REMEMBERING DOROTHY MILLER
REMEMBERING DOROTHY MILLER by Richard Snowberg
The Blab-I-Gail Memorial Scholarship is given in honor of World Clown Association Life Member Dorothy Miller. In clown, Dorothy was known as Blab-I-Gail. She had a strong impact on many clowns both famous and those that were just putting on the greasepaint for the first time. Dorothy passed in the summer of 2013 at the age of 94 in Orland Park, Illinois.
For WCA members who never met Dorothy, here is some background information on this talented lady. Dorothy Miller was the 1995 World Clown Association’s Clown of the Year. In 2001 she received the Midwest Clown Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1988 she was Chicagoland’s Senior Citizen of the Year and was inducted into the Chicago Senior Citizen’s Hall of Fame. She taught clowning at Chicago’s Daley College for over fifteen years. Dorothy was honored by having her character, Blab-I-Gail depicted on a Jim Howle oil painting for the Red Nose Philosophers collector set of prints. She held the office of Education Director for the WCA, and was the person instrumental in getting the Bo Dino Scholarship program established for this organization. Likewise she was a strong proponent in encouraging the WCA to develop the current Junior Joey program. On two occasions her clown character’s photo as Blab-I-Gail was featured on the cover of CLOWNING AROUND magazine. She was a wonderful clown leader who wanted to focus the limelight on others.
Dorothy was a fund-raiser and strong advocate who worked tirelessly for the International Clown Hall of Fame during its formative years in Delavan, Wisconsin. She was a lifetime member and official of the Clown Guild of Metropolitan Chicago and for decades wrote monthly columns in their Walk-A-Round newsletter. Also, she was a founding member of Niarome Clown Troupe which met in her home for over 20 years.
Dorothy attended the first University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Clown Camp program in l981 and shortly thereafter became a staff member. Together with Betty Cash of Minnesota, became the longest serving members of the Clown Camp faculty. She was honored in 2008 for her contributions to this program.
Dorothy was like a second mother to hundreds of other clowns. This fine lady had clown friends throughout the world. The WCA is proud to continue to remember Dorothy Miller by formatting establishment of the Blab-I-Gail Memorial Scholarship.