Melissa Aston brings 20 years experience to the U.S. and Canadian stage, circus ring, and hospital. As the sole female clown in the historic Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, she toured the U.S. on a circus train. Melissa has wrestled sharks in a duck pond and set funny bones at BC Children’s Hospital. She has swallowed flaming marshmallows in Catholic school shows, and juggled deadly machetes for a famous contemporary Canadian photographer.
Melissa studied modern and classic circus clowning under Jeff Razz, at the renown Clown Conservatory, in San Francisco, CA. She continued her studies, diving into character, clown, and Pochinko mask work with John Turner of Mump and Smoot and Ian Wallace, co-founder of the canadian Pochinko Clown Technique. Melissa further explored Modern clown with Mooky Cornish of Cirque Du Soleil, and Deanna Fleysher of Butt Kapinski fame.
In 2012, program founder Paul Hoosen, invited Melissa to work in the long running Therapeutic Clown Program at BC Children’s Hospital. She trained for a year then stepped in as a fully fledged DisOrderly Clown practitioner. Melissa has been working alongside current Director Sand Northrup, in the wards, clinics, and intensive care units of the BC Children’s Hospital. Melissa is also a proud member of The Assembly, Vancouver’s only all – women clown collective.
Whether roving through the crowds at a festival, connecting one on one at BC Children’s Hospital, or whooping it up in her stage show, Cosmo’s Pop-Up Circus, Melissa brings a blend of foolishness, warmth, and levity to all her interactions.