Clowning Around with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus

Associate editor Jamie Coelho gets a clown makeover from Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus is coming to the Providence Dunkin' Donuts Center May 4-7, and they sent two clowns, Mike and Rob, to show me what it takes to make it as a clown in the circus. They call it Clown College. I call it letting your inner Bozo out of the cage.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived at the Dunk. Mike and Rob had a giant three-foot-tall golden dragon egg on hand. This year’s circus theme is “Dragons,” and they say fire-breathing creatures will appear right before your very eyes!

I sat in the chair expecting to don a clown nose and a costume, get some light makeup, and then learn some fun tricks. They started off the session by having me practice the emotions of happy, sad, angry and scared. I exaggerated all of my expressions (exactly like I already do with my husband).

Next thing I knew, they had me in full makeup; white face, red cheeks and red puckered lips! It didn’t take long to get the whole treatment, and before I knew it, I was transformed into a clown. They taught me some basic tricks like juggling, balancing and riding on a unicycle (even in heels)! I gave it a try, but I didn’t want to land on my face, so Mike demonstrated his skills for us instead.

After that, it was time to return to the office for a meeting. I had the urge to keep the makeup on and run away and join the circus, but I opted to return to my old self.

But I still have my red clown nose so I can let my inner Bozo out anytime!

Below is a video documenting my experience. Click here to buy tickets to "the greatest show on Earth!"