Nicole Feld in the NYT

Nicole Feld, daughter to Kenneth Feld, and heir apparent as Big Boss of the Ringling shows, has an article in the NY Times today, under the column: THE BOSS.

When I was at Clown College, Nicole came to the final graduation– she was probably around 9 or so, and it was a big deal, because she was grading you along with everybody else, and the word was that if she didn’t think you were funny, that was it– you were out! I didn’t get selected to go on the show (which was fine with me– I didn’t actually go there to work for Ringling– I wanted to learn new theatrical skills– it was only afterwards that I realized that I really loved being a clown.)

It’s probably ACTUALLY true now, if Nicole doesn’t think you are funny, you are OUT.

Anyway, here’s the beginning of the article:

The Boss

The Call of the Circus

Published: August 3, 2008

MY grandfather Irvin Feld was a promoter. He bought Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1967. My father, Kenneth, joined the company, now Feld Entertainment, in 1970 and is C.E.O.

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Heinz Kluetmeier


Executive vice president of Feld Entertainment

AGE 30

HOMETOWN Washington, D.C.

FAVORITE QUOTATION “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” — Thomas Edison

When I was younger, my sisters and I would play with the clowns when school was out for the holiday, and they would have a project for us. We would make clothes for our stuffed animals and petticoats for our dolls.

When I was 8 or 9, the clowns made clown costumes, complete with big shoes, for my two younger sisters and me. We wanted to wear them and perform in the show.

Our father agreed to let us be in the show when the tour came through the Baltimore-Washington area. He told us that if we wanted to be in the show, we would have to perform on the work schedule of the other performers. Saturdays are always three-show days.

The clowns put clown makeup on us, and we were in all three performances. We got paid $3 a show. We were exhausted by the end of the day and fell asleep during the car ride home. Being a clown is a lot harder than it looks.

A year or two earlier, in a talent search, my father came across what looked like a one-horned goat. I don’t know where he found it. He created a show called “The Living Unicorn.” The “unicorn” became a torment to me during the entire two-year run of the show. I would come home from school crying, saying: “The kids called me a liar. There is no such thing.”


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