It's no joke! Suffolk entertainer to become world clown president
© Archant 2012
Everyone, it is said, needs a leader - even those dressed in comedy hats and over-sized boots.
Yet while he will have some big shoes to fill, this long-time Suffolk entertainer’s new role leading clowns across the world is no laughing matter.
Lowestoft entertainer Andrew Davis, perhaps better known to his fans as Andy the Clown, has long championed the work of clowns in the face what he believes is unfair media coverage.
While many have made a joke of clowns for being scary, Mr Davis has fought back against what he sees as a mischaracterisation of the work the true professionals do.
His reward is to be crowned president of the World Clown Association (WCA) when it meets in Albuquerque, in the United States, on March 3 - so he can continue to spread his message across the continents.
It is a role Mr Davis is well-prepared for - not only because he is an experienced children’s performer with years of making spreading mirth, but because he has spent several years as an overseas director of the WCA.
He has also spent the past year as president-elect, shadowing the current president to learn the role, and in the past has advised fellow clowns on their code of ethics - on how they should and should not perform.
Following the five-day WCA convention in America, he will represent more than 2,500 jolly characters across the world for two years.
And at the end of his term, he will spend a year as outgoing president to help his eventual successor settle into the role.
“If you look back, we’ve been treated rather unfairly,” Mr Davis said of regular media coverage about scary clowns.
Part of the problem has been people comparing professional entertainers, who take great care not to frighten young audiences, with pranksters who simply dress up as clowns for a laugh.
“However we’ve already seen an upturn now the media has moved away from the negativity,” Mr Davis.
Mr Davis believes clowning is as popular as ever, with hundreds of registered entertainers in the UK.
However he would like more them to join the WCA to share their ideas and expertise.
“I’d like to increase membership numbers and encourage the next generation to work with the older generation,” he said.
Mr Davis said a quote by Robin Williams sums up what it means to be a clown: “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
Mr Davis added: “No-one like to feel sad or depressed, and that’s why we do it.
“I like to make people happy and make people smile. It’s a great feeling.”
For more information about the WCA, visit www.worldclown.com
Alternatively visit www.andytheclown.co.uk