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After Losing Circus Job, Clown Applies His Skills by Running for Congress as a Democrat



(p. A1) As an elephant handler for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Lauren Ramsay used to spend her time herding four-ton pachyderms.

As an elephant handler for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Lauren Ramsay used to spend her time herding four-ton pachyderms.

Last May, the circus closed down after 146 years traveling the country and thrilling millions with "the Greatest Show on Earth." In the year since, the contortionists, acrobats, stilt walkers and other per-(p. A8)formers have walked a tightrope trying to adapt to more-conventional jobs, while sometimes using their circus skills. It takes some professional clowns a while to find a second act: One is now running for Congress.

Former clown Sandor Eke, of Las Vegas, Nev., wanted to put his entertaining and juggling skills to work behind a bar after 20 years with the circus. But nobody would hire him without experience. He's now picking up random clown jobs and painting houses. "I try to have fun with it, but it's not exactly what I wanted with life. I mean, I used to be a clown!"

In April, Mr. Eke auditioned for a mascot job with the Oakland Raiders once they move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. He tried on the "Rushing Raider" costume, and did what he called a "crowd-pleasing routine." He's waiting to hear back, but remains hopeful. "I got good vibes," he says.


. . .


Former clown Steve Lough, of Camden, S.C., who left the circus in 2004, later found employment working for McDonald's at special events and volunteering for political campaigns.

This spring, Mr. Lough decided to run for office himself and is running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress in South Carolina. "I juggle at every campaign stop now," he says.

He did a pratfall at the South Carolina Democratic Convention in April that "got a big reaction and laugh."


. . .


. . . Mr. Lough says the crowds love his clown skills.



For the full story, see:

John Clarke. "Ex-Clown Is Hard to Hide on a Résumé." The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, May 22, 2018): A1 & A8.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date May 21, 2018, and has the title "What's A Clown to Do After the Circus? One Is Running for Congress.")






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