Lives have become so stressed and rushed that even clowns believe
making grownups laugh is no joke. But that doesn't mean they'll
Just ask blonde-haired Jonathan Seglins, better known as Circus
Jonathan, one of the more than half a dozen clowns who descended
on Goa as part of an international clown festival, which was held
here Nov 17.
The award winning Canadian comic, juggler, unicyclist and master
clown says rapid urbanisation and hectic lives had not only robbed
people of their smiles, but even their ability to smile and laugh
"Laughter may the best medicine, but alas it isn't easy to make
people laugh anymore,"Jonathan told IANS backstage, as he smeared
paint on his face, accentuating his smile.
Having performed in 12 countries, Jonathan said the generic
inability of adults to smile easily was evident everywhere.
"People come for shows because they want to bring their children
along. They want their children to laugh and have a good time. It
reveals their mentality. They think the time to laugh and have fun
is past them. How many adults will you find here who have come
without children?" Jonathan asked, adjusting an oversized,
brightly coloured bow.
Molly Kleeman, an American clown, said she was taken aback by
Indians' knowledge of America.
"I didn't know Spiderman was big here. We use these global
references to make our brand of clownery and comedy relevant to
people here," she said.
The main organisers of the event - Mad Hatters, a division of
Light House Entertainment, said the purpose of the event was to
spread the art of clowning.
"We are trying to popularise the art of clowning and also raise
the standards in the country. We have brought in clowns from
Canada, US, South Africa, making it the biggest clown festival in
India till date," said Mad Hatters' Martin D'Souza, himself a
The festival, which kicked off in Mumbai Nov 7, showcased clown
acts like walkabouts, meet and greet, stilt walkers, ballooning,
face painting, body art, clowning, gags, juggling, acrobats and
Clowns conducted several stage shows, demonstrations and
workshops. Their visit here for the one-off show, the last of the
tour, also served a dual purpose.
Apart from allowing them to exhibit their talents in front of a
new audience, the clowns also relaxed on Goa's sunny beaches after
a 10-day long festival.
"It was wonderful to be here. It is one of my best experiences
coming to India. There is so much life here. It is so interesting
to teach all the kids around you and watch them be amazed. We hope
to make the most of our last day here," Jonathan said.