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.
What is a clown?
With so much misinformation out there maybe it is time for us to refocus on what a clown really is.
Here is the definition I found online in the dictionary:
- A buffoon or jester who entertains by jokes, antics, and tricks in a circus, play, or other presentation.
- One who jokes and plays tricks.
- A coarse, rude, vulgar person; a boor.
- A peasant; a rustic.
I think it is time for an update, don’t you?
Let’s start with what a clown is NOT:
- A terrifying character or image in a movie, television show, rock band, or on social media.
That in itself is a tough hurdle to get over.
But let me clarify that there is a clear distinction many people are not aware of. These popular images and characters are NOT CLOWNS; they are people pretending to be clowns.
My putting on a doctor’s lab coat and wearing a stethoscope doesn’t make me a doctor.
Putting on make-up and a costume does not make someone a clown.
What is a #RealClown?
On the inside:
Let’s start with the heart.
A real clown is someone who has the heart to help people find their happiness through his/her own silliness.
On the outside:
Someone who makes fun of themselves through words actions, props, and a variety of make-ups and different costume styles.
- A clown may be someone in full-blown costume, wig, make-up, big red nose, and floppy shoes doing a great slapstick routine in a circus ring.
- A clown may be someone with minimal make-up who makes a cancer patient smile with a silly song, or simple pocket magic.
- A clown may be someone who entertains out of make-up in a comic way, using all their clown skills in a more undercover or plain clothes type of way.
When people walk through the doors of Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp, they have hundreds of ideas and ways to make people smile. No one person’s way of clowning is identical to another’s.
As long as you have the right stuff on the inside and outside, your way of clowning is no better nor worse than anyone else’s way.
In an ever-changing world where the image of the clown has been hijacked to mean someone creepy and meaning to cause harm, we need to embrace all the possible ways to rewrite the script of what a clown is.
Let us be proud of our clown hearts and continue to use our skills in all the performing we do in and out of make-up.
A Chinese proverb says, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
Let’s not spend too much time worrying about the negative images of clowns and replace them with our own positive image. In reality there are more people who love clowns than those who do not. They just aren’t as vocal as folks who don’t.
Think about it. Who ever thought a clown would have to defend their right to exist?! But it is an ever-changing world…
Don’t get discouraged; keep lighting those candles!
Read more articles about understanding coulrophobia (and the stereotype of creepy clowns)
- Stopping Scary Clowns – Part 1
- Stopping Scary Clowns – Part 2
- It is Coulrophobia? Or is it bullying?
- Great come-backs for “I hate clowns!”
- What’s so wrong with scary clowns?
- Responding to “You might scare kids”
- Clowns are gifts, not creeps
- She faced her fear of clowns!
Be inspired! Read these other blog posts to boost your clown confidence:
- “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?
- “Are You Funny Enough?” Sometimes it’s not about the costume or the props.
- “Don’t Water Down Your Clown” How do we make ourselves more approachable without losing our character?
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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