Clowns. You’ll probably think of them, with faces slathered white with a red circle for a nose, and a huge grin completing the look. However, as much as their tricks and performances differ, their looks too. Well, some clowns turn up to perform for children in a different outfit and look, sometimes with lighter makeup.
Who does? Edmund Khong, the professional and master clown who performs across the globe. Makeup, to him, is just an instrument to communicate the inner “volume” increased with the artist. With or without makeup on, he is still an artist.
Going by the names Bubble the Magic Clown and Captain Dazzle, he believes that clowns are not actors, but they come from the heart. Performing at shopping malls, birthday parties, condominiums and more, making children laugh is his speciality. However, making them laugh comes with an immense amount of effort in experimenting and exploring – which Edmund enjoys.
How he became a clown is interesting, and actually very inspiring.
In his words, “Every Chinese New Year you meet this funny uncle. My dad was the funny uncle, and I inherited his genes.”. When he was young, his father would go alone to performances and perform the learned tricks back at home with everyday things. His job as a craftsman meant that items at home were handmade, and all these instilled curiosity in young Edmund – fuelling his love for experimenting.
While most parents encouraged their children to take on high-flying jobs in the future, his dad made him and his brother focus on both their studies and hobbies. This certainly paved the way for Edmund, to be on stage performing now. Armed with a degree in History, he strongly believes that our careers should not be defined by our educational attainment. As a “Why not?” person, he decided to become a Clown, ever since his university days.
Despite the negative portrayal of clowns in the media, Edmund firmly believes in the counter – by the positive #realclowns of the world. In his words, they should “show more” and “tell less”. How? Through doing more public shows to demonstrate the value of free play, expression and the importance of laughter for our physical and mental health.
To Edmund Khong, being a clown isn’t just all about fooling and clowning around. In fact, he is nothing less than a positive influence on children, and the world.