The 13th Emergency Clown Nose® pick of the season is Heath Ledger’s Joker. In this series I’m exploring the noble as well as ignoble clown. Each day through Christmas look for posts to my blog, www.LloydBrant.com, of a different public figure that either delighted in playing the clown, or that the public has unfortunately chosen to paint as a clown.
The clown as a monster is the least understood, and most frightening aspect of the archetype. In ancient mythology the trickster traveled between heaven and hell to deliver vital messages back to mortals. Unfortunately, America doesn’t have its own myth of the clown’s origin. Because of this vacuum we have developed a fragmented perception of the clown as either a bad children’s entertainer, a pitchman for hamburgers, or a monster.
To help heal this rift I wrote my own mythic origin story of the clown for the American imagination called, The Land of Clown. This year I was awarded a Minnesota Arts Board grant to adapt The Land of Clowns to the stage with the help of master storyteller Kevin Kling, premiering April 1, 2016 at Open Eye Theatre.