Tom Bolton (clown)

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Tom Bolton is an American professional performer living in Stuttgart, Germany. He works as a clown and juggler for festivals, corporate and private parties and events. He grew up mostly in Dayton, Ohio, where he got his BS in finance from the University of Dayton in 1982. Tom started juggling in 1979 as a hobby after having seen street jugglers at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. In 1981, he did his first comedy juggling shows on the street, which helped put food on the table during his studies. Rather than join the corporate grind after graduation, he decided to try performing instead.

After stints in New Orleans and New York City, Tom headed to Europe in late 1983. Tom’s life became a migration of performing throughout Europe during the warmer months and spending the winters vacationing in warmer regions like Asia, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Living on the cheap out of a backpack, Tom visited many third world countries where he put his performing skills to use to entertain and meet people, enabling him to photograph them without being obtrusive. He created a website [1] with stories of his adventures and around 1000 original photos in addition to his clown website [2] that shows his present work as a professional performer. Not only a prolific taker of photos; his show is often a popular motif itself for photographers. [3] Although he lives from paying gigs since settling in Germany in 1996, he still does an occasional street show just to entertain people and to advertise his work. Clients looking to book him can also find him in numerous German based online performer-catalogs. [4]

In the Stuttgart area, he is so well known that one website [5] termed him a “living legend”, stating, “And I must say that I think he's really terrific, since I saw him for the first time. Sure, he can juggle and unicycle and make music, but the thing about his show is that it simply works, is positive and sooo funny. When he imitates the gait of a Swabian Grandpa or throws a rubber chicken behind a couple of guys trying to look cool, then I can just about die laughing.”

Video clips of Tom are popular at many sites [6] due to his skill at interacting with his public with fast paced improvisation. Tom’s performances at various events also appear often in the media. [7] [8]

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