A clown’s POV of The Greatest Showman
Friends on Facebook who know I used to clown with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus have asked me what I thought about The Greatest Showman. I went to see the movie recently, sitting in a dark empty theatre all by myself on a Saturday night.
I will start by saying I loved it. I went not expecting a documentary, because few musicals are! I have read a number of books on P.T. Barnum. I saw the brushes with the truth, and the editing necessary for good story telling. I would like to say that if anyone ever did my life story, I would prefer the feel-good musical version!
What the movie captured was the feeling you get when you follow your dreams despite all obstacles. That touches all of us. Whether we have taken a huge risk and followed a dream, or just wish you would have.
For those of us who lived the life in some form of entertainment or circus there was a direct link, a golden cord that pulled us all in. It was the concept that even if you are different there is a place you belong.
This is very important for clowns, even though we were not represented in the film The Greatest Showman. Most clowns can relate to feeling like the folks in the side show museum. Once we got together we could support each other, believe in our dreams, and feel like we finally belong. It is not a coincidence that it is the Ringling clowns that have the reunions! The movie did a great job of presenting those feelings and images through song and dance.
It didn’t sugarcoat failure or screw ups. Any of us who have achieved even a little success have been in a position where we didn’t handle it very well. Where we didn’t take the time to answer a question, sign an autograph, return a phone call, write a thank you note, say we were sorry. And there was forgiveness, something this world needs a lot more of.
I shed a few happy tears during the movie. But oh, at the end of the movie … (SPOILER ALERT!) When they move into the circus tent, I sobbed.
So many feelings rushed at me like a circus train.
I cried for the beauty of the opportunity to have been a circus clown with The Greatest Show on Earth.
I cried because my kids got to do it too, and so many of my Mooseburger Camp students.
And I cried because it is over. I will not be able to share it with my loved ones, my grandkids if I have any, new people in my life. It’s over.
I was grateful I was alone in the theatre.
If you recently watched it, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear how the movie affected you.
Liked what you saw here? Sign up for a free subscription to Mooseburger Newz by email:
Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277