It’s that time of year again-a great opportunity to accommodate your inner actor. You can be anything or anyone you like, and new costumes show up every year for that silliest of holidays, halloween. Technically, it’s not a real holiday because no one is celebrating or commemorating anything, but dressing up and staying in character is always fun.
There are lots of creative costumes in stores, some great do-it-yourself masters on the web to learn from and some reliable old favorites you can choose for last-minute party invitations. Unfortunately, an easy and sometimes popular one to create at home is the scary clown. There are plenty of movies involving scary clowns around to freak a variety of people out, and it doesn’t help that some of those people still hold a childhood fear of clowns. As a result, when people choose the scary clown as a halloween costume, children are not the only ones with a negative reaction.
There is one clown character in particular who, though unfriendly, I’ve never put into this category. I haven’t seen the most recent Joker movie yet, but I grew up watching Cesar Romero in the campy 1960’s version of Batman on television, and he was a fun villain. Jack Nicholson had great one-liners in the 1989 movie version of Batman and many were fortunate enough to savor the amazing transformation of the late Heath Ledger into the manic clown for The Dark Knight in 2008. I’ve enjoyed these, but in my case, I’ve never had a fear of clowns.
We could all benefit from avoiding dressing as scary clowns on halloween [or at any other time]. Not only do we avoid bringing up old childhood fears for some adults, we would also be preventing the creation of new ones for today’s little tikes. This would also help those of us who attempt to present ourselves as friendly, harmless clowns in a hospital [or anywhere else] to entertain freely without offending or causing unnecessary distress.
Lucy E. Nunez has been a theatrical performer since 2002. She created Nurse Lulu for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in 2014. She was a resident clown there and at Baptist Children's Hospital. For more information please visit: www.sunnybearbuds.wix.com/buds