Clowning it up at the Children’s Hospital

Here I am in pirate garb at the Seattle Children’s Hospital with fellow clown, Sparkplug.  One of the kids wanted to be a clown pirate, and I just happened to have an alternate ready.  The hat is a Captain Hook hat my wife got me some years ago.


Who dat on the COAI site?

If you check out the Clowns of America International website, you might notice a new feature called “Show us your nose.”  This was done to celebrate International Clown Week. Clowns from all over America submitted pictures of their noses, tallying up several pages of results from game participants!  Keen observers might notice a familiar face on the bottom right corner of page two!  Thanks to the two lovely ladies for participating in this choice photo op! 

Death and clowning

And now for something morbid.

Just a short while ago, I received news that my mom may have experience kidney failure. She is currently at a hospital for treatment. There’s a very real possibility that she may die, or I may have to give up one of my own kidneys to keep her alive.

This put me into mind about death, and how it lead to my decision to do clowning. First off, this isn’t the only death in the family. Our dad suffered a stroke while I was in college. While he didn’t die immediately, I had to watch his health erode over the years until, one day, he suffered a fatal heart attack caused by stroke complications. During that time, I was living on the other side of the country, and every phone call was a painful possibility that this could be the one. This could be the call.
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Clowning and the circus

Clowning has been around since, well, forever. Yet current clown iconography always seems to tie clowns to the circus, an institution that reached its peak in the 1950’s (around the time of the Baby Boom).

Circuses these days are not quite the big deal as they used to be, though. The Ringling Brothers and Cirque du Soleil are about the only game in town anymore. And with the Ringlings downsizing their animal acts and the Cirque going through their own financial issues, it seems that the influence is getting smaller and smaller. Blame the rise of alternative forms of entertainment available to kids these days.
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