August 22 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 20, 2014
He has brought countless smiles to birthday parties, carnivals and fetes across East Anglia.
But now Andy the Clown is about to broaden his comedy horizons as the Lowestoft-based master of mirth gears up for six days of fun-filled frolics in America.
Andy is flying out on Friday to Chicago to attend his first ever World Clown Association (WCA) annual convention and is to be given VIC (very important clown) treatment.
The 41-year-old has been invited to the convention as he has been made alley director at the WCA.
His role sees him help organise and advise branches of the WCA, which are known as alleys.
In Chicago he will be picked up from the airport by a limousine and he will be rubbing comedy noses and big feet with clowns from 28 countries.
During the convention he will take part in a comedy Blues Brothers show and, he hopes, some clowning workshops.
It will be the first long-haul flight Andy has ever been on and he has been advised not to wear his clown gear as he checks into US customs and immigration as they notoriously lack a sense of humour.
Andy may also want to rely on a proper suitcase, as his work one is prone to fall open at any moment.
Better known to his family and friends as Andrew Davis, Andy said: “As alley director I help facilitate and help and advise alleys, for example on insurance, recruiting new members and hospital visits.
“I am one of six directors of the WCA and have been invited to its annual conference for the first time.
“The only time I have flown before is to Spain. I have been told not to wear any make-up or a costume when I fly out.
“I am really looking forward to going. It will be great fun. North American clowns are very different to over here; they are more formal in their make-up and costumes.”
He added: “Us British clowns don’t mind being a bit sillier, such as if our trousers fall down or noses fall off – we just want to raise laughs.
“I have been told just to act like a typical British clown when I arrive.
“Clowns are big in Britain and North America, but there is now more interest in South America, Korea, Mexico and India.
“Everyone seems to love a clown.”
Andy was previously the overseas director of the WCA, which has about 3,000 members.
His previous role saw him organise a convention in Borneo and advising clowns on their codes of ethics, such as not smoking when wearing make-up.
Andy started clowning around in 1999 after leaving Bannatyne’s health club in Norwich.
Explaining his love of clowning about, Andy said: “It is all about making people laugh, from two-year-olds to 92-year-olds.
“When I see the smiles on people’s faces, that means more to me than anything.”
Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org