The Secret Behind A Clown’s Smile

Aug. 3, 2013 / By


By Veronica Alaniz

A woman with yellow hair, cherry red glasses, a bright green dress and white boots decorated with balloons answers the door of a Lorena Street storefront. She goes by the name of Roo Roo.  The one-room space, Boyle Heights Club de Payasos, is crowded with shelves containing porcelain clowns. A male clown with bright purple hair and a big smile, called Bling Bling, sits on a chair behind a big wooden desk.

When the clowns enter the Club, they do more than just cross the threshold. They also step into another world and persona. All the makeup and colorful clothing keep their identity hidden, leaving people curious to what they might look like underneath. And they don’t want to share their real identity to outsiders. “We enter as civilians and leave as clowns,” says Bling Bling.

For the clowns, El Club De Payasos, or Clowns’ Club, is a second home. This is where the clowns get ready before each of their events. Their clothes, makeup and anything else they need are stored here. The makeup the clowns wear varies and depends on the individual. “Every person adds his touch,” said Roo Roo. “To be a clown is an art,” and “it’s a beautiful art form because aside from amusing others you are doing what you love,” says Bling Bling.

Read more at Boyle Heights Beat