Jul 152015

Wall Street Journal Clip

A 2012 PRCA Clown of the Year belt buckle is one of the items rodeo clown Justin Rumford always keeps in his bags.                   Decorated rodeo clown Justin Rumford shows us the contents of his Bucks Bags rodeo bags during the Woodlake Lions Rodeo in Woodlake, Calif., on Sunday, May 10, 2015. Rumford, a barrelman clown and winner of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) 2012 Clown of the Year Award, is able to fit quite a bit into his bags, a necessity considering he is on the road traveling from rodeo to rodeo for much of the year. Some of his must have items include his 2012 PRCA Clown of the Year belt buckle, cowboy boots, clown makeup, huggies wipes, baby powder, batteries, an iPad and iPhone, a wireless microphone, a rope belt, a toothed australian hat, his cowboy hat, baggy jean shorts with suspenders, and costumes, including a gorrilla suit, spiderman suit and Evil Knievel suit, all of which are incorporated into his act. CREDIT: David Zentz for The Wall Street Journal                 FIXBAG_rodeo

Rodeo Clown Editorial Feature Wall Street Journal

Can you say culture shock? A day after returning from two weeks in Thailand I was back on the road, driving three hours north to Woodlake, Calif., to attend the annual Woodlake Lions Rodeo for a feature assignment for the Wall Street Journal. The piece was for their ongoing “What’s in your bag?” series, which profiles various professionals and asks them to share the contents of their totes, brief cases or what have you. The subject this time was Justin Rumford, an accomplished rodeo clown who kindly agreed to let us open up his two Bucks Bags rodeo bags and see what’s inside. What is inside, you ask? Some of the items I found included jumbo clown jean-shorts with suspenders, a leather belt with a 2012 Clown of the Year belt buckle, an iPad and iPhone, a microphone headset and extra batteries, Spiderman, gorilla and Evil Kneivel costumes, white makeup and a black grease pen. You know, clown stuff. It’s generally everything he would need to head out to a rodeo on short notice. Rumford, a resident of Oklahoma, spends much of his year on the road traveling from rodeo to rodeo, whenever possible living in his cozy RV. I also spent the day with him, shooting a few portraits as well as shooting him in action as he emceed, dodged bulls and generally clowned around in the arena. A barrelman clown, Rumford’s job is to assist with hosting the event, keep the crowd entertained between competitions with gags and stunts and to narrowly dodge bulls by diving into his custom-made barrel or hopping over the fence to safety. He does not run around in front of the bulls, antagonizing them to keep them away from the cowboys. That’s what the bullfighters are for. Still, it’s a dangerous job requiring him to intentionally draw a charge to his barrel to give the bull riders and bullfighters time to escape. The assignment was a fun break from the norm – if there is such a thing in this line of work. Click on the Continue Reading link to see more from the shoot.

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