The Day the Circus Died

Since Ringling Bros announced they are shutting down last month the optimistic clown part of me thinks the circus will never truly vanish. It will come back in a different form.

Some of the complaints besides the animal rights activists was people complaining that the show was outdated. Sometimes “tried and true” jokes and routines can’t go on forever.

For many performers (including clowns) it was the big time you aspired to go to. It was like that little kid who played sports and dreamed of going pro. But that pro sports league closed down. That’s how I saw other circuses that they were the minors and the Ringling circus was the pro league. A lot of people liked to compare it to a Broadway show, but I think about sports. Sorry, all I could think of was pro sports.

Clowning will never really go away either. That too will come back in some other form. The circus is not the only place for clowns. I think the clowns might want to open up education programs to help train people interested in clowning. Being a former Ringling clown is a big selling point.

The circus arts will never truly go away. People will always want to learn them. They make for interesting conversations.



Busy Life

*dusts off blog*

So where I have been? I haven’t posted an entry in months. Busy. Not really with clown things, but with life.

I thought maybe I should promise to post more content. I can’t make any grantees so I won’t.

I usually have something up my sleeve anyway. Sleeves? What sleeves? These short sleeves? It’s warm in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I’m usually wearing a t-shirt. Trust me on this one.

The trickster personalty for my clown comes my own trickster personalty.


Up Your Clown Cred

Like I have mentioned before I have no performing arts background in anything. No dance, singing, playing a musical instrument, acting, mime, improv, stand up, poi, diablo, juggling, balloons, puppets, stilts, magic, fire eating, etc.

What is an aspiring clown to do? Well take some kind of acting class of course! This is like common knowledge clown advice.

So I did. I thought I save a few bucks by going to the community college and take a theater class. I told myself I would not chicken out like last time, and to actually stick with the class no matter how much I hated it.

It didn’t work out for me. I was more frustrated than anything. Although I did learn a bunch of fancy acting terms/jargon.

After I thought about it did my clown really need that much coaxing out? One day I was writing a story about my clown; nothing uncommon for me there I’m always writing about something. It made me realize that my clown character is as much alive on paper as she is through my development of her. Not that I wrote a predefined personalty and profile for her like age, birthplace, and other things. I realized that writing, acting and clowning are all a bit similar all 3 of these things need a huge vivid imagination. Like a clown a writer needs a writer’s mind and heart. Perhaps I have a writer heart and a clown heart and they beat together.

The one thing that appeals to me about developing a clown character is that when you are acting you are portraying a character somebody else thought up. The clown is an extension of yourself. It’s my own character that I came up with. She can do or be anything I dream up for her.

After being so frustrated with my theater class the only thing it did make me realize I have no other choice I have to go to Moosecamp. Now I’m going to have to scrimp and save every penny to go. Aside from hoping to win a sizable lottery jackpot.

I read something somebody wrote about clowning and they said that a clown can be one of 3 things; funny, skillful, or photogenic. Or a combination of them. I would hope I have the first skill listed or want to. I do understand that not everybody’s brand of humor is going to be liked or universal. I would love to be a photogenic clown! Since I’m not very photogenic in my pedestrian life. And since appearance is highly valued in the real and clown world I’m not gonna fight it too much anymore.


No Foolin’

I thought today was a good day to post a blog entry.

I’m talking a break from clowning again. I really need to focus on school. One of these classes is a makeup class for one I did poorly in. Ok almost failed.

Well here are some pictures I drew of Doe Eyes when I was bored a few days ago, and added an extra something to them in paint. I think the Powerpuff Girls style one looks more like South Park style.

doeeyesdoodles 001 - Copy - Copy (2) doeeyesdoodles 001 - Copy - Copy


Unprofessional Looking (A coat of paint and a great looking outfit)

So I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Appearance is very important. If you come from my hometown area (Los Angeles) this is something you think about quite frequently. It’s in a lot of job listings and everything.

So there is a lot of finger pointing among the clown community at “ugly” unprofessional looking clowns. Especially in the form of back handed complements.

Are clowns really that shallow?

According to some all I need to become a clown is get some greasepaint (and learn to apply it properly), and a great looking outfit. That’s it?! That’s all I needed to do!? If it is then I would have started like 10 years ago.

Then I hear things like it doesn’t matter how you look as long as your heart is in the right place.

So what is it?

Is it purely about your looks or is there something more? Or are they horrible performers are trying to compensate by looks alone? So many times I see clowns say great costume= great performer. I don’t want to say that clown is a bad performer that clown might just have a really awesome costume. I cannot judge them on performance ability if I have not seem them perform. That would just be unfair.

If the only thing that separates clowns from comedians is a matter of dress. I’d be in good company.  I won’t mind really. There are some clowns that have all these little sayings about how donning the slap and motley shows your dedication to clowning. Then there is the argument that a costume doesn’t make you a clown, and that there are many people who dress up as clowns who are not clowns.

Where is the line drawn?

*looks around to see if an angry mob of clowns is after me*


Just a Pretty Face (for now)

Since Doe Eyes is in the process of being pieced together. I found out that she is incredibly vain about her face. When I put that makeup and become Doe Eyes I can’t stop admiring how cute I look as a clown. This is the totally opposite of my pedestrian personality. I don’t wear everyday street makeup, and I’m not vain about my looks.

I do like that the vain personality of my clown came naturally to me. It was not a preconceived character trait I made up for her. She does not a have an elaborate backstory. Trust me I could probably write one in no time flat! Those can be too restrictive on a clown character.

I was reading about how actors (and some clowns) get into character, and one thing that helps many of them is getting into costume and makeup application. That simply changing their appearance helps. I just like to disassociate myself with my regular appearance. Actors are working from a script and such. Most clowns are building their clown “from scratch”.

I’m a novice. This stuff is all new to me, so I will try to use all the methods I can to bring out my inner clown. All the methods I find that work for me personally.

hqdefault moon

Hobo Kelly

Have you ever heard of Sally Baker or her clown character Hobo Kelly? I was thinking about the Froozles. It’s an old show from Los Angeles. I heard it was syndicated to other places in the USA. Anyway for those who don’t know this was a show from the late 70s early 80s about puppets, but there were human characters too. Hobo Kelly and Muffin a toyboyish looking character. This show is very low budget and cheesy, but in a nostalgic way. Lots of bad green screen. Officer Byrd also made appearances. When you get safety advice from that famous police parrot. I can’t say police man because he is not a man he’s a bird.

Hobo Kelly was on Los Angeles television for a long time my mom watched her in a different show when she was a child back in the 1960s.


New Year New Clown Goals

The year is winding down so it’s time to make yourself some resolutions/goals. Something like go to 5 conventions this year or something like that. That is way too lofty for me. I don’t have the resources to do any of that. I don’t know where this is going to take me this year or what I’ll do or how I’ll get there. I also don’t care how long it takes.

Are you frustrated with me yet?

Baby steps people.

I found this quote that suits me well.

'They don't like being told what to do, or how to do it.' Amen!:

If there was anything specific at the moment I want to work on it would be my clown face. What I’ve been working on is a good start, but it could be better. I just thought of something else organize my clown stuff.


The Clown Puzzle Paradox

I was thinking about something today.

Becoming a clown is like putting together a puzzle. A huge confusing puzzle. You look for pieces here and there. Think you know what your puzzle is going to look like but because there is no picture on the box to reference you really have no idea. Sometimes you find a piece and you think it’s gonna fit into your puzzle and you keep fighting and trying to get it to fit. Then you realize you’ve been fooling yourself and it really doesn’t. Even if other clowns convince you it will fit. But you are too afraid to discard the piece. Your puzzle got warped; it changed. Some of the pieces you had that fit very well just don’t work anymore.


It’s Been one Year?!

It’s been one year or around there since I decided to become a clown.

It’s been that long? Already? Time flies doesn’t it? Or does it not?

When I look back on it I think I’ve grown some. Perhaps not at the rate I and others would have liked me to progress at. At an infuriatingly slow snails pace. Of course I could have bought the first mass produced clown Halloween costume I laid eyes on (wherever that may be) that was in my size. Picked up some Halloween clown novelty accouterments and became a “slapped together clown”. I could, but I won’t. No apologies here for that one. I actually want to look like I put some thought into what I want to look like. Then I can, “just go out there”. Performance is a big one. That one elusive thing I can’t quite reach. And I may have been suffering from something called “Impostor Syndrome“.

Aside from the clown that is being pieced together in this process I did learn a lot more about myself and what I wanted and thought I wanted. So I did not falter in accomplishing that goal.

Would I have any advice to a new clown who has no performing arts background and does no carnival arts?

I do actually. It’s probably gonna sound cheesy or something. But why can’t clowns be cheesy?

I think a lot of new clowns get all caught up in thinking about what a clown “should” do. Be yourself and do what feels right no matter what any clown tells you. It doesn’t matter if they are the most famous esteemed clown in the world. Don’t let other clowns boss you around if they really have no authority to. If you aren’t happy your clown will suffer. But remember to conduct yourself in a professional manner.

I was inspired by my clowning moving at a snail’s pace, so I drew/doodled a snail clown. Or is it a clown snail?

snail 001 - Copy