There’s always “that guy” in every community. The one that’s known for something unique. Maybe it’s food or car repair or making clothes—anything you wouldn’t expect. Here in the Memphis Hispanic community everyone knows the make that makes you laugh.
Enrique Montiel, the clown.
Montiel, a maintenance supervisor at Zaxby’s restaurant during the day, has performed as a clown for five years. He even has his wife performing alongside him.
The family hobby started for fun at a St. Michael Catholic Church festival. Montiel watched hours of YouTube videos to learn his skits, and a performer was born.
“I didn’t go to [clown] school, YouTube, that’s my teacher right there,” Montiel said.
After the show at St. Michael’s, a woman asked Montiel to perform for her son’s birthday party, and so his reputation began.
The word spread like wildfire around catholic churches and the Memphis Hispanic community, which inspired him to begin charging for his shows. Now you have to book Montiel and his family two months out—it’s mandatory.
“People really want us to go to their parties,” Montiel said.
Sacrificing family time on weekends made Montiel second guess his dedication on being a clown. In the end, he enjoys the attention and praise from his shows. The clapping, tears falling from too much laughter, and the high demand of his time, makes Montiel want to perform for years to come.
“Just seeing the kids smile and the grown-ups smile, that’s really what keeps me wanting to be a clown,” Montiel said.