In the past week, there have been at least six reported clown sightings between Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem and Rural Hall in North Carolina. Whether the reports are real have certainly concerned parents and puzzled law enforcement. It’s proving to be a serious situation for professional clowns. So much so, one clown couple has considered giving up the profession altogether. They say they don’t have many other options.
Joseph and Lisa Brown, better known as Jazz and Jojo, have made clowning a major part of their livelihood.
“We want to make kids laugh and adults laugh and ease worries away for the day or the hour that we’re there or the two hours that we’re there,” said Lisa.
She’s been a professional clown for 14 years. Joseph, a clown school graduate, is in his 25th year as a clown.
“That shows you how much that I have put into it and have enjoyed the career that I’ve had being Jojo the clown,” said Joseph.
For the Forsyth County couple, it’s upsetting to hear about people impersonating clowns and scaring children.
“I’m angry because what we’ve worked so hard for, they’re ruining, it’s sadness because I don’t understand why they would have to do it,” admitted Lisa.
Now they say they’re scared to go out in public in costume.
“What would we run into?” asked Joseph. “Would we be pulled over by the Sheriff or police? Would we be chased down by somebody?”
Birthday parties, nursing homes, restaurants, the couple used to have as many as 10 gigs per week. Since the clown sightings, that number has dropped to zero.
“The phone’s not ringing and we have talked about seriously between the two of us well why don’t we just give it up,” admitted Joseph.
A tough decision to consider knowing why they do it in the first place: the kids.
“And just to see that smile on that face before we leave there,” added Joseph.
Joseph and Lisa hope their profession, decades in the making, doesn’t have to end this way.
“It hurts from the heart.”