'CSI: Vegas' Star Matt Lauria Recalls His Past as a Clown (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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Before Matt Lauria made it big in Hollywood, he tried his hand at clown school.
The CSI: Vegas star opened up to ET's Matt Cohen about his time as Jasper the Clown. Filming the "Funhouse" episode brought Lauria back to his clown days. While with ET, he even brought out his clown caboodle for the first time in 20 years.
"I went to clown school in Orlando, Florida," he shared. "So there was a gal who I knew who had this as her side job, and she would do birthday parties. And I thought, 'That seems like a good gig.' Again, at that crossroads in life. I found out about this clown school and I took all the classes, became a clown, had the balloons and the juggling and the magic tricks, and did all those different things."
"I mean, if I'm being completely honest, I would say I was like minor league," he said. "I wouldn't say that I would be like top level clown by any means, but I was good enough."
While Lauria didn't pursue a full-time career as a clown, there were some skills that helped him crossover into acting.
"It's surprising how people react to clowns because my clown was covered in white makeup, my ears, neck, everything, white gloves, you couldn't see any of me," he recalled. "And people have really surprising reactions to clowns, very intimidating to a lot of people. So it's interesting, I think you get to know people, you get to sort of read people, the courage of looking someone right in the face."
"It's a tough gig with the feedback," he added. "So I think that probably helps."
As for the inspiration for his clown name, he shared, "I just dug it! Yeah, some rapper on, like, a record that I liked back in 1996 or something."
During Wednesday's episode of CSI: Vegas fans saw a series of murders take place at a creepy clown motel.
"There's only two of us who are allowed to leave campus and go out and go after it. So it's myself and Mandeep Dhillon, who plays Allie Rajan, and we have to go and investigate these murders at this creepy clown hotel," he shared. "Which everything, obviously, is heightened."