Lately having a fear of clowns seems to be as popular as having a fear of gluten. Happily, coulrophobia and ciabatta-induced panic are two things that are not part of my life and I can admit to actually quite liking clowns. I blame It for giving clowns a bad name and for making clowning a vastly under-appreciated art form.
As a kid I loved the stock ‘children’s party clowns’ but my real appreciation for the clowning profession came when I had the privilege of watching Cirque du Soleil’s O performance in Las Vegas. The entire show is a masterpiece but the thing I remember the most is the clowns. Aside from being funny O’s clowns are also heart-warming and I think I almost shed a tear at one point. Their humour isn’t in-your-face slapstick idiocy but rather more subtle and incredibly well-thought out. Not to mention the entire set and structure of the show is simply beautiful to watch. I was also quite surprised at how acrobatic many clowns have to be; I’m pretty sure a few of them have impressive six-packs hiding behind the big shoes and red noses.
Aside from the professional circus clowns I also think your normal party clowns are also under-appreciated. Well actually…make that anyone involved in children’s party entertainment…
I think entertaining 20 children is far more terrifying than a red nose and a ruffled collar!