Loco Coco: A clown that enjoys puns, jokes, street theater and juggling. His name implies that he has a crazy mind (loco = crazy, coco = head, in colloquial Spanish), but his real name is Siddhartha, just like the Buddha. Once president of the Philosophy Club in East Los Angeles College, with ambitions of being a graphic designer, Sidd has found in Loco Coco a persona that not only makes him some money in birthday parties, but has also been a source of emancipation for his inner child, a medium for his endless energy, and an art form that lets him enjoy the lighter side of life. The following interview lets us see some of the intricacies of the clown business.
How important is a clowns name to his persona? Why did you choose your name to be Loco Coco?
A clown’s name is very important because you have to get the crowds attention. Having a funny, quirky, rhythmic name, so they can remember you. I chose Loco Coco because it had a good sound to it. I used to do shows with another clown, and he would always call me “Loco”, which is a common nickname in the Hispanic community. I got the Coco nickname from Conan O’Brien, so thought I would be the Mexican version of “coco” hence Loco Coco. It rhymes and it sounds funny. Clowns need to have a memorable name.
Do people need to have a certain unique personality to be a clown, or do you think anyone can do it?
I don’t think anyone can do it. You have to have heart, the love of art, and the capacity to inspire imagination in kids. It is an art, and you must have appreciation of it. Some people do it only for the money; that’s not me. When I see joy, laughter, and happiness in others, it makes me happy as well. Some people don’t have that personality. You have to be animated, energetic, and the center of attention.
What is it about your personality that makes you a fit for the art form of family party entertainment?
I did not always see myself doing parties for kids. I saw myself as an entertainer for young adults, but it was with the kids that I thrived the most. I was surprised at how successfully I worked with kids. A clown told me that the invention of a clown is from a Child’s imagination. I try to be the most professional when it comes to working with children. Some kids are shy, others quite the opposite. I focus on bringing a smile nonetheless.
Do you believe that clown humor has a healing effect for people?
Yes definitely, like the movie Patch Adams. Except I’m no doctor but I’ll play one on TV.
What have your experiences been like as a clown?
It’s been up and down. Most of the times pretty up. There have been lots of laughs. The most memorable was seeing the clowns I grew up seeing as a kid. My mom would take me to Plaza de Armas in San Luis Potosí in Mexico. I would see the jokes and pranks, or “pikadría” of the clowns. One day I was lost. Not Jimmy Hoffa lost, but just lost! I did not know what I wanted, what to do, what I wanted to be. I saw these clowns perform again, when I was 20 years old. I told myself, I want to do that, street theatre. That way I can work and do art at the same time. It was an extraordinary experience meeting clowns in Mexico. I was in an urban roach hotel that was packed with professional street clowns. I was amazed. We had a kinship. One clown introduced me to a clown I had seen before as a child, his name was Meme. I extended my had to greet him, as I did… I slid and fell on my back. He asked, “Did you do that on purpose? Or was it an accident?” I responded; “ I don’t know.” It dawned on me that as a clown, falling on your back is funny.
What should our readers look for when hiring a clown?
They should look for face paint, balloon animals, juggling, magic, and games: if you have all that, then you will have a great party. And of course also look for LoCo CoCo “Quack! Quack!”