Meet Michael Rosman

For over 30 years, Michael Rosman has entertained audiences worldwide with his comedy juggling. A graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College, he has appeared on late-night TV, headlined on cruise ships and at universities, and is renowned for his performances at venues like Cirque du Soleil and Walt Disney World.

In this interview, Michael Rosman reflects on his journey into the world of Circus Arts, shares insights from his recent trip to Israel, and discusses the profound impact of cultural exchange on his craft. As we celebrate the joyous Jewish month of Adar, Rosman explores the intersection of his work with bringing joy to others and whether his craft carries a sense of Jewish identity.


Tell us about yourself and how you first got involved in Circus Arts.

I bought a unicycle from someone’s garage when I was in high school and taught myself to ride it. Then I went to college and got involved with a juggling club. I became very interested in circus arts in college. After graduating college, I attended the Ringling Bros. Clown College and traveled for about a year up and down the East Coast performing with Ringling Bros. After touring with Ringling Bros, I returned home and got a job in business. Two years later, the company I worked for was sold and I became a full-time performer.


Tell us about your recent trip to Israel

I had never been to Israel until last month. When Oct 7th happened, I knew people were dealing with tragedy and trauma and thought I could go over to Israel to perform and bring people joy. A magician friend connected me to someone in Miami who recently picked up some magic skills and was planning a trip to Israel. That person invited me to join them for a trip in February including staying with his family outside of Jerusalem and we performed for groups throughout our time. One of the things I wanted to do while in Israel was to teach soldiers how to juggle so they had something to do in their free time. One of my many memorable experiences was when we visited Sheba Hospital where I did entertainment for wounded soldiers. While at the hospital, I met a young woman who was one of the hostages recently released. I also visited injured soldiers including one who I taught to juggle while in his hospital bed. I spent time with many soldiers teaching them to juggle and to bring them entertainment and joy. I left donations of juggling balls for them to use.  It was a really great experience!


What is one thing you wish more people knew about circus performing?

When people are watching the performers, they should realize how difficult and fun it can be, and when people are learning circus performance, they should realize how fun and difficult it can be.


This is the Jewish month of Adar, a time we focus on joy. How do you think about bringing joy to other people? Does your work feel Jewish to you in any way?

My career is like two parallel careers, I perform for anyone and everyone, while I also do a lot of performances with Jewish communities. My work feels Jewish especially when performing for a Jewish audience, and there’s a sense of “I’m one of you,” and I like to make the show personalized to the people in the room by bringing in Jewish references.

My recent trip to Israel was supported by many people who donated to Laughs for Israel a project through Laughter Arts Foundation, a nonprofit that I am the director. The mission is to provide performances for people in need. Throughout my trip to Israel, I saw myself representing the donors. I sent emails sharing photos and experiences. I hope to go again soon. I am grateful for the support to perform and bring joy to people in need.