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AP PHOTOS: Clowning serious business at convention

AP PHOTOS: Clowns from Latin America hold convention on ways to professionalize funny

In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, clowns sit on a couch during a break on the first day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater in ...
A pair of clowns talk backstage prior to giving a special award to a clown on the second day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater i...
In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, clowns chat after registering to attend the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City.  The goal of the ...
Wearing oversized shoes, a pair of clowns wait to participate in a laugh-a-thon at the the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City,Wednesda...
A clown carrying his daughter waits for the start of a laugh-a-thon at the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 201...
Clowns wait for the start of a laugh-a-thon on the third day of activities at the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. ...
In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, a clown relaxes briefly against a wall near the bathroom door on the first day of the 17th International Clown co...
Clowns listen during a workshop on the second day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Hund...
A young clown blows on a trumpet while performing with other clowns on the third day of the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, Wednes...
In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, clowns raise their official clown rule book while others without the rule book raise an imaginary one as they sta...

APTOPIX Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, clowns sit on a couch during a break on the first day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater in ...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

A pair of clowns talk backstage prior to giving a special award to a clown on the second day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater i...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, clowns chat after registering to attend the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City. The goal of the ...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

Wearing oversized shoes, a pair of clowns wait to participate in a laugh-a-thon at the the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City,Wednesda...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

A clown carrying his daughter waits for the start of a laugh-a-thon at the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 201...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

Clowns wait for the start of a laugh-a-thon on the third day of activities at the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. ...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, a clown relaxes briefly against a wall near the bathroom door on the first day of the 17th International Clown co...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

Clowns listen during a workshop on the second day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater in Mexico City, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Hund...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

A young clown blows on a trumpet while performing with other clowns on the third day of the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, Wednes...

Mexico Clown Convention Photo Gallery

In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, clowns raise their official clown rule book while others without the rule book raise an imaginary one as they sta...

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Clowning is serious business.

More than 500 clowns from Latin America are in Mexico's capital to enter competitions, exchange experiences and hold workshops to brush up on their clown techniques and learn new tricks.

Wearing oversize shoes, colorful wigs and red noses, the clowns lined up to register on the first day of the 17th International Clown Convention at a theater in Mexico City.

As they stood there, organizers asked that the clowns raise their "official clown rulebook" since not having it could mean they couldn't register. Many showed their small booklets but others could only raise an imaginary one while making a sad face.

During the four-day event, the clowns competed in best makeup, improvisation, best group show, juggling and, of course, best balloon shaping. The event's main sponsor was a balloon manufacturer.

Tomas Morales, whose stage name is Payaso Llantom, said the goal of the convention is to professionalize clowns in Latin America and highlight the need for a School of Clown Arts in Mexico.

On the third day of the convention, the clowns headed to a park for a group photo and a 15-minute laugh-a-thon against violence in Mexico. They sought a world laugh record but no Guinness official was seen present and they fell short of 15 minutes anyway.

But the clowns sure seemed to have fun trying.