Jim Jackson in Millibo Art Theatre's "CLN - Taking the "OW" out of CLOWN"

By Jen Mulson Published: January 3, 2014 | 12:00 am 0

Even before Stephen King put the fear of clowns into us with his scary "It" character, coulrophobia has been a thing.

That means an abnormal fear of clowns, and local clown Jim Jackson has tussled with the stereotype for decades.

"It seems like I've been getting this more lately, more from adults than children," Jackson says, "though they (children) hear it from the adults, and then say 'oh yeah, I'm afraid of clowns, too.'"

And he gets it. "I have known my share of scary clowns over the years," Jackson says, "the ones that aren't really performers. They just like doing the makeup and costumes and standing around. There's always something a little strange about people in full face makeup. It hides their identity. With that fake smile painted on, that whole look is very strange."

The upcoming Kids First show at the Millibo Art Theatre will be another of Jackson's one-man clown shows, with giant soap bubbles, dancing fruit puppets and the schtick that hopefully makes both kids and adults reconsider their clown beliefs.

"If nothing else, I confuse people who claim to not like clowns," he says. "They come to the show and laugh and say, 'Oh, I didn't realize clowns could do that.' Or they just say 'you're not a real clown, you're not the kind of clown I'm thinking of,' and that's OK, too. And maybe that's what the show is about - more about the identity of the clown."

Jackson has clowned at the MAT for years, where he's also the co-founder and executive director, and before that, he was a circus performer. He's got more than 30 years of experience under that red nose. Which, by the way, is the only bit of traditional clown make-up he now wears.

"I stopped doing make-up when I left the circus in 1982," he says. "There's always been that sense of, because you have a hidden identity and pretend to be a happy character that makes people laugh. It makes people suspicious, especially cynical people."

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Jennifer Mulson, jen.mulson@gazette.com, 636-0270.

"CLN - taking the 'ow' out of clown"

What: Jim Jackson

When: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St.

Tickets: $11; 465-6321, themat.org.

Other events

Nikki Hill - Rock 'n' roll, 8 p.m. Friday, Crystola Roadhouse, 20918 Highway 24, Woodland Park, $18-$23, $38-$43 VIP includes dinner and reserved seat; 576-5945, amusiccompanyinc.com.

"Encaustic Fine Art: A Solo Exhibition by Sheary Clough Suiter" - Opening reception 4-6 p.m. Friday, Colorado Springs City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave., free; 634-2204, backdoordesigns.com.

"CLN - taking the 'ow' out of clown"

What: Jim Jackson

When: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Millibo Art Theatre, 1626 S. Tejon St.

Tickets: $11; 465-6321, themat.org.

Nikki Hill - Rock 'n' roll, 8 p.m. Friday, Crystola Roadhouse, 20918 Highway 24, Woodland Park, $18-$23, $38-$43 VIP includes dinner and reserved seat; 576-5945, amusiccompanyinc.com.

"Encaustic Fine Art: A Solo Exhibition by Sheary Clough Suiter" - Opening reception 4-6 p.m. Friday, Colorado Springs City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave., free; 634-2204, backdoordesigns.com.

ience under that red nose. Which, by the way, is the only bit of bit of traditional clown makeup he now wears.

"I stopped doing makeup when I left the circus in 1982," he says. "There's always been that sense of, because you have a hidden identity and pretend to be a happy character that makes people laugh, it makes people suspicious, especially cynical people."

-

Jennifer Mulson, jen.mulson@gazette.com, 636-0270.

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