Showing posts with label Clown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clown. Show all posts

Jan 1, 2014

Clowns and Laughter

Being a clown is a noble profession. Clowns have proven to improve lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Genuine laughter for a whole day could burn 2,000 calories and lower the blood sugar in people with diabetics, a review published in the British Medical Journal found.

Laughter also enhanced fertility, Thirty six percent of would-be mothers who were entertained by a clown after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer became pregnant compared with 20 percent in the control group. OK, women, no jokes please.

Greatest Clown in History

Britain's Joseph Grimaldi has been known as the "greatest clown in history". Joseph Grimaldi (18 December 1778 – 31 May 1837), is the most celebrated of English clowns. Grimaldi's performances made the 'Joey Clown' character the central character in British harlequinades. He was born in Clare Market, London, the son of an Italian, Signor Joseph 'Iron Legs' Grimaldi, ballet-master at the Drury Lane and Rebecca Brooker, a dancer in the theatre's corps de ballet.

His father died when he was nine, and plunged the family into debt. When less than two years old, he was introduced to the stage at Drury Lane; at the age of three, he began to appear at the Sadler's Wells theatre. As a young man, he fell in love and married the daughter of the principal proprietor of Sadler's Wells. Maria Grimaldi died in childbirth 18 months after their marriage. He found solace in performance, and eventually married again, to Mary Bristow. After he passed away, his burial site and the area around it was later named Joseph Grimaldi Park.

Charles Dickens was invited to edit and improve a clumsily written life of Grimaldi, which had been based on the clown's own notes. The 'Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi' sold well for Dickens.

Jun 15, 2010

Clowning Around

The tradition of painting clown's faces on eggs began in the U.K. around 1946 at what was then the International Circus Clowns Club, now called Clowns International.

A member named Stan Bult started recording clown images on chicken eggs with the insides blown out. It started as a hobby, and, like many hobbies, it just grew. The collection continued to be lent out after Mr. Bult's death but sadly most of the eggs were destroyed in an accident at one such exhibit around 1965.

Clown Bluey became chairman of Clowns International in 1984 and resurrected Mr. Bult's practice of recording clown members' faces on eggs. This time a professional artist was used and the faces were painted on china-pot eggs instead of chicken eggs. Over the years, many of the lost older eggs have been reproduced, and new eggs are added frequently.

The eggs are a miniature portrait. In addition to paint, the artist uses samples of the clown's costume material and wig-hair to produce an exact match. A photo of the egg collection may be seen at the Clowns International website. LINK

Here is a sample egg of Emmett Kelly.

Leon "Buttons" McBryde  heard about the British practice of registering clown makeup using eggs. He and his wife Linda eventually met the caretaker of the British clown egg registry, and started a similar registry for clowns in the US. This collection shows clowns of all types from around the world. It grew to contain thousands of eggs, and became an almost official way to lay claim to a unique appearance. There is at least one documented court case where the egg was involved to prove intellectual property of a pilfered make-up design. I have to stop clowning around and get back to work.