In the wake of Robin Williams' death, we spoke to freelance writer Leigh Cowart about her recent experience at a clown convention. After the interview she shared her perspective on Robin Williams, a man whose humor and compassion had the power to bring so many people out of the depths.
Virginia asked her about the notion of the sad clown, always underlying the comedy with something tragic. Leigh spoke about some of the most famous clowns--Barry Lubin known as Grandma the Clown, Robert Grimaldi, the father of the clown white face--and being shocked at the tragedy and incredible sadness in their lives.
Leigh also mentioned that she thinks Robin Williams was the "the most iconic American clown." She said: "It seems like a cruel irony that someone capable of spreading that kind of joy, maybe wouldn't be able to give it to themselves."
Cowart was working on an article about Williams when we spoke with her that reveals her own very personal struggle with depression. You can read it now at Buzzfeed, "Robin Williams and the Dark Art of Laughing at My Demons."