TAMPA – Lily the Clown is, well, a clown. She knows how to make kids laugh. And there are a lot of adults that laugh along as well.
Lilia Gort, the sister of Armando Gort, owner of Oldsmar’s Horse Power for Kids, loves to laugh. She has more than 40 nieces and nephews and has always wanted to make people laugh. It’s in her blood and she doesn’t mind putting on a clown face to make it work.
“With all those nieces and nephews, I had to learn how to laugh,” Gort said. “Everybody always told me I was funny. I started to realize that it was something I wanted to do.”
Gort started her career by learning face painting. It’s a staple of her act, a blend of her humor and artist talent.
Mind you, she isn’t making a living as a clown. A house painter by trade, she spends as much time as she can with her 10-year-old daughter. She moved to Florida from Cuba in 1970 and loves the Tampa Bay area.
“I love it here,” Gort said. “I love kids and love to see them smile. I love to make people laugh. I will do anything I can, no matter what it is, to make kids laugh. It gives me so much happiness.”
As for her face painting and drawings, she said it all comes naturally.
“It’s all been easy for me,” Gort said. “I can do anything the kids’ want. It’s a way to make people laugh if they try hard enough.”
Besides her clown act, she also offers personal piñatas, but they need to be ordered in advance. She works with Westchase Inflatable Fun for bounce houses and inflatable slides. She specializes in birthday parties and has plenty of other special friends – kitties, princesses and superheroes – that can make appearances as well.
Gort also works as a volunteer at several Tampa Bay organizations such as the Children’s Home, the West Tampa Little League, and the St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital. She simply said there is one main goal with being Lily the Clown.
“I will do whatever it takes to make people laugh,” Gort said. “My main job is to take away any frowns and replace them with smiles.”
Lily the Clown can be contacted at (813) 924-5565 or at her website, www.lilytheclown.org.