Fear of clowns #3 - A solution.
In my previous post about clown fears, I talked about ways of dealing with Coulrophobia, fear of Clowns.
Now it's time for the solution. In my experience, the best way to address this problem is to use whatever skills you have to make your audience laugh, give them something interesting to see, provide them with music that will make them want to sing. The best way to address this issue is with an artistic approach. More importantly, a creative challenge. The best approach is to prove your worth as an entertainer.
Make them laugh. Give them a reason to say, WOW! Give them music that will make them want to dance.
I have seen some clowns who expect their audience to like them just because they are a …clown. The mere fact of being a person in clown makeup seems to be the main focus of the performer. I've seen some get offended when the mere fact of their clown existence is not celebrated. Instead, I say, demonstrate your worth to your audience.
One of my favorite things to do in the hospital is to play music. Nineteen years ago I started my career as a hospital clown. The accordion was my first instrument as a clown. (I played the piano as a teenager. Later in my 20s, I began playing the piano accordion because I liked the portability of the instrument. That's where my name "Squeeze "comes from.) For the past 16 years, I've been playing the ukulele as the main instrument in my hospital work. Many people hear this music before they see us. The music may make them want to pad their feet to the rhythm. When this happens, I am effectively introduced by music. This music is how I get acquainted with the audience.
Music isn't the only way of doing this. Sometimes I introduce myself with a hat trick or by juggling as I walk. These skills are valuable assists for a clown. It would benefit a clown to have a method of demonstrating this in their repertoire — something they can use to engage their audience member somewhat subversively to entertain them.
With this approach, the audience often sees the activity first. They hear the music; they see the juggling they hear laughter from someone else as they approach. This act of doing can be essential in overcoming the fear.
It's the doing of clown that can alleviate the anxiety and clown fear.
This is the artistic challenge a clown can take to address the fear.
In a future post, I will discuss ways of dealing with "borderline situations." Positive ways of coping with clown apprehension.