Tricia Manuel originally hails from Maple Lake, a very small town in rural Minnesota. She was working on a degree in Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota and interning as a stage manager at the Children’s Theatre Co. of Minneapolis, when her life was taken over by the art of clowning.
She headed west to perform with the Kit-N-Kaboodle Theatre Co. as a beginning clown in the summer of 1982. In the fall of 1982, she attended Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College. Out of 60 prospective candidates, she was chosen by her performance to receive a contract to work for the Greatest Show on Earth, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus (RBBBC). She toured three full seasons with the circus, performing as a clown in over 500 performances per year from 1983 to 1985. To further her clowning art, she decided to leave the circus. She was offered a position with Ringling, performing at Disneyland in Circus Fantasy (via ruthie). For its entire three-year run, she performed in the famous theme park. During this time, in the off-season, she developed her skills in Birthday parties, company picnics and did consecutive tours with traveling variety arts stage shows.
In 1987 she was brought in to create the first Female Clowning and Costuming Course at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, Clown Camp. For 7 consecutive years she taught at Clown Camp creating new and innovative ways to educate the growing numbers of professional and amateur clowns.