After performing as a mime for three years at Sea World in San Diego, Alan Ware—aka “Grampa” Clown—went on to study the art under mime legend Marcel Marceau. Ware graduated from Clown College in 1996 and has performed with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for the past 10 years. City Weekly asked how he decided to become a clown and about his reaction to Marceau’s death on Sept. 22:
I didn’t decide to become a clown—clowns scare the hell out of me. I was a theater artist who loved physical comedy. In 1994, Marcel Marceau advised me to go into the circus. You’re the first person to ask about Marceau’s death. I’m deeply saddened by his loss. He meant a great deal to generations of performers—ballet, opera, theater. He was Picasso.