Aaron Watkins has been a frequent collaborator with the CAC since the inception of Circus Sarasota in 1998, and served as it’s first Marketing Director. Over the years he has coached clowning and stilts, managed concessions and novelties, designed playbills and coordinated the volunteer program.
As a clown and magician, Aaron has laughed with people everywhere from The White House to China and the Middle East to the 3 rings of the Greatest Show On Earth. Aaron was an early member of the Big Apple Clown Care Unit and wrote their training manual for the pioneering hospital humor program. He is a proud recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award for his work at the Big Apple Circus and Paul Newman’s Hole-In-The-Wall Camp, where he served as Resident Clown Doctor.
Behind the scenes, Aaron co-produced the NY International Festival of Clown-Theatre, wrote for and directed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade clowns and served as Dean of Students at Ringling’s famed Clown College. He has taught acting and clowning at universities, theatres, circuses, summer camps and schools across the country since 1983. He frequently lectures on circus and clowning to groups across the country, including Road Scholars (formerly Elderhostel). He is a member of the Global Circus Advisory Council.
Aaron earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Fun Arts from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, as well as a certificate in Arts Management from the New York Cultural Council Foundation.