Praise for ‘Secret Life of Clowns’
What is a clown? And if you think you want to be one, what do you do? Jeff Raz has drawn on his life’s work to write a pair of narratives – one following a professional clown joining a huge show, and one following a clown student who just wants a job in a circus. It turns out the calling involves a lot of work, and, no surprise, it has mundane and spiritual sides that intertwine. The questions don’t all get answered – how could they? – but the oldest craft in the world gets examined, with just the right amount of historical sidebar. It’s a good book, and if you’re curious about the clowning profession, you’ll turn these pages.
~ Bill Irwin, Sesame Street’s Mr. Noodle, MacArthur “Genius,” and Tony Award winner
Jeff Raz has written a fun, informative read, an up-close-and-personal look at what it is to train as a clown, to teach clowning and to clown in one of the most renowned circuses in the world. This book is also chock-full of asides on the history of clowning, clown trivia and profiles of unique clowns. Could there be a more comprehensive take on the life of clowns?
~ Melissa Smith, Conservatory Director at the Tony Award-winning American Conservatory Theater
A spot-on account of the insecurities, the flops and the triumphs of a student of clown, whether in school or in the biggest circus in the world. It brought a lot of memories back, both as a clown with Cirque du Soleil and as a student of clown. I liked being reminded of the unknowns of it all, when it looked impossibly bigger than life. For an old clown, it jogs memories; for a new one, it’s insightful and affirmative to the challenging rites of passage.
~ Mooky Cornish, star of Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai
The Secret Life of Clowns is a lively, informative and engaging book. Jeff Raz writes from the heart and tells much of what he knows from his four decades as a performer in a way that readers will be able to follow and enjoy.
~ Joel Schechter, D.F.A., author of Durov’s Pig: Clowns, Politics, and Theatre and The Pickle Clowns: New American Circus Comedy and Professor of Theatre at S.F. State University
Jeff Raz taught me that the performing arts are a business, that I should be vulnerable on stage but not when it comes to the business side. Without him I never would have had the courage to move to Dubai and launch Dubomedy.
~ Mina Liccione, star of Stomp, Clown Conservatory graduate and founder of the premiere comedy school in the Middle East