Clown a performer, usually in a
circus, who plays the fool,
performs practical jokes, and
does tricks to make people
laugh. Other names for clowns
are buffoon, jester, fool,
conjurer, mirthmaker, tumbler,
gleeman, mime, actor, harlequin, merry counselor, comic, and puppeteer. Even though there are many types of clowns, each clown develops a face, meaning a personality. A clown’s face, once created, becomes the clown’s unique personal property.
The oldest type of clown is the whiteface, which
dates back to the 18th century. The white color of the face
was first done with flour. White lead replaced flour,
but in the 1880s, when lead was discovered to be
poisonous, safer greasepaints were found. The
whiteface clown evolved from earlier whiteface theatrical
entertainers. One of the most popular whiteface characters
in history is Harlequin, a comic personality in the Italian theater form commedia dell’arte. English actor John Rich, who performed in the early and mid-18th century, was the most famous Harlequin of his time. After the mid-18th century, the clown gradually replaced the Harlequin character. English entertainer Joseph Grimaldi played an instrumental role in this shift. Still today you can find clowns which will do the whitefaced act but you would have to look along way to find anything also the whitefaced clown does not use the grease paint the use a type of make-up which is thick and very rich in color and you can find it all over the place.
In the early 20th century a third category of characterization developed from the so-called carpet clown, who performed short, solo routines between circus acts. These character clowns, as they are known today, include any clown who has a unique routine and who usually works alone or without a partner in a large group. The character clown is the most realistic of the...
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