Director of Talent at Feld Entertainment Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Clown College graduate, David Kiser, like many before him, wanted to share laughter with others.

It was only after 15 years as a clown he finally traded in his red nose for his current management position, which shows just how well fit for a clown position Kiser was. Through out Kiser’s speech, audience members can get a first hand look into the lives of Circus Clowns, and circus productions as a whole! The props, costuming, and production, he states, was often put on by people in the community and performers themselves.

Being a part of that first group of clowns at Ringling Bros. gave Kiser a sense of belonging and camaraderie he will never forget. He watched first hand as the circus business transformed from a hotel and restaurant style business, to an interactive performance business. His admiration for Master Clowns has always motivated him to share laughter with others, and truly try to connect with an audience. “Clowns allow people to laugh at ourselves, and see ourselves in a new light, which can be quite refreshing”, Kiser states. 

Kiser ends his presentation with a quote: “The circus is a gift to the world. and sometimes the world is an awesome gift to the circus”. 144 years old, and Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus is still the greatest show on earth, he laments!

This program was made possible with support from the Tampa Bay History Museum and the Osher LIfelong Learning Institue at USF.


ccculturebuildsfloridaClosed captioning for this program has been made possible by support from
the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs
and the Florida Council on Arts & Culture.