Clown College Faculty

Tim Holst

Vice President of Talent and Production
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

     If Tim Holst had followed his father's dreams, he would be a lawyer today. But his own interests led him to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, and today the 25-year veteran is Vice President of Talent and Production at The Greatest Show On Earth.

     Tim oversees thousands of details concerned with the production of two gigantic touring units. He logs thousands of miles each year while traveling the globe to find, create and cultivate new talent to bring to the United States to perform with The Greatest Show On Earth.

     A 1971 graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, Tim began his Ringling Bros. career as a clown. He later performed as the Singling Ringmaster for four years, and then went behind the scenes as Assistant Performance Director of the Blue Unit, later becoming Performance Director for the Red Unit. In 1985 he became the Production Coordinator and special consultant to Producer Kenneth Feld for both units of Ringling Bros.

     Born in Galesburg, Illinois, he received his bachelor's degree in theater arts at Utah State University.  After graduation, he worked at a local radio station and then served two years as a Mormon missionary in Sweden. Returning to the United States, he acted in theatrical productions, where he was spotted by a Ringling Bros. talent scout and was offered an audition for Clown College.

     "I'm a firm believer in the Circus," Tim explains. "Most children today are products of multimedia, but in the Circus there are no second takes, there are no trick angles. It forces you to use your senses of sight and taste and smell. There is a bit of culture that we try to provide to people that they might not be able to grasp."


Dick Monday

Director of Clown College,
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

     "Attending Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College changes your life," says Dick Monday, Director for this unique institution of higher-learning. "In 1974, I had just graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in radio and television. I was going to work in a small radio station in Iowa. Instead I applied to Clown College and my life and career took a decidedly different course from then on."

     Upon graduation, Monday toured with The Greatest Show On Earth for one year. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television, films and live performance (standup comedy, improvisation and sketch comedy). He starred in Love & Greed (top honors at the Montreal Film Festival) and amused late-night audiences with numerous presentations of his "One-man Newsreel" on ABC's Into the Night with Rick Dees. Film and television roles have included Brain Donors, My Life and a recurring role on General Hospital. For six years, Monday wrote and directed clowning segments for Circus of the Stars, as well as coaching the program's celebrity "mystery clown". He was a member of the Groundlings Comedy Group in L.A., a select group of comedic actors whose alumni include Pee-Wee Herman, Phil Hartman, Lisa Kudrow, Loraine Newman and Jon Lovitz.

     The mainstay of Monday's career has been live performance. Over the years, he has worked in Asia and appeared in all fifty states. His comedy started on the road with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and then continued at Sea World, Marineland and as a featured comedian at Disneyland. Monday has toured with fellow clown Barry Lubin in A Coupla Guys Who Gotta Do a Show and performed off-off-Broadway in Pass The Popcorn. In addition, the City of Los Angeles comissioned Monday to write and perform in a series of performances with Russian clown Olga Serova.

     Dick Monday was one of the founders of the L.A. Circus in 1991, serving as Artistic Director and 'Producing Clown' for three years. The nonprofit organization toured throughout Los Angeles, providing free circus performances and workshops through city funding. A priority project of the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles, The L.A. Circus was selected as the featured family entertainment program at the renowned Cinco de Mayo Festival. Recent projects for Monday have also included writing six productions for Anita Mann Productions.

     In 1994, Monday moved to New York City to continue his work in clown theatre and accepted the position at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. During his first year as Director, he wrote and directed the first ever "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College Revue". It was presented in an Off-Off-Broadway theatre in New York City and featured staff and graduates of Clown College. Of his affiliation with the world-renowned college, Monday says, "The history and exciting tradition of Clown College is incredible. Now it is time to move into the future". He adds, "Clown College is now a serious artistic institution. We now have an incredible concentration of circus art forms and provide the finest physical comedy education obtainable anywhere in the world".