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The Education of a Circus Clown: Mentors, Audiences, Mistakes (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History) (Paperback)
2017 Freedley Award Finalist, Theatre Library Association
2016 Best Circus Book of the Year, Stuart Thayer Prize, Circus Historical Society
The 1960s American hippie-clown boom fostered many creative impulses, including neo-vaudeville and Ringling's Clown College. However, the origin of that impulse, clowning with a circus, has largely gone unexamined. David Carlyon, through an autoethnographic examination of his own experiences in clowning, offers a close reading of the education of a professional circus clown, woven through an eye-opening, sometimes funny, occasionally poignant look at circus life. Layering critical reflections of personal experience with connections to wider scholarship, Carlyon focuses on the work of clowning while interrogating what clowns actually do, rather than using them as stand-ins for conceptual ideas or as sentimental figures.
About the Author
David Carlyon is author of the critically-acclaimed book, Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You've Never Heard Of. He is Adjunct Professor at Iona College, USA, has worked as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Flint, USA, taught at Northwestern University, USA, and was on the Speakers Bureau of the New York Council for the Humanities, USA. He is an ex-Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus clown, produced playwright, director, and Equity actor, studying at London's National Theatre Summer Programme, UK. He graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, served in the US Army, earned his JD from Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, USA, and received his PhD from Northwestern University, USA.