Clowning Around? Maybe Not!

“Shirl Belle”, yes it’s me! And it’s probably the last time you will see me as a clown.

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.

14 thoughts on “Clowning Around? Maybe Not!

  1. I’ve never seen a clown with such beautiful blue eyes before! I have such a hard time believing this is my mom!!! You sure are having fun. And you’ve definitely touched a lot of hearts….even when you aren’t being a clown. 🙂


  2. Oh, this is too cute! Wow! I agree ,Janine, I also think this is the prettiest clown I ever did see. Her eyes look beautiful. ( :
    Did you do the make-up yourself? I wish I could have seen you two giggling , I am sure it was great fun to dress up. Have you dressed up as a clown before, or is this a first? Whos idea was it? You are FUN!!!! I liked the clown name ,too. So sweet!! ( ; This made my day.
    I think clown college sounds fun. I can’t wait to tell my children that there is such a thing.
    I think you need a wig that is the “wordless book of life colors” , imagine that!!! giggle!


      • Nana,
        I DO have a request! ( :
        You asked what you could do next, WELL, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see you read the story “there was an old lady that swallowed a fly” on a video for your blog. That book was a favorite at your house. It was so special to my sisters and I to hear YOU read. I relished the long books you would read in the van going on trips to Aunt Janines house. BUT it all started with “there was an old lady who swallowed a fly.” Your reading habits certainly rubbed off on me, something I am grateful for. I remember seeing books stacked by your chair in the family room,and there were always a wonderful supply ready to read in the van,as well.
        I APPRECIATED THAT! Whenever Jon comments on my reading habits I attribute it to Nana and Aunt Janine.

        I do believe a video of you reading childrens books would be AMAZING. My children would enjoy that ,as well as all the Great Grands .

        I am sure you would find a great following if you would produce “Story time with Nana”. Parents would love that resource ,as many children do not have enough Grandparent time.
        What do you think……… ( ;
        I love you….


  3. shirl .i am sitting here reading your blog and enjoying all of it ..i am laughing and crying at the same time..this blog is wonderful..your grandchildren have a lot of niece memories with you and burl you both were always creative..i hope some day my grandchild and great grandchildren will have as many happy memories as yours have..but i have never dressed up as a clown you forever your sister ada


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