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 combat the “creepy clown” stereotype.
Chanukah is upon us and Christmas is right around the corner. I will admit that the mass commercialization of our sacred holidays is painful to me.
All of us, young and old, are under a lot of stress to buy the perfect gift, make the perfect meal, live up to unreal expectations (assumed or real). It can really get you down.
I would like to turn this all around to remind each and every one of you that YOU are a special gift to the world.
I don’t care if you have been clowning for a short time or are a seasoned professional — each of you is a special gift. Just for the fact that you choose to be a clown in a culture that does not readily accept us, makes you very special.
Because you care enough to stand in the face of ridicule and sarcastic remarks makes you a greater gift. Years ago it was easier to be a clown. Back then there were not as many scary movies and websites dedicated to degrading our lovable image. Now, when one scary clown happens to be photographed, it can viral quickly and millions of people can look at that scary image. I see people who choose to clown now as real warriors. Smile warriors.
As you can see from these photos, I spent time with my daughter Julia and the clowns on the Red Unit’s “Built to Amaze” Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus recently. I was invited to teach a class on “Meet and Greet” for the Clown Alley.
I was surprised to learn how many rude comments they receive each show.
You would think people who bought tickets to the circus would know there were going to be clowns there! Maybe the difference is people have lost any sense of tact. If they can think it they can say it, no matter whose feelings they hurt. We were able to discuss techniques and strategies to help them cope and share these ideas with the new clowns recently hired.
Remembering that YOU ARE A GIFT is one way to keep fighting the good fight. Just because you get one rude comment doesn’t mean there aren’t a dozen people who can’t wait to get their picture taken with you or just want to say “Hi”. That is what we need to remember and keep in our hearts. What we do as clowns is important to a hurting world. I see this kind of negative behavior proof positive that what we have to share is now more important than ever.
Please remember that you make a difference each and every time you put on your make-up. Many performers give up the grease paint and the rubber nose because they just get tired of all the mean comments. I understand that. But for those of you who continue to go out there braving negative comments, I salute you.
Here are some things to do:
- If someone says they hate clowns or are afraid of clowns, simply leave the area. The fear of clowns is real (it is called coulrophobia), but it is tough to assess in a few seconds whether it is real or just plain rude. Leaving the area may be your best bet.
- Tell them clowns scare you, too! If you agree with them the argument is over.
- If you feel like you have some wiggle room to discuss the matter you can say “Really? My mom thinks I’m cute!”
- Never take it personally. What they hate or are scared of is some image that came long before you put your make-up on that morning.
Do you have a favorite technique to handling these situations? Why not share it on our Mooseburger Facebook page!
I will be honest. One time, on a long hot day of clowning, I had someone make a mean-spirited comment about hating clowns.
I looked at them sadly and said “Really? What a mean thing to say. I would never say anything like that to you,” and I walked away. I honestly believe they forget we are human beings, someone’s sister, daughter, son, brother, mom, or dad.
Hopefully it made them think.
So in this beautiful season of gifts, please remember how special you are to me. Know that my world is a better place knowing you are out there making the world a better place one smile at a time. That is the best gift of all.
In Love & Laughter,
Be inspired! Read these other blog posts to help boost your confidence and get you thinking:
- “You Never Know” You never know who is watching that might need a smile. You never know what dreams you may inspire.
- “Don’t Over-Think It” How to create a clown character without too much stress.
- “Clown Goals” We need to set goals in order to grow. How do we do that?
- “National Clown Shortage” Where have all the clowns gone?
- “Clown: Plain Clothes Division” What do you do when your client asks for no clown makeup?
- “Are You Funny Enough?” Sometimes it’s not about the costume or the props.
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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