Clowning around in hopes of joining the circus

August 4, 2009 8:20:49 PM PDT
There is a mystique about running away with the circus. Tuesday, some people got a chance to join the greatest show on earth -- as a clown.

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You could do a comedy juggling routine, struggle with an overweight coin or bend your body into seemingly impossible positions.

Welcome to clown auditions.

Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus has been conducting a talent hunt in major cities across the country.

It takes more than a fake nose and a funny face. What they were looking for was somebody who can make people laugh with heart.

"I'm looking for desire, drive and heart of a clown; we're not looking for an actor who can portray a clown, we're looking for someone who truly is a clown," talent manager Dave Kiser said.

"We're looking to see what people have natural talent, besides desire to be funny and to perform, who have the ability to use their entire body," clown college instructor Karen Hoyer said.

Rudy Wollrabe, 18, flew down from Portland for the audition.

"I've always been called class clown with my physical comedy humor," Wollrabe said.

Wollrabe was among the five people picked to sign a one year contract. They will begin rehearsals in Florida in November for the next greatest show on earth.

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