My friend once made the most marvelous find at a used book store. It was a tome called The Big Book of Illustrated Clowns and I was immediately reminded of it looking at the red carpet event for the premiere of John Travolta and Fred Durst’s movie, The Fanatic, which I wrote about yesterday. Even though it looked like there were maybe a maximum of 20 people in attendance, there was so much clownery afoot, you might be fooled into thinking it was a bigger event. Kind of like if the red carpet was a clown car. My eyes told me one thing, but they kept spilling out of the carpet’s nap, honking and spraying seltzer, and making an absolute scene. And my, what variety!
Of the 20 odd (estimated by me) attendees, I recognized a grand total of 4 familiar faces. Fred and John (of course), but also Kirstie Alley and Michael Bolton. I’ve taken this red carpet opportunity to assign them different clown types based on the classification provided by ClownAntics.com.
First there’s John. The most dignified of all the clowns at the premiere. He’s what CA calls The Classic (European) Whiteface.
Sometimes called the ‘most majestic and beautiful of the Whitefaces; an elegant clown, like the Pierrot or Harlequin of commedia dell’arte
That is until he poses with Fred, then he becomes a Straight Whiteface, which is “similar to the Classic but more colorful, more cheerful”.
Fred, I think, is a Grotesque Whiteface clown.
Similar to the Straight Whiteface in color and cheer, but zanier, with exaggerated features and clothes.
Note how the shirt, shoes, tattoos AND hat all signify Fred’s irreverent disregard for non-circus squares.
Now Kirstie’s in a class of her own. She’s what CA would probably call a Clown Light because she’s like Fred and John in some ways ”but with lighter makeup on just the mouth and eyes, usually. but still representative of one of the types of clown”. Basically, her clownery is expressed more with her performance and behavior rather than simply relying on heavy makeup.
And finally, I think Michael is an Auguste Clown which is described as “a mixture of Whiteface and Tramp — not so hapless as the Tramp” and whose appearance features “prominent fleshtones and black-and-white features”. But to classify him as such, we must take some liberties here with what we considered to be a “fleshtone“. Though I think the fault is with CA’s classification as they clearly have not taken the time to update their glossary since the advent of tanning beds.
The high jinks continue in the gallery below!