...continued from page one

I answer quickly.

Relieved, his face brightens up again and he jumps back into action. Today, there are no other clowns around, so he goes about doing his own thing not needing to be on guard against the practical jokes of the others.

This is when he connects best with the children. Using his plastic ice-cream, his magic tricks and his ability to twist balloons, he charms and wins over his two-children and three-adult audience. One of the two children is two-year old Andrea. She doesn't really like clowns. She's apprehensive and nervous at the beginning, staying a distance away from Spotty.

But Spotty works smoothly, taking time to win her trust. Soon she's clapping and laughing along, and in true Spotty character, he humbly offers her a balloon twisted into the shape of a poodle. A meek smile appears, and a brief bonding takes place before Spotty retreats with a satisfied smile.

Friendship formed, he goes back to his antics.

Then he tries to strike up another conversation, this time with 4-year-old Angie. "Wah, you so old one-ah. I only two years old," Spotty says, in a slightly nasal voice.

Angie bursts into laughter. Spotty capitalises on Angie's receptiveness and entertains her with a few magic tricks. That's what Spotty does best---make friends, show off a little when he can, and entertain the guests especially the younger ones.

Later, after cleaning off his make-up, Ravi talks about some of the challenges of being a clown.

"I love working with children, but sometimes, when you have a very "notorious" child on your hands, hmmm, that becomes quite difficult," he says.

But at the end of the day, he enjoys every moment of being Spotty. "Time passes by so quickly. An hour or two goes by just like that."

In the mean time, while he looks for an opportunity to get into the human resource training industry, he plans to continue rekindle the child in himself , and just be Spotty. The earnings are decent, and Ravi says that if he chose to go full-time, he would probably be able to earn a fairly reasonable income.

The charges are anywhere between RM350 and RM700, depending on the duration and the complexity of the performance.

Spotty has been mostly well-received. Veronica, Spotty's manager and a clown herself, compliments him. "He is talented, and his character has developed into a very interesting and funny one," she says.

He admits, however, to having one weakness. In Veronica's words: "He is great with kids, but sometimes, he still struggles with adults."

"They don't always react positively," Ravi says, in reference to adult audiences. For a Spotty who enjoys children's company so much, trying to perform for more self-conscious and so-called mature adults can sometimes be a drag.

"But he's learning," Veronica says.

Ravi gives a Spotty smile. His clowning around will surely continue to improve. After all he has only been doing this for about six months.

other people | the full story | top | main | potpourri | back to mir | back