Tag Archives: soundbite

re: The Current Clown Hysteria: NBC called me…

Theatrical producer, creator and Clown Cabaret producer, and retired RBBB Circus clown Rich Potter was called by an NBC reporter about the current "clown hysteria."
Theatrical producer, creator, co-founder of Washington DC’s Clown Cabaret, and retired RBBB Circus clown Rich Potter was called by an NBC reporter about the current “clown hysteria.”

(I’ll get back to posting about my visual art soon. Been a busy month.)

An NBC reporter, referred by a friend in the business called asked me one question: Is this current strange wave of clown hysteria directly hurting your bottom line?”

I responded that for me, the answer is “no, as I don’t advertise myself as a clown, but I am one. This problem, however has a much bigger scope than my income this month vs. last month, but rather a growing trend in this country, which has been hurting the image of our art form, in the USA, for decades.”

I would have also mentioned there are different types of clowns. Not like the “Auguste, Whiteface and Character,” which any reporter on clowns should know of before calling me. By “different types of clowns,” I mean very different types of performers who call themselves clowns. Just as one can Paint by Numbers or illustrate the Creation of the Universe on a chapel ceiling, Clown is a complex profession for such a simple, Germanic word.

I might have touched on the sadness I feel for our society as a whole; a piece of childhood is lost as children have less access to this memory touchstone to symbolize their youthful wonder and joy. This is a sense of play we grow out of as we mature and spend our whole lives wishing we could recapture. Clowns, really good clowns, can bring that to you.

I would have mentioned how in the 30 years I’ve practiced, studied, wrote and produced three very different theatrical clown shows*, I have changed styles a few times and my definition of “clown” has changed, adjusted and expanded far beyond my Dunning-Kruger inspired first-year definition.¬†I would have mentioned¬†there have been clowns on Broadway, in movies, on TV, and you loved them, and YOU NEVER KNEW THEY WERE CLOWNS!!!”

So yeah; that is what I wanted to say. But before I could get started on information that I think would add necessary nuance to an obviously sensationalized story, he said, “So, you’re sure you haven’t lost any business… [person who referred me to you] said they’d lost a lot of business.”

I said, “No, not currently but I –”
“Thank you, goodbye.”

I have to learn to be more a politician and get in my talking points before I answer their question.

* (OK, I co-wrote and co-produced two of the three with my very talented partners. But I like to think my input was *ahem* useful.)