Face Your Fears: Chicago Clowns Speak Out, Part IV
By Karl Klockars in Miscellaneous on Oct 29, 2009 7:00PM
As the city prepares for Halloween on Saturday, there's one thing that almost everyone agrees is scary - clowns. But what do clowns around town feel about their lot in life? We spoke with a few to find out - All this week, learn more about our city's collection of mirth-spreaders and balloon-twisters. Monday: Twinkles Tuesday: Tricky Wednesday: Dimples
Length of Clown Career: 25 Years
Clown College or Self Taught? Self-taught with an apprentice.
Clown Skills: Face and Body Painting, Balloon Sculpting, Juggling, Magic, Music, Singing, Having Fun!
Why did you become a clown?
It wasn't by choice - it was a freak accident. I used to do balloon designs for this company - I'm a singer/entertainer and she asked me if I would do a singing telegram as a clown for one of her clients. But she talked me into it because she gave me $150 for three minutes! [laughs] That's how I got started. And once I put on the makeup, it was like, "Do you do parties?"
How do you deal with someone that finds clowns to be terrifying?
I try to talk to them and stay out of their way. I know about phobias. I try to stay out of their way and let them see that I'm a nice person outside of the makeup. You just try to keep them cool by not saying anything and staying my distance.
Sometimes I can be very sarcastic - I tell them "You watch a lot of TV." You know there's that movie, "Killer Klowns from Outer Space." Or the Gacy thing, too. I hear a lot of that. I don't represent anything like that - I'm a good clown, but we know that there are bad people and stuff happens. I try not to even think about it for the most part.
Did you ever see or experience clowns as a kid?
You know what, I've never been asked that question. I'd never seen a clown as a kid - except for Bozo. I was a big Bozo fan as a kid. I loved the Grand Prize Game as a child. That's the only clown that I saw.