We Could All Use a Laugh

When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him I wanted to enroll in Clown School

By Lisa Zion, contributing writer
Published on LatinoLA: January 4, 2009

We Could All Use a Laugh

Right next to my mirror is an 8 x 10 color headshot of a clown. I don't know if this clown is male or female. I only know she makes me smile. When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him I wanted to enroll in Clown School.

I had done some research and there is an art to becoming a clown. Some clowns do magic tricks. Some clowns make balloon animals. Some clowns visit sick children in the hospitals. Some march in parades, any parades. After all, what is a parade without a clown? All clowns wear makeup, a funny nose and clown shoes.

All I want to do is make people smile. A smile is a frown turned upside down and after a tumultuous year, we could all use a laugh right about now.

I've always been the clown in my family. Coming from a large Catholic family of 8 children, there's bound to be at least one clown in the bunch. My father is funny but my mother's laughter was enough to encourage her shy, middle child to put down her books and entertain the family.

On one particular hot August day, we were all in the backyard having a family barbeque. The family was involved in a heated game of badminton. The radio was playing and Elvis was singing his rendition of C.C. Rider. I interrupted the game with my Elvis impersonation. I picked up a racquet and pretended to strum the chords while wiggling my hips. I had achieved my goal of disrupting the game and brought the family together through laughter. Thank you, thank you very much.

I once had a little black cat that was so comical that I named him Bozo. Where would we be without our furry little friends to keep us company and make us laugh?

I love female comics from Toti Fields to Lucille Ball. From Elvira Kurt, and Sandra Valls to Ellen Degeneres. What I don't like are female comedians who use self-deprecating humor to get a laugh. Come on ladies; don't put yourself down for a laugh. Raise the stakes. Earn that laughter. It is a gift to make someone laugh.

Through the years in theater and film, I've played a flower girl, a ballerina, a gypsy, a lady-in-waiting, a pregnant lady, a shark girl, a closeted lesbian, a marriage counselor, a mother, and an elf, but never a clown. I can't wait to begin.

About Lisa Zion, contributing writer:
Lisa Zion is currently in rehearsals for an upcoming production of the Vagina Monologues
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