Strait_v1n11_1972-03

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• VICTORIA E. BROOKS

I spoke to Iris, she and her sister do a balanc- ing/juggling act. I found out that originally they are from Finland. Her father started the family with the circus. I asked her if the people in the circus are all very together. "Yes," was her reply, "but of course you always find some people you don't get along with.!' She told rre that by nature her family is very shy; "But you have to get over that; if you're not liked from the beginning, if they don't like your act, you can forget it." She explained that a lot of acts have agents; they audition for each circus they perform with. Each circus tries to pick acts that are differ- ent, and not repetitive of their last years show. And so it went on all evening; stories of genera- tions in the circus, building up endurance, recover- ing from accidents and working again. There in the Memorial Auditorium, in the locker rooms of the good ole' Sabres and Braves. There they were: the clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers, tigers, chimps, and the ladies selling cotton candy (the stuff that was always so good to stuff in your mouth and have melt on your tongue). It was all happening at once, and it seemed to me that every little kid and parent found something to enjoy. The people in the circus love their work, and it is transmitted to all who see them.

To all the people I met, my questions came as quickly as an inquisitive little kid, and their replies came as rapidly. I asked another clown about how he got started in the circus . He told me that he was a drama major at Southern Mississippi University. "Could you ever think of going back to straight theatre, after being with the circus for a year?" "No," was his answer, "to me the circus is the purest form of theatre. You can't pull any punches when your up there 60 feet in the air ... " "Is it true that every clown has a different face ?" I asked. "Yes," he replied. Every clown makes up his & wn face, and no one has the same one. There may ~e lots of "Tramp" clowns (like the infamous Emmit Kelly), but everyone has something dif- ferent."

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STRAIT 23 MARCH 1972

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