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 “scary clowns”, and defend #REALCLOWN. CLICK HERE to read the other articles to help combat the “creepy clown” stereotype.
Scary Clowns – Part 2
We covered creepy clowns in a previous blog entry. However, I think there are some additional issues to cover. This topic was brought to my attention again by a clown who sent me the email below followed by my response.
“I have a question for you, I’ve tried to mail others professional clowns, but none replied, really, I used to clown and enjoyed it. I perform at parties doing balloons and kid magic, now I walk on stilts.
Here it is: What does a man clown do when he performs and all you hear is, “I’m scared of clowns” or “Did you ever see IT” or “clowns are child molesters”, I have a few more, but you get the idea.
I have not put on make up in a year. Woman clowns have it a little easier, I think. I don’t wear scary make-up; I’m August, Some times I feel trampy.
I do wonderful balloon twisting and good kid magic. I’m a fireman, and I do this on the side. I want to see if I get a reply from you. I’m sending some pics.”
I didn’t include his picture, but trust me he was NOT a scary clown! He had a very subtle, yet professional look. Here was my response:
You bring up a very good topic. I want to address it in my next newsletter. I think the best thing we can do is meet this head-on. We need to tell people not all clowns are scary, just the ones in movies. They are not real clowns anyway, they are just actors. Most real clowns are Moms and Dads and Grandmas and Grandpas trying to make people smile. That is a good thing right? Right! Now let’s have some fun!!!!
None of us intend to be creepy clowns. But today’s media makes it easy to give the wrong impression. The movies and networks love to promote the evil clown image. The big network news programs jump at the chance to lead with a story about some pedophile “clown”. Never mind mentioning the thousands of clowns across our country who bring cheer to countless people in nursing homes, hospitals, day cares, schools…you get the idea. That kind of story never leads the news. So why any of us should be surprised when we encounter a child or adult who is afraid of us? We seriously need to keep this in mind when we go out to perform.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you perform:
- Sadly, not everyone loves clowns.
- Respect your audience and their feelings about clowns.
- Be totally aware of your audience and surroundings.
- Realize that your volume can intimidate or scare people.
- Take it slow while you assess your audience. Warm-ups that involve audience participation can help you see who is “into” the clown and who is not.
- Approach the audience in a fun, friendly way making as much eye contact as possible.
- Keep your hands in plain sight. Sadly, people expect clowns to squirt them in the face with water!
- Be ready to shift gears if someone is afraid, and leave the area if necessary.
- Need more? Read this article for great responses to “I hate clowns”
Here are more articles I wrote about the topic of “Creepy clowns”. Please share these with your fellow clowns, and with those who think dressing up as a clown to scare people is funny: