They said I could be anything…

So I became a balloon animal.

This photo was taken by the fantastic, award-winning balloon artist Jami from Evergreen Balloons at the Big Foot Clown Alley weekly meeting.  She was demonstrating a concept she had to decorate kids’ bike helmets with balloons.  It’s very simple, but also very eye catching.  And it goes great with the day-glow color of my bike helmet!

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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