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So what does a party clown do?

Discussion in 'Party Clowning' started by Zoodles, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    Hello everyone!

    I've taken the plunge... got the clown suit, practicing make-up, learning balloon twisting, etc... I put on the entire suit & make-up only once (so far) & I truly enjoyed the new persona. Sadly, I had no where to go so I took bunches of pictures, took the outfit off & spent the next hour convincing hubby that I hadn't lost my mind...

    I've never been to a kids party where a clown had been hired nor have I found anything on Youtube that was inspiring... I have some face painting gigs coming up & I'm thinking of including a clown act. I also want to integrate clowning & balloon twisting as available options of the services I offer.

    My question is... what does a party clown do? Do you drive to your gig in your attire & cause accidents on the way? Do you always act silly once you arrive at your destination? Maybe the better question is do you always act silly when in costume? When the hostess offers you something to drink, do you ask for pickle juice?

    I like to think of myself as a professional face painter and so I want to look like a professional clown at my first party. The people that hired me to face paint at their party (my first gig), had no clue that I had never done this publicly before - I pulled it off like a pro although I was sweating bricks! I hope to do the same the first time I show up dressed as a clown! My face painting mentor inspired us with this phrase: "Your worse face painting is most likely the best this child has ever had". I'm hoping I can carry this mantra as I do my first clown gig!

    Any help would be appreciated... Youtube links, etc.

    Thanks everyone!

    Christine
     
  2. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    If you've done parties before don't sweat it. You will do fine. Do I act goofy all the time? I don't know I don't think I'm always that way. When I do my show I am in character but I think my clown is really who I am. If I had to put on a different act I don't think I could do it. Yeah I'm goofy at times but that is who I am. I think I play a little more with the kids when I'm in costume but the more I do this the harder it is getting to separate the two. I find my sense of humor sneaking into the other aspects of my life (my teaching, etc). It is who I am. At the end of the party I do talk to the adults like an adult and as we settle up payment or what ever, if they ask a serious question I answer it normally but you still keep your humor and can joke with them if the situation arises. I do arrive in costume except for shoes. My husband would kill me if I drove in clown shoes. (I can I have before) He says insurance wouldn't cover an accident if they found out I had clown shoes on. LOL. If you have a gig further away than say an hours drive I would look into getting a place to change made available if the host can swing it but I have driven further in make up and costume. I do believe it probably isn't the best practice but it makes for some strange stories.
    S.K.
     
  3. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    I've always been a funny person - always the class joker, etc., but over the years I've had to suppress that inner "me" and be all businessy - it will be nice to find myself... 35 years later!

    I can just imagine the looks on people's face's when they look and see a clown staring at them... that makes me look forward to driving around!

    I suppose you make sure you've got a full tank of gas before heading out!

    Thanks Special K'z
     
  4. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    Just be careful driving in clown. You could cause an accident. I had one guy hanging out the window driving down the 4 lane to try and take my picture and then go to turn to the casino. So yeah probably wasn't the best thing to be doing.
    Sara K.
     
  5. Snoetje

    Snoetje Well-Known Member

    Okidoki (a member here) has a nice video:

    And this another video I found:


    What I basically see in all party clown videos are all clown skills.

    What I do myself when I'm a party-like environment is just playing. I first show the children I'm curious and pretty dumb. Then they just start playing with me and I react on it. In a clowny way of course. Playing on the bouncy castle? Failing to pull off shoes. And failing to put it on afterwards. I give them room to be bigger than me I guess.
    I just let them decide what to do (adults are always the boss over kids and tell them what to do...why not let them be the boss for once?)
    I feel I'm not really good with this yet, but I think maybe I'm in the right direction. But I've never seen someone doing this so maybe I'm doing it all wrong haha.
    If I were to do magic tricks etc. I had to learn a lot before finally be able to perform somewhere. But now I can learn by playing and be a child again. :p
    Anyway, I'm always in character. Well, I try to. Oh and I always bring some fun stuff with me just in case. And to play with.

    I don't have a car and I'm not experienced enough yet, so I can't do children's parties. But sometimes I do bigger parties and I always ask a place to change. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  6. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    Thank you!

    Great advice! Thank you.... the girl clown in the video is awesome! I'm not even thinking about magic at this point! I can only imagine the practice hours involved... I've enough on my plate with balloon twisting!
     
  7. Hillbilly Annie

    Hillbilly Annie New Member

    I have not done any actually paid paties, but have done a few school holiday parites, I handed out some brown-E`s and of of course some other fun letters and did simple balloons for the children, I just acted like myself, at least the silly side of myself.....I so enjoyed it as well as the children...and have been asked back by the teachers
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
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  8. ATLANTA CLOWN TOWN

    ATLANTA CLOWN TOWN New Member

    :oops:Hey Smilwy Face,
    First and foremost YOU ARE IT! oy enter and the focus is on you,your outfit and bag of tricks.
    They have never seen you before and usually are mesmerized for the first couple of minutes---do not lose them.You must be on it for the next hour or two. YOu will tire and dehydate in any venue,drink water before your show and bottles if necessary during.
    Let the costume do it's job ,being a bright colorful attention getter is a fabulous way to do a job. Hve a list of practised acts to do in order if you want. The transition is the key let your show flow from balloons to face painting to music or magic.
    I do balloons last---Kids will so pop them!
     
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  9. Hillbilly Annie

    Hillbilly Annie New Member

    I tell the kids that balloons are guaranteed to pop...the balloons are always the last thing I do as well...since I have been doing a few parties at the school for the last couple of years ..the kids expect the balloons
     
  10. SCOOP

    SCOOP Ace Reporter

    there is way too many answers to the question what does a party clown do
    most depends on individual skill sets what your client is asking for and what your willing to do. here is a small list of what some party clowns do and not every clown can do every thing
    magic show
    juggling show
    balloon sculpting
    facepainting
    organizing games
    sing and dance along
    story telling
    no matter what be honest with your client as to what your able and willing to provide.
    as far as acting like a clown. a clown will make the easiest everyday task look hard and the hard stuff look easy.

    i am no facepainter but it seems it is hard to have a clown mentality while your actually painting. you can make goofy jokes and such much easier between kids those who are able to joke while actually painting can consider themselves in the upper echelon. as far as ballooning (in my opinion) if you have to concentrate as much as a facepainter and unable to make jokes and talk maybe your not ready to sell balloonsand please be a better balloon twister then mom or dad can be by going to a party store and buying a kit can be . as far as magic the object is to not have the preferred outcome but yet still be magical if you revel a secret and it happens to the best of us never use the excuse oh well i am just a clown. the outcome is what is to be messed up not the technique to make it happen!!!! juggling please really learn to control your props don't learn how to do clubs one day and think your ready to do it in front of an audience tomorrow actually this goes for everything if your going to charge you better be worth the money not just showing off stuff you learned last night.
    sorry got off on a tangent
    hope that helps a bit
     
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  11. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    Scoop, I really appreciate your honesty! I just received a gig request from Gig Salad requesting a clown - face painter. I responded and indicated that I could face paint and be a clown & entertain the children with stories, games, clown silliness, simple balloons but that I did not perform magic or juggling.

    Thank you for you advice!
     
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  12. SCOOP

    SCOOP Ace Reporter

    magic is not hard but it does take practice no matter how self working the trick is. i would never have tried magic if i didn't take freds class at the spring fling 4 years ago.
    find a convention and take as many different classes or even the same type of classes from as many different instructors and you will come up with great ideas to do at a party. always remember you can learn form anyone even if you end up learning what not to do !! and speaking of conventions did you happen to notice the spring fling is just a couple months away. we would love to see you there
     
  13. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    Scoop...thanks again! Seriously considering attending Spring Fling... I know you're going to say it is but I'm asking anyways....is it a good place for a newly hatched wannabe clown? I got my outfit from Halloween Express for Pete's sake! I'm so new at this I squeak when I walk! I was at a huge face painting convention last year and was disappointed with how new comers were like me were "neglected". Because everybody knew everybody, if you didn't know somebody you were no body...I do want to learn & I think learning from pros is the way to go! And I want to know where to shop for my "real" clown outfit!
     
  14. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    The Spring Fling is ideal for new clowns!
     
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  15. I went to the Midwest Clown Roundup in Quad Cities this year as a newbie. I was there for only part of the convention and ALL alone at the Friday night event. People recognized I had just checked in and that the little green thing on my tag must have signaled I was new. People practically jumped over chairs to be kind and help me fit in. Smiley Face, some of those same people will be at the Spring Fling I'm sure. You will have a great time and learn plenty. The only trouble I have is fitting in all I want to learn. And I am editing to say that some kind clowns even GAVE me extra stuff they had to shore up my collection of props and tricks. Go and have fun if you can.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  16. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    Good will/ thrift stores are the best places to shop for costumes. Especially if you can do basic sewing like adding trim, pockets. All but one of my costumes have major parts to them that are good will finds.
    I think spring fling would be ideal for you also. From what I hear it is small and friendly, Pinky was a newbie and she had a very good experience there just ask her. My guess is it might be quite a jaunt for you but may be worth it, since you had a bad experience once I can understand your hesitation.
    Sara K.
     
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  17. SCOOP

    SCOOP Ace Reporter

    the fling is great for new clowns and we have scheduled some clowning 101 classes this year
    the spring fling was the first convention i ever went to it was so great for me not only are the people friendly since a good percent of the attendees are members of this forum.
    so it was as if i had known a bunch of people.
    there will be some really good facepainters there sandra is an excellent teacher and if you have never touched a brush before hazel will be glad to work with you at her table again this year.
    there will be a ballooning 101 class for those that have never touched a balloon and beyond that the jams at night don't be afraid to ask anyone to show you anything in the jams everyone is willing to share
    and hazel is great to talk to about costuming as well and mooseburger ussually sends some stuff along with fred
    if you have any other questions about the fling feel free to ask fitzwilly, plywood, scruffy , or me and we will do our best to answer them and to cut costs i am sure there is still plenty of people looking for roomates to split the hotel costs
     
  18. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    Yay! Hubby & I will be attending Spring Fling! I'm so excited! Of course hubby will have the time of his life taking pictures (he's semi pro photographer)... if you don't have any one lined up for this purpose, he does awesome work & his services are highly negotiable!

    I hope to learn tons of stuff as I seriously want to make face painting/clowning/balloon twisting a full time career. Face painting alone is not cutting it...

    I also plan on making a whole bunch of friends!
     
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  19. Zoodles

    Zoodles New Member

    Yikes! I got booked for a 2 hour party next Saturday! The client wants face painting, balloon twisting and clowning. I was upfront with her & told her my balloon twisting was basic & I was still learning about clowning but she was alright with that.

    The birthday girl is only one year old but the guests age will range from 5 to 12. And there will be less than 15 kids.

    I'm going to be planning this all week to make sure I get it right! Any advice? I told her I'd arrive as Zoodles but I requested permission to use her bathroom to clean up. Of course I'll bring all my toiletteries & will clean up afterwards. My husband is taking me out for a casual dinner afterwards - not Zoodles! :)

    Should I start by painting all the kids & then going all out Zoodles with games, fun & balloon twisting?

    Any recommendations for easy props I can get from Amazon besides red noses & mouth coils?

    Help, help, help!
     
  20. ATLANTA CLOWN TOWN

    ATLANTA CLOWN TOWN New Member

    Smiley Face I am laughing at your quote-Hilarious!
    Now about your party ,your art work is great so you can do all faces and then balloons last,you know kids pop them and they get only one. Learn five basic shapes and stick to that.
    Magic shops sell mouth coils and you can get some easy tricks there too.
     
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