Is business down for area clowns?
With the creepy clown craze making local news—including the “Kroacky Klown” Facebook threat that mentioned Rochester schools (and turned out to probably be a prank from a 15-year-old Bloomington girl)—we asked some local clowns whether their business has been affected (good or bad).
The area clown: Sunny May, who has been clowning for 10 years with Whozeenie, Dr. Fix ‘n Flush, and Fizz ‘n Fun as part of a clowning family called Giggle Givers. (Gigglegivers.com; prices start at $110).
“Fortunately so far, it has had no effect on our business. The people who hire us still want the smiles, laughs, fun, and entertainment that clowns can provide. People who come to the events where we perform laugh, giggle, and play along with our clowns as we perform for them. Professional clowns and the majority of amateur clowns work hard to develop their clown skills so that they can make the world a brighter, happier place for those they meet. It is unfortunate that there are people who are choosing to do mean and violent things to others. Right now a group of them are choosing to do that while wearing costumes to hide their identity, those costumes just happen to be clown costumes.”
The area clown: Circles The Clown, who has been performing for 45 years (CreativelySpeaking.com; corporate events start at $3,000).
“It hasn’t impacted my business because I also entertain as a magician and ventriloquist. Often small children are initially frightened by the unusual appearance of Santa Claus, costumed characters, and clowns. Good clowns are gentle near children and let them approach as they are comfortable. In the last few years I’ve seen an increase in the number of older children and teens who are scared of clowns due to the more frequent depiction of clowns as evil characters with a sinister appearance. Professional clowns are caring people who are dedicated to bringing laughter and happiness to others. Real clowns are kind, not creepy.”
The area clown: Andy Politowski, who clowns as a hobby with Grapes and TopHat as part of the AhHa Family (ahhafamily.com).
“Our business is mostly a hobby …. So, we have not noticed anything different. We have a club with clowns and have discussed the situation with our members. We are more concerned that the people who are normally afraid of clowns will become more afraid of clowns. We are concerned with people who will overreact and do horrible things to normal clowns out of fear. This makes some of us afraid to go out and perform. It has taken the joy out of clowning because we have to watch our back. … The other thing to mention is that clowns are grouped all in one. So if one person is impersonating a clown poorly and in a bad light, someone would say all clowns are bad. If a doctor was doing something poorly and in a bad light, you will not hear that all doctors are bad, just that someone is impersonating a doctor.”
The area clown: Snappy Clown, the clown-based sign stored behind (and rented through) Snappy Stop (snappysignals.com; rentals start at $95 for
“Hi, Rochester Magazine! No one wants to rent me because they say I’m freaky looking! But I’m the happiest clown you will ever meet! So don’t be all creeped out, I’m just doing my job! I don’t scare every kid. Some actually take photos with me!”