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First clowning stint coming up!

Discussion in 'Newbies to clowning' started by Heather, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Heather

    Heather New Member

    I'm the volunteer webmaster/marketing person for a local spay neuter charity, and since I'm trying to learn the art of clowning, I have volunteered my services for this weekend for a few hours for our booth at a big art festival/block party this weekend.

    This is my first time trying any clown stuff for a group larger than 5 kids, I have NO IDEA what I'm getting myself into! Since it's a dog-related charity, my plan is to focus on all dog stuff - balloon dogs (easy!), making a menu of a few dog-themed faces I can paint, and memorizing stupid dog jokes. I am hoping that focusing on a theme like this will help me get some practice working with kids and the public as my clown self. =)

    I've also made up a small flyer to have with me in case anyone is interested in getting a hold of me in the future. AND I'm lucky that there will be another face painter in the booth next to mine for another animal charity that we are aligned with, so hopefully I can learn some things in the process.

    Tips? Am I on the right track? I'm so excited and so nervous at the same time! :D
  2. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I remember when I was first getting started, I followed another clown. He kept telling the same joke to everyone he encountered. I mentioned it to him and he told me that it was a new audience each time and that he and I were the only ones who knew he kept using the same joke.

    If there is another face painter at the event, you might be better off just focusing on the balloons. It can be hard switching back and forth from one to the other. I know a lot of clowns will say that doing balloons can turn more into an assembly line than entertainment. Once a line forms, it is mostly one on one interaction between you and the child at the front of the line. I will often ask silly questions like, "Do you know how to speak dog?" If they say yes, have them translate, "Bark, bark, bark. Woof." Another silly question is "Are you planning to teach your dog how to dance?"
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Squirty

    Squirty New Member

    I'd agree. I did a ticket sale booth once and did some balloons. I would think also doing face paint would be distracting to flip flop around. I'd say bring it because you never know the size of the crowd and if it's going one at a time you can have some fun and choices. My experience, the kids formed a circle around me waiting for me to tie balloons. I tried to have some fun with it like letting the balloon go, a couple jokes, etc. Lucky for me it was a small circle of kids. Anything bigger and it would have been chaos. I've got some event coming up Saturday and I'm thinking more simple jokes, a couple easy walk around gags or magic tricks and moving on to the next group of kids to repeat the same thing.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. Heather

    Heather New Member

    So...um... I'm still starting and actually better at face paint than balloons so I'm not sure if I want to focus on that, but I hear you guys and thank you for the tips!!

    My thinking is keeping it to the dog-centered them of my booth and give out dog balloons + have a menu of a few dog face paint designs and then just "wing it" for other requests. The other face painter there is more focused on elaborate designs for adults. We've not promoted the clowning a lot, but I think it's a good chance for me to practice and I think I will have the freedom to change signage during the event so hopefully it won't get too crazy?

    I've not been to this festival before so I'm not sure what to expect or how kid-focused it is but I hear ya! Maybe I will make a couple separate signs and see how things are going? I can likely change focus mid-way if there is a problem. But just doing balloons and faces for my cousins bday party got a little crazy! LOL!! Anyway thank goodness I will have other (nonclown) volunteers at my booth that can help with crowd control if it becomes an issue?

    I was also planning to make a bunch of dog balloons in advance and have those as ready to give away to kids if they come by and I'm in the middle of something?

    Thanks clown friends, you guys are amazing and your advice rocks!!!
  5. Heather

    Heather New Member

    Also Sir Toony! You came up in my google search looking for dog designs, really enjoyed your website and was happy to accidentally stumble on a familiar face! :D
  6. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    There are some props you can use, like the leash with an invisible dog that leads you around. Also foam hot dog bits (oversized ones, strings of weiners.)

    I might go to the pet store and find various dog and squeaky toys to do silly bits with.
  7. Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft)

    Barry Daft (Mr. B. Daft) Old Bucket Spitter

    Get two squeaky toys, tape one to the inside of your knee and munt the squeaker in the other. By surreptitiously squeezing your knees together you can apparently make the munted one squeak. You are now set up to challenge, mystify and amuse.

    This is the only time I would ever recommend girls do not wear short skirts.
    • Creative Creative x 1
  8. Simon the Brat

    Simon the Brat Barry's pet Brat

    Although many people may prefer not to know what Barry keeps down his trousers, this is also one of the methods he employs to allow me to talk.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  9. Heather

    Heather New Member

    Hahaha you guys are great! Well I did the gig today and mostly improvised what I was doing. Made a bunch of balloon dogs and swords in advance and mostly my other volunteers passed these out to kids in line to keep them entertained....but I constantly had a kid wanting face painting and a line sometimes! So did the other face painter! The kids loved it, they were ALL so good and grateful! Got some good donations for my charity and some great practice!!!

    Can't wait to try some more of your funny ideas at the next event!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  10. The NORMAL One

    The NORMAL One Active Member

    If it is your first , I would tell you to practice ahead of time, think about what could go wrong and plan for it . For example I would have two balloon pumps in case I broke one. I will tell you that things will not be perfect be ready to adapt to the situation. I think the most important have a small note book to jot down things that went well and the things that did not. Always keep your audience in mind if you bring them laughs and smiles you will do good. Have fun and do it.

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