This is part of a series of articles to combat coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), educate the uninformed public about the consequences of masquerading as “fake clowns”, and defend #REALCLOWNS. CLICK HERE to read the other articles on the “creepy clown” stereotype.
How do we meaningfully support the craft of clowning? Good question!
Recently I actually had a WONDERFUL experience with the media and the topic of clowning!
The Washington Post sent a team to the World Clown Association Convention in Minneapolis, MN. Erin Patrick O’Connor, Karen Heller, and the rest did a marvelous job and were very thoughtful and kind in their interviews.
The local TV and print media were positive as well, encouraging people to go to the Mall of America to see the Paradability competition and some clown shows.
No mention of scary clowns! Just fun meaningful insight to why we do what we do. It may have just been a happy accident. But we will bask in its glory for now!
Reality reared its ugly head with a negative ad about circus being a bad choice for kids. Seriously … in an orange commercial!? Thankfully the American Youth Circus shot out a call to action email.
Below is a sample of what you can do to let Halo clementines know their ad was wrong and offensive. In my comment I put that I would no longer be buying their product and would be telling my friends family and customers to do the same!
Take a minute and join the fight! It’s easy to cut and paste it into an email.
Go ahead …. I’ll wait for you to get back.
Recently we were made aware of a commercial for Halo’s clementines that depicts choosing to participate in circus as a poor choice for youth. We’ve drafted a sample letter that you can send to encourage this commercial not to air in order to support circus as the positive choice we all know it to be.
To see the commercial:
Taking action only takes a moment – here’s what you do:
- Cut and paste the below note into your email (or write your own!)
- Sub out the [CAPS] sections with your own unique info
- Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
SAMPLE EMAIL BELOW:
I wanted to write to express my concern about your commercial which is disrespectful towards circus as a career and activity.
Circus arts are thriving in the USA as a positive activity for youth development. Participating in circus has recently been proven to improve social and emotional skills in young people. In the circus community we are working diligently to empower young people to embrace the circus arts as a part of their lives. [ENTER ONE SENTENCE ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO IN YOUR COMMUNITY TO PERSONALIZE THE NOTE]
The Halo’s commercial not only depicts circus as a poor choice, but clearly misses the mark that circus is proven to be a positive choice for youth. Also, Shrine Circus’s raises millions of dollars every year to support their charities and hospitals. They offer free treatment to children all over the world.
I sincerely hope you consider pulling this commercial as it is not only untrue in its depiction of circus, but disrespectful to the circus community and the thousands of youth who benefit from choosing circus every day.
I will not be buying your products in the future and will share this information with my friends family and colleges.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
YOUR NAME HERE
Ok, more bad news.
Criminal Minds on CBS aired a terrible episode on a twisted clown this week. You can watch the tasteless teaser trailers on their Twitter page.
It is scheduled to appear while I am writing this article. I wish I would have known about it last week and I would have had the ear of the entire WCA convention.
But it is not too late to let CBS know how unhappy we are at their choice to air a show depicting clowns in a poor light.
I am expressing my concern of the recent episode of Criminal Minds that depicted a clown as a serial killer.
There are too many images like these in the media frightening children. Real clowns are not criminals; they are kind people who volunteer their time at nursing homes, care centers, and community events.
Your depiction of a clown as a criminal makes it harder for these good people to do their work. Also being in California you had access to any number of professional clowns who could have at least advised you on professional make-up.
I would ask you not to rerun this episode in the future as it is hurtful to a large group of good people and hurts children of all ages by distorting a group of people who only want to do good in a weary world.
YOUR NAME HERE
You can send this letter to their website in two different places:
You can also email it to the two Executive Vice Presidents of Communications:
Dana McClintock – email@example.com
Chris Ender – firstname.lastname@example.org
Be an advocate!
With a few clicks of a mouse you can make a difference.
Ok so maybe we can’t stop all the unflattering images of clowns and circus, but we won’t go down without a fight.
I was so pleased to listen to the reporters from the Washington Post. They were so interested in what we do. The asked meaningful questions and were impressed by all the clowns they talked to.
That is what this is about. Educating a weary world that not all clowns are what you see portrayed in misguided TV shows, movies, music videos, or commercials. Some shows get it right. Modern Family is one of the few. I tip my clown hat off to them!
Sometimes we need to act and send emails. Hit them in the pocket book. Tell them you will no longer buy their products or watch their programs.
Other times we just need to gently educate folks. I got the idea to make a little card about what a clown is. They have proven to be so popular I had them professionally made. I gave them out at the WCA convention and now clowns want them in bulk so they can hand them out.
I think it is a great idea and I will be having more made. If you would like a batch, you can shop for them on our website shop.mooseburger.com.
You don’t want to hand them out like stickers.
I think we all should keep them in the pocket of our costume and your wallet so we can hand them out to folks who just don’t get what a clown is. You know the ones who blurt out that they ‘hate clowns’, or ‘all clowns are creepy’.
These would be good to give to the people in charge of where you go to do your volunteer work. It gives them something to share with staff who give them push back about having a clown come visit, etc.
We can’t always get into a discussion with these folks — nor should you while in make-up. Besides, they probably won’t listen if you’re in makeup! The written word may have more impact. We have nothing to lose! Just give them the card!.
When you are out of make-up it works just as well. It also shows that you are willing to stand up for what you believe in, the right to bring joy to others without being vilified by the media and misguided creeps.
Thank you for being a REAL clown!
- Make improvements to your performance and be better than before.
- Post photos of your fun clown friends with the hashtag #REALCLOWNS on social media
- Be a part of our letter-writing campaign to keep scary clown masks & costumes out of stores
- Hand out our cards educating people what a REAL CLOWN is
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Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277