Dr. Funnybones aka Marie Beck from Niskayuna has been clowning for 33 years and with us since 1995.
Here’s what she says about her favorite props: “I like to sign a per-sonal picture of Dr. Funnybones and give it to the patient as a memory. I also like to make paper roses while I have a conversation with the family. I sometimes make poodles out of beads. This is a good thing to leave with the patient. I tell them it is their personal watch dog who will be with them to watch over them. I say, ‘You don’t have to walk the dog, feed him, clean up after him and he does not bark. He just sits with you and watches over you.’”
“One of the things that I like about being a clown is I am there for children of all ages. People will say ‘Oh, you are here for the kids, right?’ I say, ‘Yes, but I am here for anyone who would like to let me visit.’”
She finds hospital clowning very rewarding. “Sometimes it is hard to see people who are sick, or suffering, but if I can help them through their hard time it is worth it. There have been many times that I have been a patient in the hospital and remember how I felt as a patient – trapped, worried and helpless. I know the anxiety that comes from being a patient or the anxiety that comes from having a loved one in the hospital. If I can change the atmosphere of that room even for a short time, I know that it will linger long after I am gone.
Therefore, whether it is telling a joke, doing a magic trick, talking, listening or just clowning around, I leave a memory that helps the patient or family member to get through a tough time.”
Dr. Funnybones was also named the 1999 Clowns of America International Clown of the Year”!