March 2012: As a regular ARTE vendor at Times Square Centre, you may have come across the ‘JeJe’ experience whilst setting up your table at the Times Square Centre. If you have no clue as to what I (Jan) am referring to, then let me relate what a JeJe experience is. And if you don’t like clowns and feel aggravated when you see one clowning around and wondering what he’s up to, don’t worry. He means you no harm.
He is JeJe the clownster who will light up your face or hyptonize you into calmness (as you can see below!).
So who is this star amongst the other ARTE stars?
JeJe is a fourteen year old lad full of ideas to make people smile. He loves being a mime clown or one where he can do a bit of improvisation. “No bells and whistles. No stereotypical clowns for me, thank you!” Jeje adds.
JeJe had his first clowning stint during Halloween 2011, when he handed out candy to the kids.
He appreciates the experience he has had as an ARTE clown. “It has taught me to see how much effort actors and mascots put into their work; I appreciate them a lot more.” As for his confidence, it has increased hundredfold. Most of the ARTE artisans who have been regulars will vouch for the fact that practice at selling or displaying your work boosts confidence as customers and fellow vendors start to appreciate you.
JeJe is still down-to-earth when he admits that “I still can’t give a proper speech in public, but I can perform without being too shy.”
So where does this not-too-shy lad get his ideas? “School drama lessons and friends.”
Like everyone, there will always be a bad experience to go through. Jeje’s worst clowning experience was when his wig was way too tight and he ended up having a headache. What is good to note is that he has never faultered in his smile during the ARTE fair despite the big ache claiming his head.
For those who didn’t know, JeJe is the son of Terhi Karpinnen, photographer (most of the photos to illustrate this article are taken by Terhi herself), who has never missed ARTE except once for the Gulf Photo Plus 2012. So it is interesting to note that children of committed artisans are allowed to express themselves in ways beyond expectations. Parents encouraging their children in ways that they are best at, is a highly recommended tactic. The Terhi-JeJe team is such an example.
In answer to my question about whether JeJe has been asked to be a party clown, he states adamently, “I’m strictly an ARTE clown.”
If you have enjoyed JeJe the Clownster’s experience, please leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.
Visit JeJe the Clownster on facebook.