Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Underneath the makeup and the fancy costume you will find my friend Janice who inspired me to make a clown doll, even though as a child I was not too fond of clowns. I guess I should have looked at this picture before I began my sculpting, or maybe that old fear surfaced in the creative process. The only thing the two have in common are their colorful costumes. Janice was the fifth woman clown for Ringling Brothers back in 1972. She was in college when the circus came to town. Janice was going to be a teacher so she thought going to clown college would help her be a better one. When Ringling offered to hire her, Janice when home to talk it over with her family. Now, how many mothers who had a daughter who was a senior in college, would tell them it was o.k. for them to run away and join the circus? Well, that is exactly what her mother told her to do. She said it was an opportunity that might not ever come again. So that is what Janice did. Her high school sweetheart, Mike, soon followed and the rest is history. They got married and along with Janice's brother, Gil they formed a center ring bear act for Ringling. After Janice's husband died, she did become a teacher, and that is where I met her. She worked in Special Education for five years. Now, she works for Ringling again. She is the Manager of Animal Stewardship Training at thier faciltiy in Florida. With thirty years experience working with animals, she now instructs animal handlers in the care and training methodology of elephants at the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation. Even though Janice doesn't wear the makeup any longer, she is still a crazy clown!