t until she was
involved in her friend’s play about backstage life at a circus that she was
drawn back to her dream of being a clown. “I worked on my friend’s play as a
clown and as other circus performers. From the early stages of the show to
several fully staged productions at local theatre companies, I learned a lot
about the history of circus and the history of clowns and it led me back to the
circus,” explains LaRena.
With her new found love for the circus arts, LaRena enrolled and graduated
from the San Francisco Clown Conservatory in 2008. In the summer of 2010,
LaRena heard about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® holding Clown
College® auditions in San Francisco and knew that this was her chance to make
it big. “To me American circus is Ringling Bros. and if I was going to join a
circus I was going to join the best. You get to see the country by train and
perform for thousands of kids and kids at heart every week!” states LaRena.
When LaRena is not busy performing for Children of All Ages, she enjoys
singing, sewing, and crocheting and hopes to collect snow globes from each of
the cities she visits.
Julia Ceslee Marie Bothum
Julia Bothum grew up in a very theater-oriented family. In fact, her mom is a
professional clown. Her favorite memories from her childhood feature seeing her
family on stage, from performing in community shows in her hometown of Maple
Lake, MN to her mom’s performances as a clown with Ringling Bros. and Barnum
Growing up she knew she wanted to be on stage too, possibly as a dancer or a
singer. But most of all, she wanted to be a Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey clown, so it was a dream come true when she joined. When asked about her
act in the show, she’ll tell you, “I try to be funny.” She’ll also tell you
clowning is her favorite art form because she can express herself and spread
joy to others.
Even with her busy circus schedule, Julia still finds time to date her
boyfriend Cassidy Marshall and take care of her pet rock Norbert. On the road
she enjoys singing, dancing, writing stories and making crafts. Some of her
more surprising talents are she can swing dance and is fluent in Pig Latin.
If you see a girl walking around in bows and leg warmers, there’s a pretty good
chance it’s Rebekah Cavinder. She never travels without these items and that
includes traveling with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®. Before joining
the circus Rebekah attended San Francisco State University. Shortly after, she
attended the Clown Conservatory and gives credit to the school for her success
as a clown.
Rebekah has other talents outside of clowning including sewing, drawing and
historical costuming, which is probably why she loves her clown costume with
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey so much.
As a child, Chase Culp attended performances of Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey® every year. His childhood dream was to be part of The Greatest Show On
Earth® history. He’s been inspired by the great clowns of the past to be what
he is today, especially his favorite clown, David Larible.
Aside from Chase’s clown talents, he has a variety of musical talents. He
plays a wide range of musical instruments including the nose flute and the
Ben Macon wasn’t always traveling on the path to becoming a clown. Growing up,
he wanted to be everything and anything. Before he started clowning, he toured
with punk bands for six years. His band booked its own tours, which often meant
its members spent nights sleeping on strangers’ floors or in parking lots.
Eventually, Ben began working for more successful bands and even went on the
Vans Warped Tour with his favorite band, Patent Pending.
Ben found his way to clowning in 2009 and worked as a clown on and off for
years at Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. He’s been inspired by the street
performers at Faneuil Hall in Boston. When Ben told his family he was joining
the circus, they said, “About time.” Ben also has a B.A. in Communications from
Keene State College.
Lindsey Anne Marie Merryfield
A best friend gave Lindsey Merryfield a memorable experience that landed her as
a clown with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®. Before she joined The
Greatest Show On Earth®, Lindsey struck a deal with her best friend, Andrew
Hicks, when asking him to arrange some music for their church at Christmas — He
said he’d help but only if she would start clowning with him. She agreed, and
the rest is history.
Lindsey is an artist and loves to paint when she has the time. Before
joining Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey she attended Mount Olive College
and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts. She was even featured in the
college’s magazine as an artist and a clown.
Brooklyn native, Brian Wright always dreamed of becoming a resident of Clown
Alley for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®. After attending Philipp
Schuyler School for the Gifted and Talented and Brooklyn High School of the
Arts, it seemed Brian was big-top bound. He idolized the clowning talents of
performers Tom and Tammy Parish, David Solove, Dean Kelley and Jeff Schott,
citing Robin Eurich of The Bozo Super Sunday Show fame (Rusty the Handyman) as
his friend and mentor throughout his career. Now touring with his wife of seven
years, Brian feels like he’s “living the dream” every time he walks through the
curtain. In his down time, you might find him playing on his PlayStation 3 or
sampling local delicacies in each city.
Xianzeng Zhang, or “Zhang ‘zhong’” as he is more commonly known, comes to
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® from Su, China. With a background in
everything from Kung Fu and Chinese pole to acrobatics, it’s a wonder he hasn’t
joined one of the Ringling Bros.® aerial acts. Xianzeng was recruited for the
Guang Zhou Acrobatic School in China, where he refined his raw talent into
remarkable ability. It was here that he not only enjoyed his time with peers
and teachers, but also where he was given the opportunity to perform with the
school at the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Xianzeng
went on to pursue a career at Ringling Bros. when the Yimar Troupe joined the
cast of the 141st Edition, FULLY CHARGEDSM . Xianzeng had been performing an
Aerial Strap act with the troupe, but had always wanted to combine his
acrobatic techniques with physical comedy. While touring, he enjoys seeing what
each city has to offer and continues to work on new skills and tricks.
Cynthia “Go-go” Lee Reyna
If there’s one clown that’s been able to make the most of a small living space
on the road, it’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s own Cynthia “Go-go”
Reyna. Prior to relocating to Clown Alley, Cynthia attended The University of
Texas in San Antonio, where she majored and went on to become licensed in
interior design. An athlete and lover of animals, Cynthia enjoys staying active
no matter if she’s in a gym training clients, juggling center ring, running
with her cocker spaniel/poodle mix, Ollie, or taking part in one of her
favorite pastimes, roller derby (where she gets her nickname). As a first-year
clown, Cynthia is excited to get carried away with the circus train lifestyle,
pick up new gags and tricks from fellow performers and learn about each city’s