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I had two clowns in my office this afternoon. No, not my co-workers. They were real, live clowns from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. One of them, Victor Rossi, is from France and the other, Asa Walker, is from Kansas. Both will be performing in the circus at the BOK Center this weekend. The first show is on Sat., March 31 at 3 p.m., followed by one at 7:30 p.m. and then on Sunday, June 1 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The pair of pared-down fellows were giving me the low-down on circus life. It was kind of a warm up to my own “Greatest Show on Earth” – I was invited to be the Guest Ringmaster on Saturday afternoon. I’m pretty nervous about it, but the clowns assured me that even they get a little nervous, too, right before the curtain opens. But once they’re in front of the audience, it’s all about the show.
Victor Rossi comes from a long line of circus performers in Europe – eight generations! He said the first performer in his family was a court jester for the King of France. Both of his parents were clowns, so he grew up touring throughout Europe with the circus.
Being a mom, of course I asked about how he went to school if he was traveling all the time.
He said that school for traveling performers in France is similar to on-line or correspondence learning, called Cned, The National Centre for Distance Education, which is provided by the French department of education.
Victor has never wanted to be anything else. “I’ve wanted to be a comedian since I was 3. I love it,” he said.