Clowning around is serious work! I spent a recent Saturday morning at “Clown U”, the training session for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade clowns. It was held at the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center and is a crash course in clowning (which is a lot harder than it looks).
The clowns are volunteers, and not just anyone gets to do the job. The clown ranks are made up of Macy’s employees, as well as employee friends and family members. Employees can recommend potential clowns, which is how Betty Regan joined the group this year. Betty told me it’s been a dream of hers for decades. How long? “Fifty years”, she said. “I’m so excited.” Her kids gave her the gift of being a Macy’s Clown this year for her 83rd birthday. “They searched, they were working on it all year.” Betty said she saw her first parade when she was six or seven years old, but wasn’t able to go every year. “We didn’t go often when I was a kid…we had too many kids. I really got crazy about it when I got to be about 55. Everybody I saw (I’d ask) do you work for Macy’s?” Betty told me people ask her why she wants to be in the parade. “I think it’s not a very good question, because I thought everybody wanted to be in the parade!”
... excerpted from an article by Tonya J. Powers ... read it here.