Famous Clown Shares “Healing” Laughter
On Thursday, October 13, 2016, Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club was honored to have the famous clown and humanitarian, Chuck Sidlow, as the guest speaker at the general meeting.
Chuck, who serves as manager of the Circus Arts Conservatory Humor Therapy Outreach Program, was masterfully accompanied on a keyboard by his beautiful wife Noriko from Osaka Japan, as he performed for the club, while sharing his amazing life story and literally transforming into a clown right before the audiences’ eyes.
Contrary to today’s scary depiction of clowns, Chuck epitomizes the very essence of the joy and healing power of humor through his wonderful work with ‘The Humor Therapy Program” that positively impacts the lives of those in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and adult care centers .
Through tailored programs that utilize laughter to dramatically reduce stress, ease anxiety and depression, decrease pain perception and bring joy to individuals suffering from a variety of challenges, including Alzheimer’s and dementia Chuck and Noriko make a difference in the lives of so many people each day!
Born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, this “Yankee Doodle Boy” was voted “Class Clown” in high school, by his teachers to audition for Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College. He is one the elite group of 50 students, selected from 5,000+ applicants nationwide, to participate in Bill Ballintine’s 10th year RBB&B Clown College. Of the original 50 students, only 13 went on to perform with “The Greatest Show on Earth”. Within two years on the show, Chuck was honored with the title, “The youngest boss clown in the history of the circus” by RBB&B and was privileged to work beside circus legends Lou Jacobs, Bobby Kay and Duane Thorpe performing some of their famous original routines while developing his own comedy routines and unique style and was ” one of the best slap and fall men in the business”.
After departing Ringling’s employment, he resided in Osaka Japan for 11 years producing and performing comedy antics working as “International Clown Coordinator” for Duskin’s Carnival Plaza restaurant enterprises throughout Japan. He met his lovely wife and partner Noriko in Osaka.
Upon returning to the USA, he joined Pedro Reis, and world-renowned aerialist Dolly Jacobs, co-founders of Circus Sarasota to assist with management, and to perform in their annual month long winter show and other Circus Sarasota programs. Chuck continues to lecture and teach at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp and his personal goal is to assist in the preservation of the art of clowning, continue to illuminate the great characters of the past, and preserve those famous routines they created that are the classic favorites from the golden age of circus clowning.
In addition to his current responsibilities to Circus Sarasota, Chuck is passionate about his work as Program Director and Senior Relationship Building with Laughter Unlimited, an interactive outreach program structured to develop long-term relationships with seniors residing within assisted living and nursing facilities. One of the LWRWC members in the audience gave a moving testimonial how Chuck made a huge difference in the quality of her Mother’s last years by using therapeutic humor to bring her joy and fill a void between professional health care and family members. After sharing his story and entertaining us with humor and song, Chuck closed with the famous words of Red Skelton: “Good night and May God bless.”
The Women’s club members were delighted to share in Chuck Sidlow’s experiences with the circus and learn about the history of the great clowns and were deeply touched by the wonderful work that Chuck and his wife Noriko do through Laughter Unlimited! They thank Chuck for bringing joy and laughter into their lives and thank the event coordinator, Helene Levin for the wonderful evening of healing humor!