A Real Clown or Not? how to tell if you're a real clown, as told by a real clownWritten by Tom Raymond
No true clown wants to scare a child. However, some children can and do grow up with a Fear Of Clowns-- clinical name for this is coulraphobia. The question is, how can professional clowns prevent children from being scared?
Before even discussing make-up, let's look at some basics. Remember when dealing with children, all adults are "giant-sized" from their perspective. When interacting with children, clowns (or other children's entertainers) need to come to their level physically. Get down on one knee, or sit on floor. Remember what it felt like to be that age.
In a related note, never force a frightened child to come by clown. Parents will very often try to push an obviously frightened child to go by clown, often for a photograph. Something I try to do in this situation is to act frightened myself, greatly exaggerating my "fear" while explaining
Magic, Clown Magic, and Magic in Clowning - What's the Difference?Written by Tom Raymond
In this article, I'd like to make a few short comments about performance of magic in clowning — where it's appropriate, and where it's not. For instance, it would be out of character for a bumbling clown to suddenly put on a serious demeanor, and with aid of a beautiful assistant, saw a woman in half, or levitate her, or cause her to mysteriously vanish & reappear. Any of these would be totally out of character for virtually any clown.
However, it would be perfectly in character for a clown to attempt to be suave magician, and be revealed for charlatan he is, either by his own bungling or that of his assistant (likely an auguste or tramp clown). Since clown is, by definition, a bungler, this would be fine, and totally in character. In fact, once having been exposed/failed, it would be fine for clown to successfully complete magic (with help of audience, a volunteer from audience, or perhaps with a clown assistant).
There is another way for clown to perform magically, however. Something that we forget too often is that clown is, himself, a magical character, a 'toon come to life. Whereas clown cannot perform magic in character (most of time; if it's in character for your clown to successfully perform magically, do so! No one complains that a clown juggler can successfully juggle, or that a clown balloon artist can twist latex into wonderful shapes without them popping), magic can (and perhaps should) happen to clown, without his even being aware of it. For instance, it is perfectly in character for a clown assistant to a magician to be handed three rings, only to have them magically link in his hands – with clown having a befuddled expression as to how this could have happened!