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Mark Gindick grew up on a steady diet of Marx Bros. and Charlie Chaplin films, so it's no wonder that as an undergraduate studying film in college, he yearned to incorporate the physical comedy elements of his favorite cinema stars into his own productions. To learn more about the elements of physical comedy, Gindick took a break from college and enrolled in the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College, where the craft of making people laugh grabbed him by his oversized lapels and never let go. Today, Gindick is a professional actor and physical comic who writes and creates his own theatrical shows. Most recently, Gindick played a chef in the movie "Julie & Julia," starring Meryl Streep. He also plays several star characters in the Big Apple Circus. Some seasons he dons Grandma's gray curls and dumpster-sized purse to play the beloved clown character when fellow Big Apple Circus clown Barry Lubin is working on other projects. Other seasons Mark plays his own clown character: a nerdy, manic, rock-star wannabe who is shy around women. This season, Mark returns to the Big Apple Circus as a featured clown, and he and Lubin (Grandma) pair up for a coquettish rendition of "Singin' in the Rain."
"I was first going to college for film. I was raised watching classic films like Chaplain and the Marx Bros, and I wanted to put those qualities in my films. I took a break from college to go to clown college. Then I was hooked."
Why did you choose to work for the circus?
"The circus chose me."
What's your best advice for someone who would like to join the circus, too?
"Become a doctor or a lawyer instead."
What advice can you give others about following their dreams?
"If you can picture it in your head—really picture it, smell it, feel it—then you will do it!"