I used to be a clown…I still am…but I used to be too.
Firstly…what is a clown
"a comic performer, as in a circus, theatrical production, or the like, who wears an outlandish costume and makeup and entertains by pantomiming common situations or actions in exaggerated or ridiculous fashion.”
I specialised as a street clown. I thought they were the purest, the bravest, the hardest to be but also the most free and if successful the most pre-industrially romantic.
I was successful on my own terms.
That said my self contained definition of both Clown and success radiated towards commercial interests who dangled fees and so I also worked for nightclubs in Ibiza, Suntory, Panasonic, Coca Cola, Camel cigarettes, international festivals, private parties with James Brown and Aretha Franklin with a 300 strong choir, Ron Howard movies starring Tom Cruise, retired Japanese starlets 21st birthday parties and pensioners picnics.
My point being I studied clown and practiced it to the extent that the world at large went…”Yup..he’s a clown”
So I don’t have to get too far into the weeds of self analysis to marry my idiosyncratic definition of the vehicle I used to express myself with the general clown definition.
What made me laugh internally was my ability to manifest my depression comically and commercially as a unique coping mechanism.
I was/am a disgruntled, unhappy, dissatisfied and entirely disappointed individual and given I primarily stand 11 ft tall in public places pretending I’m better than everybody I’ve done remarkably well manifesting the general jungian contradiction as it applies to modern men and women [or even more nuanced variations] as everyone identifies with my/their unhappiness and admires the ridiculous lengths and honed expressions I use to spark recognition.
Thats my take anyway.
But here’s the rub.
I’m kinda paralysed at the moment.
I’ve had major mental and physical injuries I’ve overcome, catatonic depression and terminal cancer. TA DA!
And I have all the tools honed by over 4 decades of work from makeup to stilts to the props that I use and let's say conservatively the wisdom of over 10 000 shows.
And I’m fortunate enough in my 57 year old street clown dotage to be in NZ, a rare country where congregation is not in of itself a health hazard.
But I don’t mind admitting I’m terrified.
I’m in Wellington NZ and in all my years working Wellingtons the only place that I, who have always been proud of my slow build crowd technique, based on the strength of my clown character, have worked for 30 minutes without gaining a single interested person.
It’s a psychic bruise.
So the choice as I see it it to go out and commit clown suicide, [which to be honest I’d rather do in private]…. Accepting that everyday life’s now too insular to admit commonality and laughter. Or to risk again…like every shows a risk, that I can pan sluice gold from the muck of overwhelming defensive indifference…and create laughter.
It’s a big ask and NZ’rs for all their cute accents and practical wholesomeness are nevertheless provincial fucktards easily lead and deeply insecure.
So I could do the catholic thing and go out and be ignored as penance and die quietly.
Or I could evoke my patron account, that’s had 2 contributors, now post Covid one, [I don’t even know who’s sending me $10 a month!}
To pay for someone to film my success or failure to anyone interested in feb march of 2021.
I’ll do it anyway. But having an international audience would make the success or failure so much more wonderful.