top of page

Clown College Graduate & Blue Unit Performer talks about her Ringling time!

With the announcement of The Greatest Show on Earth, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, closing its doors in May 2017, we thought it would be a good time to celebrate the immense amount of enjoyment it has brought the world! In the next couple of weeks, we will be interviewing performers who have worked for the Ringling Bros Circus. They will reflect on the good it has brought them and what the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has contributed to the future of Circus Arts!

Long live the circus!

Marni Sussman Ringling Bros

Next up in our series of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performers is Marni Zalben. Marni is a clown college graduate from 1997 who now works in HR and is a mom of 2!

Q: What is your name?

A: Marni Zalben (Marni Sussman when I was on the road)

Q: When were you with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus?

A: 1997 Clown College Graduate, Blue Unit 1998 - 2002

Q: What did you do with Ringling?

A: Clown

Q: If you are not with Ringling anymore, what are you doing now?

A: Human Resources & mom of 2

Q: What was your most memorable moment with Ringling?

A: Setting a record for the speed round on Celebrity Family Feud.

...In case you missed it in our first is when the Ringling Bros. clowns went on Family Feud!

Q: Is there anything special that you carry on with you from Ringling?

A: My work ethic – I always do my little jobs before anything else. I take care of those around me. I appreciate differences in cultures and personalities, and of course, all of the relationships and friendships I will have forever.

Q: When you watch the show, what is your favorite part?

A: Watching the crew – They are always as choreographed and accurate as the performers.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say about Ringling?

A: I always thought that being a part of the big show couldn’t be a big deal, because I was doing it. But now, 15 years later, it will stop any conversation. I have friends across the country and across the world. I learned how to speak a universal language of wonder and accomplishment. Ringling was a very big deal.

Q: How have you continued circus arts beyond your time with Ringling?

A: I am a great supporter and audience member, and I always bring a free roll!

...And, I had no idea what a free roll I went to our co-owner Todd Zimmerman. Here is his explanation:

Free Roll is the circus name for free stuff given to the circus performers. From free food to t-shirts, tickets, etc. It was usually reserved for food, but it could be anything. And ALL free food was our favorite!

Thank you very much, Marni! I super appreciate you talking to us about your time at Ringling! I wish you the best of luck!


Is there something you want former performers from Ringling Bros. to answer?! Leave a comment below!

Get your tickets for the remaining Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey shows here!


If you liked this post, try these...

Featured Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page