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#ExploringCareers - Clowning : A Serious Business

#JOI4U would made you aware that we have a series called #ExploringCareers wherein interesting & unconventional career options are showcased more often than mainstream careers. Our motive of launching such an informative series was to help young entrants into their vocational pursuit make informed decisions for their professional journey.

Earlier this month our CEO, Dr Johnson Odakkal was in Goa on a day’s break after the academic orientation of an International Law University. He had the joy of meeting two professional clowns who went by the moniker Blim-Po with Agnel being “Blim” and Sachin being “Po”. While they were at the venue to discuss an event, the curious cat in our CEO enabled an exploratory conversation on the “serious” profession of Clowning!

An offshoot of the conversation with “Blim-Po” was Dr Johnson reconnecting with his erstwhile colleague & friend, Lieutenant Commander Pravin Tulpule, now an Indian Navy Veteran and popularly known as ‘Happy – the medical clown’. I had the distinct honour of a fascinating conversation with “Happy” who has been in that industry for the last two decades.


Pravin Tulpule, “Happy” shared his journey and overall experience with us to evolve this piece on #ExploringCareers anchored around on the choice to be in the business as a Clown. Clowning has traditionally been linked with circuses in India, yet it has enormous potential. It is one of the oldest kinds of art in existence. Mr. Tulpule simply joined the art to not make a great living out of it but to spread joy. In the interview he mentioned how the funny tactics which he could never do whilst in uniform, the clown get up helps him to do. He explained that the attention of an audience is hooked around the clown's clumsiness, reliving fond memories of their own childhood. Setting a unique stage is a whole new experience for the one wanting to come to this profession. As “Happy” expressed, for being a clown, one needs to be a target for the audience to laugh and make fun. Simply put, it is always easier to laugh at others.

These days it is not difficult to become a professional clown as there's very little to no competition in this business. Showbiz may be blamed for its bad portrayal of Clowns. Pravin Tulpule also highlighted how a person with great jest and knack for the profession can easily make a mark with their efforts, as passion is what matters. Yet, with the right exposure and training, one can get a better hand to be the absolute best. Unfortunately, there is no institutionalised set up for Clowning in India. Nevertheless, one can easily be a member of various international communities, one being World Clown Association, and Clowns of America International Inc., in USA.


#DidYouKnow that there is a whole new career as “Medical Clowning” as a pretty serious and a valid profession. This involves clowns interacting with patients to reduce the anxiety that comes with being in the hospital and foster optimism in gloomy wards. A path breaking venture, in the form of a school to educate and develop a pipeline of therapeutic clowns, has now launched in India, giving the budding profession a boost. A fellowship in the ‘MeDiClowning’ art and science has been established by the Chennai-based Saveetha University in collaboration with the Puducherry-based MeDi Clown Academy (a clown therapy provider) (FASMC). The 600-hour programme, the first of its kind in Asia, prepares clowns to bring laughter to a high-stress environment. The training involves workplace procedure, medical anthropology, well-being approaches, performative components, and other skills to help them develop their own clown personalities and emotional intelligence.


Hope you enjoyed learning more of how serious a business is the journey to be a Clown! If you’re a person wanting to embark with intentionality into a professional career, or change tack to a more fulfilling option, do connect with us to know more. Chart out your way towards significance and book a Personal Navigation Plan session with us at https://go.johnsonodakkal.com/navplan


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