Last spring the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives train got a little off track and I became Toots Caboose, a member of the Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps. I'd never had a burning desire to be a clown - but took on applying for the three-day clown school workshop, taught by professional clown Angel Ocasio, as a major challenge to step outside of my own personal comfort zone and be a part of a historic Portland tradition.
Class of 2009 Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps - Before (Photo by Brian Ross)
As I nervously met my classmates in clowning the first evening (above), I had no idea of what to expect from the clown workshop. By the end of the third day we'd established clown personas for ourselves, designed make-up, created costumes and had some fairly intense clown training (below). In just a few days, we were transformed from individuals from all walks of life to a troupe of clowns having shared an incredible life experience.
Class of 2009 Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps - After (Photo by Brian Ross)
Our clown characters continued to evolve throughout 2009 with public appearances at National Train Day at Union Station, the Fred Meyer Junior Rose Parade, the Key Bank Grand Floral Parade, and more. Toots Caboose was even tracked to situations not directly related to the Rose Festival. It was an amazing summer of activities.
Now, the search is on for the 2010 Character Clown Corps class. Applications for auditions are due on March 1, 2010. All information, and a downloadable application, may be found on the Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps web page.
Tenure as a member of the Character Clown Corps doesn't end with the calendar year of one's schooling. Clown workshop graduates are Portland Rose Festival ambassadors for life. In fact, members of the first two classes just made an appearance this past week, with Drewbo (Drew Carney) on the KGW Newschannel 8 at Sunrise, to promote the search for the 2010 clown class (below).
If you have an interest in some serious clowning around - and a whole lot of fun - you should consider submitting an application to become a member of the Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps.
© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives