First off, as a kid, I’ve always been afraid of clowns. They have all this
weird makeup, dress strangely on purpose, and run up to little kids trying
to make them laugh. Perhaps there’s still some resentment from my
childhood, but I’ve got other reasons.
Clowns demand attention, yet frequently, they have little or no skills to
justify this attention. I have been approached by clowns, and asked if
they could try my unicycle. In most cases, this is something they have had
no ability in whatsoever, and no real desire to learn. Other times, they
have been able to ride, but could do nothing more challenging than ride and
Yes, there are exceptions, yes, I am generalizing. I am talking about the
clowns I know of from american style circuses. There are clowns out there
with skill, and I respect them for it. (I still don’t understand the need
for all that makeup.)
And yes, there’s the fact that quite frequently, when I am riding, someone
will ask me if I am in the circus, or if I am a clown. “No, I am not. Are
As for unicycling for a living, consider this. There is a huge difference
between practice and performance. Practice for the purpose of improving
yourself, and having fun is fun. Practice for the purpose of putting on a
show can be work. When you ride for the fun of it, you are generally not
considering how you would look to an audience, which direction you should
face, how long you should do a certain trick, how you should synchronize
yourself to music, etc.
My juggling club is putting together a show. I’ve been juggling for over
three years, but this is the first time I’ve been preparing for a
performance. And I must say, it really is work. There are specific tricks
I want to do, in a specific order, and I want to be able to do this without
dropping. I am generally a very mellow guy, but getting a performance
ready has put me very close to breaking clubs out of anger. Anyway, I’m
looking forward to the show, and hope to do some others in the future, but
never as my primary source of income. It’s funny, the best thing I can do
to relax after practicing is find someone to pass clubs with – we throw
the hardest tricks to each other that we can. When we catch them, it’s
great. When we drop, it doesn’t matter.
Anyway, if you think you have the drive to persue a career in unicycling, I
recommend giving it a go. Just make sure you have something to fall back
on in case it doesn’t work out.
> Why do so many Unicyclists dislike clowns? Do they dislike clowns
> because they are clowns, or do they just dislike unicycling clowns? Is
> it because so many of the uncultured associate clowns with unicycling?
> Or is it because clowns do unicycling and tricks for other’s
> entertainment, and we do it for fun?
> The other day I had a ton of schoolwork and other problems to deal
> with. Essays to write, projects to work on, movies to watch (an
> assignment), books to read, insane parking situations, and generally
> just a lot to deal with. After I went unicycling and working on
> pedaling backwards and bunnyhopping I felt much better. I didn’t worry
> about or care about all the junk I had to do. It was a great feeling.
> Then I began to think, "this would be great if I could do this for a
> living." Would it be all that bad to be a clown or entertainer? How
> else could I incorporate unicycling into a job? Then again, I’ve
> always thought that you should never make something fun into work.
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