NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Being a clown isn’t all funny business.

As 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported, almost 300 first-time clowns turned up at the Big Apple Circus in New York City Saturday to learn from professionals on what it takes to clown around.

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“Stay connected to yourself so that you can connect with the crowd,” said clown Petey.

The class was held as part of Macy’s preparations for its annual Thanksgiving parade in the Big Apple.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Executive Producer Amy Kule said the crowds are what make the clowns so important.

“They get to break rank. They get to go talk directly one-on-one with the kids that are watching with their parents, and they can bring the parade directly, singularly to those who are watching,” Kule said.

And Tara, for one, is ready.

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“I want to make the children have fun and enjoy their Thanksgiving Day,” she said.