How does one become a circus clown?

The easiest way to become a clown is to come from a family of them. (Never mind the
smartass remarks; you know I’m referring to professionals.) Barring that, you have to go to school to learn the basics. The Ringling Brothers Circus, biggest of the “big tops,” runs a clown college, where you learn everything from juggling to how to paint your face to how to stand on your head. After graduating, you start at the bottom, with low pay.

Are you ready to do it? Not so fast. Competition to get in is fierce, and only 10 percent of the graduates are offered jobs. You have to have many kinds of physical skills and have a real knack for entertaining. It’s not enough just to score high on the S. A. T. (Silly Attitude Test).

Source: Just Curious About Animals and Nature, Jeeves (Ask Jeeves) By Jack Mingo and Erin Barrett
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