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Creative Director, Beyond Recreation

Michael Jay Gardner

Michael Jay started his performing career like many who pursue this type of work: by accident. He received a BA in Psychology from Emory University, where he also learned how to juggle, play various musical instruments, and find comfort and joy playing on stage as a four-year cast member of the nation’s oldest college improv troupe.

Michael worked as a healthcare clown with The Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit and was the Resident Clown at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. He has also toured internationally with Britney Spears on her Circus World Tour and with Cirque du Soleil, playing the Handyman clown in KOOZÅ. Michael is also incredibly proud to have worked with Cirque du Monde, an outreach program of Cirque du Soleil that teaches circus arts to at-risk and underserved youth. He is currently the Creative Director of Beyond Recreation, a summer camp consultation and staff training company he founded with his wife, Anne Henningfeld.