When someone is goofing off, having fun, not being his usual self, we say he is clowning around. However, to some clowning around is not only serious business, but a calling in their lives. A calling that says, “I want to make people happy.”
Of course clowning is a business, although many clowns volunteer their time at hospitals, etc. One mother became a clown so she wouldn’t need to put her children in day care. She performed while her husband watched the kids. Some may start out being the class clown, without makeup, “Bubbles” married and her husband also became a clown. But for most it begins a slow sometimes painful process. Many get cold feet, feel timid and consider quitting.
One beginner clown thought she’d perform for her one-year-old nephew. everyone knows what a one-year-old does when they see a clown — they cry. One more try when the child was two resulted in the same reaction. She never performed for her nephew again.
Can anyone become a clown?. “I kept at it until the clown inside broke free,” said one well-known clown. For many, keeping at it means attending Clown College, conventions, workshops and clowning classes. Many clowns are shy and not outgoing and look for new ways to entertain, like walking on stilts. Some turn to slight of hand, juggling, magic, and balloon animals. “Bingo” does face painting, but first he took classes from an artist.
It’s not always easy going full-time in entertaining. Clowns grow up and change just like humans do. One clown, Tako, experienced a down side to clowning when he worked so hard at perfecting his skills that he neglected his duties as a husband and father. He returned to his home in Mexico where he found a new faith in God and became a Christian. “This has made me a better husband, father and clown. I still love clowning, but now I love clowning with Jesus in my heart,” he said.
If we could look at the heart of a clown we’d find they want to make a difference in the lives of those they entertain. “Miss Cookie,” (she chose that name because she loves baking cookies) is one clown who explains how it is a calling in her life. “I truly feel I have made a difference and will continue to do so until God tells me — ‘enough Miss Cookie, the job is done.’ ”
A research on who is today’s clowns reveals “Hodge Podge,” “Dusti,” “Boopsie,” “Double Bubble,” “Snapshot,” “Bingo,” and ” Bello Nock,” named America’s best clown. Next time you see a clown in action, chances are he’s not just clowning around, but instead, he is hoping to touch as many hearts as he can.