I found your article "Send in the Clowns . . . An Army of Evil in Oversized Shoes" (March 24) to be very offensive and negative to the--yes--"art of clowning."
Maybe the reporter wrote in response to how his audition went: bad. Maybe he's just not funny. At any rate, with an attitude like the one throughout the article, I doubt if the public would welcome him into the world of the clown.
I am a clown. I graduated from the very school in 1978 and have clowned in various circuses both here and in Europe, including Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. Many times, we gave tours with our hands to blind kids so they could "see" the elephants, gave signed tours for deaf kids so they could "hear" the laughter, poured out of vans as we flopped through hospitals to give a mini-show to kids we were told would not live to see the following week, or gave shows in prison to people who were so violent they were locked away for life and who laughed in sheer delight as one of their own got a pie in the face. Not to mention the public who pay their hard-earned money to see the thrill of it all for a few hours.
The words of a very wise man named Solomon are found in the book of Proverbs: "A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones."
DANISE PAYNE, North Hollywood