Photo gallery: A day in the life of a clown

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Jahirt Bermudez, 48, has been a clown his entire life. It's not all laughs for circus performers, even if you are a clown.  Patriot Ledger photographer Greg Derr followed Bermudez during a typical day Monday as he helped set up the Cole Brothers Circus and then performed in two shows.

The circus is the family business for Bermudez. The Colombia native who performs as Perolito the clown was born into a circus family, and he has been with the Cole Brothers Circus for 10 years.

His four brothers are all performers. One, Jose, was seriously injured recently when he was shot from a cannon as the “Human Cannonball” in Rhode Island.

His daughters are also circus clowns, part-time.

But like the other performers, his work in the ring is only the most visible part of the job.

The Cole Brothers Circus, which has traveled from town to town since 1884, will usually set up one or two days, perform and move on.

The day starts at 6 a.m. and many of the performers also work as roustabouts setting up the “big top.” It’s a long day, and there’s always the next town down the road.

Watch the big top going up over three hours on Monday morning, compressed to 42 seconds in this time-lapse photo sequence by Patriot Ledger photographer Greg Derr.