Friday, 11 April 2014

Fool: April's Write Edit Publish Now Blog Prompt.

Six Life Lessons Learned from Clowning.

The dictionary defines a fool as
    1 a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person: I felt a bit of a fool.
historical a jester or clown, especially one retained in a royal or noble household.
    I have spent time as a clown and interacting with people while dressed in my big colourful costume, has taught me some valuable life lessons.  

    Always wear make up.       The white face is neutral, clean.  From it I build a new character.  We all wear masks - this is the function of the white face and make up of a clown - and many of us hide behind them.  Masks have their purpose: they are for our emotional safety.  In my clown costume, I have held a python and interacted with people I would otherwise avoid when just being myself.  My costume makes me brave.      Wear colourful shoes.    People notice shoes more than you may realise so make them note worthy!  But remember, in clowning and in life, shoes must be comfortable.     You are unique, but...      It is what makes a clown stand out that causes others to cringe.  While we encourage people to be unique and different individuals, we don't want them to do it around us.      Undersized hats, large props, tiny props, oversized shoes, all work to effect for the clown but in life we would rather folks blend in. This a clown cannot and will not do.    Know your boundaries.    A clown may behave in a foolish looking way, falling over, tumbling, rolling or playing at being vulnerable or teasing others, but he is always in control.  Those acrobatic movements and mimes are all well rehearsed.  If you must act the fool, know your boundaries.      Keep your balls in the air.    Some of my clowning friends are jugglers.        In life we juggle many things - work, home life, interests, sport.  If your juggling routine is becoming shabby, perhaps it is time to let some of those balls go.      Be prepared.     Not only a Scout motto, but essential for every clown who must always have her pockets full of giveaways, a ready smile or be prepared to perform a random act of kindness, as in life. 

    On a more creative note, the Clown Psalm below is based on Psalm 23.  

The Lord is my clowning friend,
I shall not tumble.
He helps me to play in public places.
He restores my make up
and anoints my head with a bright wig and a silly hat.
When I am in the halls of the hospital, I shall have just the right giveaways.
I shall walk in large colourful shoes.
He provides my props and prepares my routine before me.
Friends with names like Sunshine, Little Star, Sparkles, Gerry and Hallelujah will be with me all my clowning days,
And I will mime and dance and play
in the presence of the Lord forever. 


  1. Hey Rae, amazing. I never knew you were a clown! Love this. I've never thought much about the clown's point of view. Some good pointers here. I love the take on Psalm 23.

    Thanks for posting to the blogfest. I finally got my story up.


  2. Interesting life lessons from a very unique perspective! Liked the refreshing twist on the psalm. Enjoyed your post.
    Best wishes,

  3. What fun! It's strange how clowns really frighten some people. I've never been afraid of them, but have been disappointed when their "masks" are not complete enough to foster suspended disbelief when watching a clown. I love watching clowns at the circus, their antics are so outrageous there. I really enjoyed the Clown's psalm!!! Brilliant!

    1. Hi Lisa. I have had a child burst into tears in front of me. Then there's the twelve year old boys who want to rip off my wig. Yes, reactions to clowns are interesting.

  4. Very unique. I thoroughly enjoyed your description of a fool/clown.

  5. This was fun, and informative Raelene. Loved your clown make-up.

  6. Is that clown singing in the rain? I dressed as a clown once when leading a summer pre-school program and found that some kids are afraid of that 'mask', even if the clown is happy looking. Nice info on clowning, thanks for sharing it.

  7. I love clowns and can't understand what makes people scared of them. As with anything in life it's the preparation that makes things look easy to others. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Sally. Yeah I love clowns of all sorts. Not doing so much myself now as writing has become the priority.

  8. I tried clowning a couple of times and found it to be harder than it looks. You are very good at it Raelene. I love your work. You are an inspiration to me and a dear friend.