WBEZ | clowns http://www.wbez.org/tags/clowns Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Clown hopefuls audition for a spot in 'the greatest show on Earth' http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/clown-hopefuls-audition-spot-greatest-show-earth-102074 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/clowns.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Eight clown contenders now have a chance to join &ldquo;the greatest show on Earth.&rdquo;&nbsp;Ringling Brothers and Barnum &amp; Bailey Circus was in town Wednesday to hold its first open audition in Chicago in four years.</p><p>The day started with 26 clownish people who answered the audition call and tried out in front of a panel of giggly judges at the Joffrey Ballet dance studios. One of the judges and Director of Talent, David Kiser, was in stitches throughout the audition process.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not every time we have an audition that everyone has a moment of brilliance,&rdquo; Kiser said. &ldquo;And I can tell you today that everyone had a moment of brilliance.&rdquo;</p><p>The tryout consisted of an hour-long clown training, partner skits and solo auditions.</p><p>Karen Hoyer is a mime and movement instructor for Ringling Clown College. Hoyer coached the candidates through an intensive, hour-long Clowning 101 class. Her clothing punctuated her mime expertise -- black tights, a black-and-white striped shirt and black Converse sneakers. She instructed her pupils to sneak, strut and act &ldquo;clown-esque.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;They have to be able to use their entire physicality because we are performing in gigantic arenas,&rdquo; Hoyer said. &ldquo;They have to be able communicate what they need to communicate all the way back to the very tip-top row.&rdquo;</p><p>Some candidates traveled from as far as Florida and New York City for this rare chance to show off their juggling and mime routines.</p><p>Margaret Lute took the Greyhound from Akron, Ohio, because she thought the tryout would be &ldquo;an adventure.&rdquo; She lost her job at a children&rsquo;s theater company just over a month ago.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll get to travel, which is what I love to do,&rdquo; Lute said. &ldquo;And I&rsquo;ll have a great story for to tell my grandkids someday that grandma got to run off to the circus at 25.&rdquo;</p><p>Unlike other performers who brought music or props like a leaf-blower, Lute&rsquo;s audition was silent. She specializes in mime. The judges picked her for the final cut.</p><p>&ldquo;I am very excited, I can&rsquo;t believe it,&rdquo; Lute said. &ldquo;Honestly, I was not expecting this at all.&rdquo;</p><p>She and the seven other finalists will attend the circus&rsquo; two-week Clown College in Rosemont. The top performers there actually get to run away with the circus.</p></p> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/clown-hopefuls-audition-spot-greatest-show-earth-102074