It’s fair to say many people have a fear of clowns, known as coulrophobia. A child’s fear of an unfamiliar face has become widespread, with many developing a fear of clowns. The phobia leads to people in later life being anxious when confronted with a clown costumes, a clown’s facial features and of course their make up.
A clown therefore would not seem to be the ideal employment for someone who suffers from coulrophobia, yet Doug Child who hails from Dorset decided to try and overcome his fear to retain his job in the latest Circus of Horrors production, which is currently on a world tour and will be performing in Poole next Monday (11 January).
Doug had previously worked on the show and was known as Camp Dracula. Circus of Horrors’ ringmaster Dr Haze had devised a new show called ‘Welcome to the Carnevil’ and cast Doug as a Killer Klown. Dr Haze warned him that he could only remain in the show if he took on the Killer Klown persona. Dr Haze had no idea of his phobia.
At first Doug kept his phobia to himself and to try and fight it, he visited and trained with The Moscow State Circus. “It was slowly, slowly,’” said Doug, “The Moscow State was a good starting point as the clowns there are more like comedy characters, I then moved onto watching The Joker in Batman and Steven Kings IT.”
It took Doug ages and when he first donned his horrendous costume he could not look at himself in the mirror, “I had to get other people to apply my make up and tell me what it looked like, the first time I saw myself I freaked out and washed it off immediately.” Doug even resorted to hypnotherapy.
Eventually he did overcome the phobia and now stars as Rellik the Psycho Clown on The Circus of Horrors tour.
To book for the show on 11 January 2016 at Lighthouse, visit www.lighthousepoole.co.uk