Billy Murray, a 26-year-old clown from West Hollywood, joined the circus in 2009. Three years later, he's back in Southern California -- this time, to recruit.
Murray, a former gymnast who performs aerial stunts for the Ringling Brothers Circus, stopped by Tuesday as the Ringling Brothers held auditions and a workshop for clown hopefuls at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Auditioners participated in a "clowning workshop" and were asked to perform a three- to five-minute routine that demonstrated their exaggerated facial expressions, physical abilities, sense of humor and unique personality, said circus officials.
"As a clown, you get more opportunities than most performers because you are the face of the circus," Murray said. "The performers we have on the show are absolutely Olympic-quality."
Selected clowns will have the opportunity to travel the country while on tour, and some can visit more than 80 U.S. countries while on tour. Murray added that the show has recently started performing internationally and is scheduled to go to Mexico in the near future.
The circus travels in a private train that stretches 1.2 miles long and houses up to 400 employees, he said, adding that each clown has a private, "cozy" bedroom.
While Murray said he did not know how many clowns the circus was looking to hire, he said he thinks there could be "more clowns than ever before" as the circus seeks recruits for a new show.
The circus has been conducting auditions around the country, Murray said, and will hold auditions in Chicago, Illinois in the coming weeks.