Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Clown School

on September 28, 2022
(Red Skelton and Lucille Ball)

When my daughter told me she was going to go to clown school, I thought, Okay, what new adventure is this? Is she going to join the circus? The rodeo? What’s up with this?

After a few chuckles, she explained to me what clown school is — a school for performing artists to learn the intriguing history of clowns, a variety of new acting skills, and a way to incorporate playfulness and fun into theatrical acting.

The Clown School, located in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California, is one of the top clown schools in America. People from TV and film attend the school in order to further their careers. My daughter, who is a professional singer and performer, has been taking their online classes, and she loves it.

One famous TV clown was Red Skelton, but Lucille Ball was also considered a clown. Her comedy routines, playfulness, and ability to make people love her and laugh, are legendary. I Love Lucy re-runs are still on traditional TV and streaming.

Clowns have been around for thousands of years. In 2400 B.C., Ancient Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty saw priests assuming the role of clowns in order to promote social and religious concepts. Jesters were common in China as early as 300 B.C. They were used in India as interpreters in 100 A.D.

Greek and Roman theater featured clowns and mimes. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, fools and jesters entertained members of the public and the royal courts alike. They were often used to promote religious concepts for the Church. In the 14th century, clowns began to appear on tarot cards.

The Aztecs were employing court jesters for entertainment when the Spanish arrived in 1520 A.D. The Commedia del Arte established the tradition of the three Zannis in 16th century Italy, which included the character of Harlequin.

Among Native Americans, clowns were used to make social and religious statements. Their antics made people laugh and think about the message the clowns were trying to deliver.

The first circus clowns were brought to England by Philip Astley in 1768. And Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), a British entertainer, expanded the role of the clown and earned the title “Father of Modern Clowning.”

For more information about The Clown School, click here: http://www.theclownschool.com.

Have a fun-filled, happy day!

Dawn Pisturino

September 28, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


21 responses to “The Clown School

  1. utahan15 says:

    i loved lucy my mother did not the movie with nicole kidman was good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KK says:

    Am interesting read! All the best to your daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kirsten says:

    Wow, interesting! I didn’t know Clown Schools actually existed. That’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Iowa Life says:

    Don’t know if you’ve made it to Lucy’s bio/trivia page at IMDB, but they have an enormous amount of info on her. My favorite was when her and Desi decided to get married the jewelry stores were all closed, so he got her a drugstore ring that she wore their entire marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Americaoncoffee says:

    Nice depictions and reflections.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. balladeer says:

    I used to think the whole concept of clown school was just a joke. This is interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lance Dean says:

    My first reaction was “Oh, she wants to go to Yale” – but I stole that gag from the Simpsons. Really glad you included the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota tradition of the holy Heyoka clowns. The Hopi also have a vibrant clown tradition. Terrific piece!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post! I remember hearing about a clown school in Baraboo Wisconsin when I was growing up. It was fascinating to me. It was the Ringling Bros. / Barnum & Bailey Clown College, but it has been closed for years.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Eric says:

    Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay and commented:
    This is wonderful Dawn 🙋

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Enjoyed the history of clowns – thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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