Louisiana-based photographer Frank Relle captures the nighttime magic of New Orleans in his ongoing series New Orleans Nightscapes. He uses long exposures to capture the feeling of the powerful, haunting beauty throughout his hometown.
1. Today’s clowns have white faces because the first clowns centuries ago would kill children that didn’t laugh and grind up their bones. During this process the clowns face would become white with bone dust. Eventually, clowns were forced to stop killing children, but the implied inducement to laugh that the white face represented remains.
2. Clowns often rub themselves with a mix of cotton candy and liquid butter to hide their stifling clowny odor.
3. Although it doesn’t appear in his official biography, Kim Jong Il ran off with the circus as a clown for several years as a teenager. His father found him and forced him to give it up. His dad did, however, allow him to keep his hilarious oversized clown pompadour.
4. Often, people who are alcoholics are drawn to clowning. The makeup and clown suits cover up most of the visible signs of alcoholism. Slurred speech, shaky hands and the inability to walk a straight line are all pluses if you are a clown. Hobo clowns were often just hobos picked up by the circus while drunk, put in makeup and allowed to wander freely through the circus tent. Also, alcoholics are able to get away without purchasing a red, bulbous nose.
5. When circuses are without food, the clowns are eaten before any of the animals because the animals are harder to replace.
6. Clown is a German word meaning “don’t leave the kids alone with that one.”