Clowning Achievement: Ringling Bros Clowns Bring Oversized Smiles to CBCC

Last Thursday, a trio of clowns from the touring show Dragons! By Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey visited the Children's Blood and Cancer Center (CBCC).

The visit lasted about an hour, and it is no exaggeration to say that kids attending the performance wore clown-sized smiles the entire time. In some instances they also wore clown-sized shoes as well as clown-sized noses.

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(On a personal note, I never had an opinion on clowns before that day. Now, I am down with clowns: from their glorious interaction with the kids to their highly professional and disciplined method of delivering absurdity, I was sold. The only thing I found frustrating was later on trying to explain how great they were without using the descriptor clowning.)

Before he went to greet the kids I had a moment to talk with the clown in the yellow and black striped shirt, who, coincidentally, is from Leander, an Austin suburb. I asked him if entertaining on such an intimate level would be more difficult than in front of the thousands nightly that attend the circus.

"No," he told me with sincerity, and then for a moment he banished cynicism from the world by adding, "This way you really get to see the smiles on their faces."

On his way out, this clown stopped by the nurse's station where several oncologists and oncology nurses were working.

"If you have any questions, "just gimme a call," he said with authority.

To see more photos from this visit, check out the CBCC's flickr stream
or my gallery at smugmug.

All photo credits: Ross Bonander

This is the fifth installment in my series on the Children's Blood and Cancer Center at Dell Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas. The first four are listed below:

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