has that cosmopolitan flair about him that tells audiences he's not going to stay in one place for long. Being able to be and do many things at the same time, and feeling at home wherever he goes - that is the personal and artistic philosophy of this charismatic entertainer. If his life story didn't exist already, it would have to be invented.

Cotton McAloon was born in California, grew up in France, and until recently lived a bohemian lifestyle: colorful, turbulent and impulsive. His parents - dad's a mathematician, mom's an artist - embody the ideals of a 1960s generation of intellectuals: avant garde and anti-establishment. At 15, Cotton can choose between the academy and the circus school. He chooses to run away. No school can teach him how to win people's hearts. Since then, he's never looked back. In the big wide world of entertainment, the currency is wit and skill, and he certainly has plenty of that.

uses the gifts he inherited - logic and sensitivity - in a way that nobody could have predicted. He becomes one of the best jugglers in the world. On his travels he earns laughter and laurels, and wins the heart of a beautiful ballet dancer who now shares his life in their home in Berlin.

Cotton's style is so successful that it has spawned imitators all over the world. But none of them has quite what it takes to match his artistry. Cotton McAloon is a man of many personalities that change faster than you can look. Winner of the coveted "Clown d'Oro" award presented by RAI Uno, the Italian TV station, and proud bearer of the title "Street Entertainer of the Year" (sponsored by Time Out, the London arts magazine), Cotton is undoubtedly a world-class performer. And he's as clever with words as he is with his hands, as his characteristic confession reveals: "I don't do this for money, I do it for fun. But the more money I make, the more fun I have."

(Peek into Cotton's private photo album)