Special Sub-Topic: Be a Clown, Be a Clown
|A 1910 arrangement of a piece, composed by Czech Julius Fučík, was titled "Thunder and Blazes" by Louis-Phillipe Laurendeau and sold in North America. This arrangement soon became associated with the entrance of the clowns. What is the name of the original tune composed in 1897?|
Entrance of the Gladiators. Julius Fučík composed this piece while in the Czech army. He is also famous for composing over 300 marches, polkas and waltzes. The "Barnum and Bailey's Favorite" was composed specifically for that circus in 1913 by Karl King. "Over the Waves" was composed by Juventino Rosas and was sometimes used with the trapeze act. "Stars and Stripes Forever" was usually only played in emergencies to announce to the performers that something was wrong, and to draw the audience attention away from the problem.
|Clowns were usually located in close proximity to the performance area to apply makeup, don costumes and be available for their next performance. Which of these is the traditional name of that area?|
Clown Alley. Clowns were required to be close to the performing area as they were often used as a bridge from act to act, or to distract the audience in case of a problem. This term has now evolved to include any area where clowns congregate.
|The costume should reflect the character of the clown. The tramp is usually attired in worn out and patched clothes, and character clowns, such as rodeo clowns, are usually in bright, exaggerated cowboy clothes. Which buffoon character is associated with a tri-corner cap, usually adorned with bells?|
jester. Jesters were often employed by royal courts at the pleasure of the royal family. The jester costume would often be created with opposing colors on each side and often included a mock scepter.
|Learning to be a clown could well include researching the man credited with being the first whiteface clown, a performer who was active from 1780-1823. This man is still honored with an annual memorial service attended by clowns in full costume from all over the world. Who is so honored every February in a suburb of London, England?
Joseph Grimaldi. Clowns are still referred to as a "Joey", a clown character created and performed by Joseph Grimaldi. Due to health issues, he retired at age 45 and died in 1837 aged 58. "Grimaldi is dead and hath left no peer", said the London Illustrated News.
|One skill that many clowns use to captivate an audience is juggling, either alone, or with others. The humor can arise from the objects, the characters, the style or other attributes. Most jugglers learn the basics with which juggling form?|
toss juggling. A depiction of juggling circa 1994-1781 BC was found in an Egyptian tomb. It is believed that juggling became associated with the circus and clowning when the first modern circus was opened in 1768 by Philip Astley in London. The Juggling Information Service Committee on Numbers Juggling (JISCON) maintains the world juggling records.
|This American clown was the first to include a mix of animals, acrobats and clowns. He was well known for his comic versatility. Can you identify which of these clowns was used for inspiration in the creation of "Uncle Sam"?|
Dan Rice. Dan Rice was said to be a friend to President Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. The expression "to jump on the bandwagon" originated when Rice campaigned for Zachary Taylor as president.
|There is a clown tradition that each face's makeup must be unique and not copied from another. In 1946 Stan Bult, a member of the International Circus Clowns Club, began recording the different clown faces. What medium was used to record these images?|
chicken eggs. Most of the original eggs were lost in 1965. Today the faces are painted on china-pot eggs, and many of the lost eggs have been reproduced. The faces created are not only representative of the makeup used, but wigs and hats are added as well.
|Though clowns ride cycles with one, two and three wheels, they can often be found exiting a small car in large numbers. Which circus first performed this clown gag in the 1950s?|
Cole Brothers Circus. How do they put so many clowns in the car? All of the interior is removed including the dashboard and trunk. The windows are painted except for a small spot for the driver to see through. The driver generally sits on a small stool and the clowns crowd with props.
|A clown often uses props during a performance. Props could include a water emitting flower, balloons, puppets, etc. Which of these ugly, yellow props is often used for comic effect?|
rubber chicken. It's believed that the rubber chicken was created in the 1930s by Loftus Novelty. However, the plucked, dead chicken has a longer history, possibly as a talisman or warning. There are several theories on how this came into comedic avenues.
|One performance art that a clown might add to their repertoire is mime. A mime performance generally tells a story, by one or more performers, in silence. The character of Bip the Clown, complete with striped shirt, top hat and red carnation, was created by which famous mime?|
Marcel Marceau. There are several anecdotes about how and when Marcel Marceau began miming. One story says that he began miming while protecting and quieting children from German soldiers. One story says that he began when confronted by German soldiers. Yet another story claims that he did not begin until he was enrolled in a school of dramatic arts. Whatever the truth may be, he brought the art of mime to a pinnacle of performance.
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