Weckerly works with
Ringling Bros. B&B

 

Brian Weckerly has always liked to clown around. When he was a communications major at Elon University in the 1990s, he played the role of the "Fightin' Christian," which was - at the time - the school sports mascot (since replaced by the Phoenix). He went from working the sidelines of college games to being "Bingo," the mascot for minor league baseball's Burlington Indians. And now he has graduated straight to the big top, as a professional clown for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Weckerly was in the Elon area in February, performing with the circus in Greensboro. His 4-foot-11-inch height brings him face to face with his biggest fans - the children who love his circus antics.

After graduating from Elon, he worked for a time at an NBC affiliate in Iowa. He signed up for a clown class there with the idea that it might improve his mascot skills. He became a member of a clown group in 2000 - an informal organization of people of all ages who like to clown. Through it, he connected with a former Ringling Bros. clown and he sent an audition tape to the circus. He was hired.

He and his wife now live on a circus train that's nearly a mile long, and they travel all over the country. His wife works in sales for the circus.

His clowning was front-page news in the Burlington Times-News Feb. 11. "I think the biggest thing for me (about being with the circus) is being part of something that has such a rich history," he told the Times-News reporter.

 

 

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Last Modified:  2/11/05
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