Let’s talk about clowning. Clowns often get a bad rap as creepy people who scare little children. Joe Pesci didn’t help matters when he famously said in Goodfellas, “I’m funny how, I mean funny, like I’m a clown? I amuse you. I make you laugh?” I left out the bad words.
In 2007, I was honored to meet and clown around with the real Patch Adams in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. He is a kind and eccentric doctor who believes in health care for all. Robin Williams made a movie playing Patch Adams and I highly recommend it (although I admit it feels sad to watch his movies now that he is gone).
I also invite you to check out Patch Adam’s organization, the Gesundheit! Institute. There you can learn about his “hospital without walls” where he sponsors clown trips throughout the world, as well as the “hospital with walls”, a 44 bed community hospital he is trying to build.
When I was in Urbana-Champaign, my clown début was at a retirement community home. I was all decked out and looked ridiculous (in a good way of course). I suggest you go to your local thrift shop and find the craziest outfit you can put together. As for clown makeup, since it’s Halloween time, you can easily find your stash at the 99 cent store.
I had a blast and so did my senior audience. They were so happy as I tried to blow up balloons unsuccessfully. I even tried magic trips that weren’t very magical. The best memory is a sprightly golden girl who flirted with me in the cutest and most innocent way. She stole my heart!