Renowned American rodeo clown Hollywood Harris (Clifton Harris) will be sharing his skills and some laughs at next month’s Isa Rodeo School.
Known as “The School of Hard Knocks”, the Isa Rodeo School’s classroom is the famous red dirt arena of Mount Isa’s Buchanan Park, while its teachers are renowned in rodeo for their skills and experience, which they are only to happy to share with young cowboys and cowgirls.
The school will buck underway on Thursday, August 10 on the eve of the biggest and richest rodeo in the southern hemisphere being held Friday to Sunday, August 11 to 13.
Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo Manager Ms Natalie Flecker said she was excited to announce details of this year’s Isa Rodeo School, which would feature its first rodeo clown class.
“It is an amazing opportunity for people interested in rodeo clowning to learn skills and techniques from a professional like Hollywood Harris,” said Ms Flecker. “After the school, he will be performing in the arena over the three days of the Isa Rodeo so our crowds are in for a comedy treat this year. Thank you to Ashdown Ingram for their support in bringing Hollywood to Mount Isa.”
Clifton Harris said he was excited to make his first visit to Australia, following in the footsteps of his son Brinson James, who is a star rodeo clown on the Australian Professional Bullriding (PBR) scene.
“My son grew up on the American rodeo circuit starting at the age of two,” said Mr Harris. “He made it to Australia when he was 17 for the PBR and became a huge hit. He forwarded my name to the Mount Isa Rodeo committee and the rest is history.”
Mr Harris said he would be performing comedy as his alter ego, “Hollywood Harris”, as opposed to the bull fighting skills of a rodeo protection athlete.
At the Isa Rodeo School, he will cover the history and development of rodeo clowning, how to work with bull riding, makeup, costumes, physical comedy, technical equipment, jokes and skits. Cost is $250 for the day including insurance and lunch. Register by calling the Isa Rodeo office on (07) 4743 2706 during business hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms Flecker said long-time former Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) General Manager and the Isa Rodeo Arena Director, Steve Hilton, also a former Australian rodeo champion, would help run the one-day school.
The rodeo school is an initiative of the Isa Rodeo’s organisers, the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Inc (MIRRI) board in partnership with APRA.
For more information on Hollywood Harris, visit http://www.hollywoodandboogerhead.com
Editors note: Hollywood Harris
As a child, Clifton Harris was fascinated by two Texas clowns, Dan and Billy Willis. He spent months studying the work of master rodeo clowns, including veterans Quail Dobbs, Lecile Harris, and John Gilstrap. Cliff became hooked on the comedic skills of Don Knotts (Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show), Red Skelton and the Three Stooges. Physical comedy was always a personal favourite and performers like Steve Martin and Jim Carrey have been role models.
Harris is regarded as one of the most innovative clowns in rodeo, since his start in 1984. He has been chosen to perform at American International Finals Rodeos, and won a record six events at the IFR Contract Act Show in Oklahoma City including Comedy Act, Dress Act, and the Barrel Man Competition.
After his move to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the PBR embraced Harris’s brand of comedy and, more importantly, his ability to protect the riders. The Tu Hedeman Bull Riding Challenge in Fort Worth was his first Bud Light Cup Event, followed by the PBR Finals in Las Vegas.
Known as the “School of Hard Knocks”, the Isa Rodeo School is not your average school – the teachers are Australian rodeo champions and the students are prepared to “hit the dust” in the classroom (the world-class Buchanan Park arena) after climbing onboard bucking broncs.
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