What Clowning Is All About The art of bringing happiness and laughter to other people is a rare and cherished gift. But for many years, clowns have brought smiles and giggles to the saddest of faces. Their silly antics, raggedy hair, and painted faces bring sunshine into the hearts of all who see them. Becoming a clown is a long, hard task, but many clowns all over the country are having fun trying it. They create their own unique face and costume, learn to use props, and practice pantomimes and routines. Being a clown is not all fun and games. There is also a serious side of clowning. A few basic rules of etiquette must be followed in order to be a successful clown. Good clowns stress cleanliness, sensitivity to their audience, good personal habits while in costume, and many more. Once you have completed the project sessions, you are ready to begin performing. There are a vast number of audiences—parades, birthday parties, hospitals, convalescent homes, share-the-fun contests, personal appearance revues, and country fairs. Some counties have found the clowns are one of their most demanded service clubs. Clowning is good for the individual in that it brings out hidden leadership qualities and gives you a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Once you get your clown face on, you are no longer the same person. It also allows you to be creative in designing your own props, costume, and face. Another important point about the clowning project is that it can be a family project. The whole family can practice and perform together and have fun. Clown Project Goals and Objectives 1. To add zip to events. 2. To bring joy and laughter to people of all ages. 3. To add to the fun and excitement of parades and special events. 4. To really share your fun with others. 5. To develop self-confidence. 6. To learn to relate to people. 7. To overcome shyness. CLOWN ETIQUETTE This has been copied from one of my files that was presented to me at a training institute! I'm certain by now some of this advice has been changed! Please look this over and add to the discussion. 1. Don't pick on people or embarrass them…make them laugh at you not them. 2. Don't throw candy in parades. Pass it out to each child on a one-to-one basis if you are going to involve candy in the clowning experience. 3. Don't let children get in your pockets. That is where you keep your treasures. 4. Don't wear jewelry. 5. If you must wear glasses, fit the glasses into your clown face. 6. Don't let yourself get overheated in a parade or show. Slow down and sit. 7. Be in good health. Take good care of yourself! 8. Don't use bad language, smoke, drink, or advertise them while in costume. 9. Be at the children's level when you are talking to them in costume. 10. Always be pleasant. Don't lose your temper. Remain calm and handle the situation as best as you can. 11. Be understanding and back off from someone who just doesn't care to have a clown come near them. This applies to young and old alike. 12. Always be on time for parties and parades. 13. Always stay in clown character when in public. Don't undress and leave makeup on or makeup off and costume on. ALL YOU OR ALL CLOWN!! 14. Have all your skin covered with makeup or costume. 15. Be neat and attractive. This goes for hobo clowns, too. 16. Don't copy another clown's face, costume, or name. 17. Don't complain about performance rules set down by others and producers. 18. Don't interfere or bother other acts, events, spectators, or individuals. 19. Etc. OTHER HELPFUL HINTS 1. Limit your gags and routines to simple ones until you get the hang of it. 2. Practice, practice, practice!! Perfect your act, skit, prop, or routine. 3. If you goof the first time, play up to it like it was supposed to happen. 4. Be original with your act. Whatever material you use, make it fit YOU. 5. Once you get the right face, use it for your trademark. 6. Have a person at the end of the parade to take you back to your car. 7. Have someone bring you a drink at the end of a parade or performance. 8. Appear in as many clown shows, parades, and benefits as possible.