Steve “T.J. Tatters” Smith (1951 – )
Steve Smith is best known as the director of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey‘s Clown College. He was a graduate of the college (1971) and a performer and goodwill ambassador with the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey show’s blue unit for the next six years. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree in acting from the Goodman School of Drama. At Clown College, Steve not only served in an administrative capacity, but also taught several classes and conducted nationwide auditions for new students. Steve’s energy and enthusiasm has made him a popular teacher and lecturer on clowning throughout the U.S. He was appointed director for the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus in 1992.
On April 1, 2015, Smith joined Circus Center, San Francisco’s circus training and performing arts center, as its Creative Director.
Steve Smith was inducted into the 1993 Clown Hall of Fame, He is also the recipient of several other honors including: the Medal of Merit for Notable Achievement in Performing Arts from Ohio University, the Excellence in the Arts award from De Paul University, and the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art Circus Celebrity, Power Behind the Scenes.