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BBC: Mixed Fortunes in the World of Clowning

Discussion in 'The Clown Forum' started by The Princess of Bozonia, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. The Princess of Bozonia

    The Princess of Bozonia Administrator Staff Member

  2. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel


    It's good to see a well written and reasonably researched read on the topic, such as this.
  3. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    I wish my brother still lived in Hong Kong
  4. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Because....hot young girl clowns?
  5. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    Well I was thinking more about the fact he had a top floor penthouse apartment in the building that housed the Irish Embassy and Consulate, in the heart of the downtown area with stunning views over Victoria Harbour. But yes I suppose hot young girl clowns would always be a bonus.
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  6. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    Ken Ken is a talented clown. I met him at the COAI and WCA conventions.

    I think there are fewer clowns performing at birthday parties in the states, many do balloons or face painting instead. We need to get out more and show people clowns can be tons of fun.
  7. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    The question may really be one of relevance. A fair amount of people doing party entertainment and such are, essentially, clowns. In fact, what they do in practice may have more to do with the heart of clowning than many people who "dress up as clowns."

    Culturally, the kind of clown which was popularized by circus in mid century America, is simply not something which people especially relate to anymore. Entertainers in the 60s, 70s, 80s mimicked that to play to and pick the pockets of an audience which was familiar with it. Today, who sees a clown anytime, anywhere, anymore? Why, then, would there be interest or demand for the character?

    Could such re-evolve over time? Certainly. But it is probably going to take some super famous media saavy type of performer to spark interest again.
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  8. V

    V Well-Known Member

    I think tim is spot on.

    Same is true, to a degree, in the performing magician world. With the rising popularity of steam/dieselpunk (and by extension, Victorian era) many performers wanted an era character so many fell naturally to Snake Oil Salesman type characters. IMO, Pop Haydn is the only guy I've seen that pulls this off. I think he does so well because he changes the character to match the times, whereas virtually everyone else wants a traditional character when in reality, there probably aren't many people today who ever saw one of these guys in real life so what they default to in modeling their character off of the Snake Oil Salesmen on shows like Andy Griffith or such, so in essence - they're making a character off of a parody of a character and it often doesn't translate well.

    This, I feel, is what's happening with the Clown world. People, stuck in their ways, don't want to accept that variety entertainers - whether they be comedians, balloon artists, jugglers, etc; fill the role of clown for the most part, but because they don't put on a gaudy costume and half a pound of greasepaint - they must not be clowns in the eyes of these types. The best clowns I know, aren't clowns at all in that sense - but their shows are funny and they're proven workers. Hilby has had essentially the same act (maybe even the same jokes) for at least 2 decades and it still kills - not an ounce of make-up. Christopher T Magician puts out a great kid-centric show, and seems to be ever evolving it - same for him with the grease = 0. The list goes on really, and ironically - most of these guys hate being grouped with clowns as much as clowns hate grouping with them, but they 100% fit that shoe (just not the stale model of a clown that seems so prevalent here in the U.S.)
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  9. TorontoBoy

    TorontoBoy Active Member

    I have not discovered any clown culture in China, and possibly HK. I have seen flower delivery clowns in China on the news, but they just dress up and deliver flowers. China accounts for 1.4B people, 18.5% of the world's population, so a true clown in China would be a real novelty. Or you'd get locked up right quick. That red nose of yours would be the favourite colour of the Chinese Communist Party!

    Kenken looks great!

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  10. I sat all the way through that wondering, he has a great prop when's he going to use it and what's he going do with it? Rather disappointingly, he didn't do anything, other than put it on his head. I feel cheated. I didn't understand the logic or motivation of what he was doing, for almost the entire skit.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  11. TorontoBoy

    TorontoBoy Active Member

    Yes, it was a ridiculous prop that has huge potential. I still laughed.
  12. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    The other thing is that the best performers make their character unique and true to self, which is why people find them attractive and interesting. They aren't "everybody else." But too many lesser skilled entertainers sort of seek to just copy cat and fit in.

    How many people have you seen use the same stupid, simple magic trick or sight gag in the same simplistic sort of presentation, for instance? Most of them!

    In fact, such is the hallmark of selling stuff at conventions. "Let me show you my act!" They are good, have a well routined act that has been performed many times and refined to perfection. It suits their character. They use that simple prop in a unique way. You're impressed. So they make it available to you - at a cost - complete with patter! Then you try it out - just as they did - and it falls flat. What went wrong? You used the same tool, said all the right stuff, followed instructions to a tee.

    But, you aren't them!

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