NPR Story about Circus Smirkus: Training Clowns On Tour

Pyramid of circus performers

The article features Circus Smirkus, Ringling's Vice President of Talent Tim Holst, and former Ringling clown (and Bindlestiff musician, Peter Bufano

Listen Now [4 min 13 sec] 

August 6, 2008 · Where do the clowns of tomorrow come from? Some of them are coming from Circus Smirkus, an award-winning touring training camp for aspiring aerialists, jugglers and rubber-nosed pranksters.

Smirkus is an incubator of sorts, where scouts for big time big tops, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, hire new talent.

At a recent show in Wellesley, Mass., Circus Smirkus looked and sounded like a traditional European-style show, with its canvas big top covered with stars. But there is a main difference: The troupe's performers are kids, some as young as 10.


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