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Elbows in my EarsAuthor Name:

Danise Payne

Book Title:

Elbows in My Ears: My Life with Little People, Tigers, and Wardrobe Trunks

Website URL:

Link to book page on Amazon:


Social Media Links:

What is your book about?

Elbows in My Ears uncovers a never-before-told tale of a black woman’s career in the world of traditional circus. Travel with me on a compelling journey inside the massive Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. View an all-black production called UniverSoul Big Top Circus. And witness my life as the first African American woman clown in a circus in Europe—a culture that is uncomfortable with women clowns.

What inspired you to write your book?

The lack of such books inspired me to write my story.

What is a typical day like for you?

I begin with my exercise that includes juggling clubs and balls and a brisk walk. I work on the computer a bit, watch some tv, and get ready to go to work at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

I enjoy going on long drives through beautiful scenery—-a hold over from being on the road!

What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?

Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson and A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins.

What advice do you have to offer our readers?

Never give up on your dream.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That I am a shy person!

What’s next for you?

After a vacation, maybe a collaboration with my husband on a book that highlights his great circus photos with my captions.

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