“It should be stated that these people are NOT clowns, they are impostors. They wear masks rather than makeup, and they bring fear, not fun!” writes Judy Quest, board member and former president of Clowns of America International, an oxymoron.
Real clowns do parties and corporate and charity events, Quest argues, and the spate of recent “scary clown” sightings have led for a dearth of work for legitimate clowns.
Scary (fake) clowns turn an upbeat, uplifting profession upside down — away from the sunlight and into the darkness: Most REAL clowns give a good portion of their time clowning in hospitals, senior citizen facilities, programs for people with disabilities and schools...
We LOVE people. People of all varieties. We train to bring joy and laughter to the world. We work hard and we love what we do. We wonder why people have taken our profession to make people afraid. We are profoundly sad and we wonder how long this will go on and what the long-term effects will be.
Quest asks that parents talk to their children about the difference between impostor clowns and real clowns, for schools to invite real clowns to entertain their children, and for costume shops to quit selling scary clown garb and paraphernalia.
I would say that I remain skeptical—of course a clown would say that clowns are fun, just as an improvisor might say that their bar basement improv shows are fun. You! Know! Better!