The art of clowning goes back to the time when the early circus started touring the world. Easy as it may seem clowning takes much more than the painted face says this famed clown, we met earlier this week-
Martin D’Souza has been a professional clown for over 24 years now. In his long journey living his clown character, Flubber, he predicts a bright future for professional clowns in India.
Going back to how it all began, D’Souza doesn’t recollect the first time he saw a clown but remembers the first time he got into the character of one.
“I was a very quiet child in school. While I was pursuing my further education in St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, I got the chance to be a part of several activities. Once at a party, I had the chance to be a clown. There is so much more to it than just make up and costume.”
Flubber, the character, he says, is a reflection of his personality. “Flubber has evolved over time. He is a happy-go-lucky, intelligent, caring, loving and a huggable person. He is looking for solutions to make people around him happy.”
Many may assume that being a clown cannot be considered a profession or even be studied. But, in 2004, D’Souza studied Clownology from the University of Lacrosse Wisconsin, USA. “You can’t find educational opportunities in clownology in India. Over the years, I built a network of clowns around the world. There are many aspects to studying clownology. Firstly, you have to work on the look and the feel. The clarity, the make up has to be presented in a very professional manner. You also have to present a character. I also learnt a lot of skills like juggling, performing magic tricks, mime. You have to adapt to the characterisation of the clown,” explains D’Souza, who is also the Vice President, World Clown Association.
Speaking of being accepted as a professional clown who also has a Masters degree in marketing and management, D’Souza feels that more people are yet to learn of this profession. It is a highly specialised art form, he says.
As a professional in the field, he has also started teaching. “There are many people who want to learn clowning. I teach around 85 young men and women. The demand for clowns is also quite high and if you don’t invest in your clowning education then you don’t get paid well either. In my perception, there are about 300 clowns that are needed every month in Mumbai.”
D’Souza will be performing at Phoenix MarketCity as Flubber in a series of events leading up to Christmas. These events, he says, are a way for him to show people something they haven’t seen before. “There is a huge potential in this field. I have the chance to show people a wide spectrum of skills. There are many opportunities and lots of work to be done!”
Flubber will be performing on December 21, 5 pm onwards at Phoenix MarketCity, Pune.
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