Curiosity of the larger performing world in 2018. This forum has obviously seen a significant decline in active membership, or at least activity and with the demise of Ringling,the 'Killer Clowns' of the past few years and such, I'm just curious as to the state of clowning in the modern era. I know of a few party clowns in my area but have never really connected with them and besides, I'd like a census that reaches beyond my regional market. I guess my inquiry is to how clowns are doing? Most everyone I know as a Magician, Balloon Artist, Variety entertainer still gets work within a margin of error that doesn't suggest a decline, but I remember the fervor over the 'It' remake that suggested clowning was being negatively impacted (which I still don't believe are related. The film was disappointing however much I was anticipating it being decent). A few direct questions for discussion.. Clowns - are you still going out in greasepaint, or are you marketing as a balloon artist, children's entertainer, magician, etc and going out sans makeup? If you do both - what are your %'s of in makeup bookings versus plain clothes? If you abandoned makeup, why? --- I'm in the camp that abandoned greasepaint and over-sized shoes. No real heat from the scary clown stuff, but to be honest, I stopped wearing the outfit well before that started. I simply didn't see what role I was filling in that costume that I wasn't capable of doing in a suit (for more formal affairs) or a t-shirt and khaki shorts for more casual events. I think that by going that route as an entertainer, I came around to (at least what I perceive to be) the general public's view on your standard clown in that they're generally unappealing to down right horrifying (and I mean a significant portion of working clowns, not horror genre clowns). I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a clown give a quality performance (or perform at all as many party or festival clowns simply go about their business while happening to be wearing a silly costume). My thoughts on this are that proper clown education takes a large part of the blame. First, the format of education is that it seems to be perpetually aimed at the novice clown and because of this there is rarely any genuine educational opportunities that challenge more seasoned performers or encourage growth. All of the major camps and conventions offer largely the same things by the same instructors geared to the same entry level clowns. I'll look at a schedule of classes on occasion and sometimes they're literally disgusting to me and the only reasons I can imagine anyone ever attends them is that a.) they are part of previously mentioned newbie clowns who are hoping to get an idea of where to go (and I feel are lead astray) b.) they're really just looking for a social event where other clowns are and don't mind paying an entry fee to go to such an event (perhaps they don't get an opportunity to socially perform any other time of the year) or c.) which is really just basically point a.) with a more nefarious twist, is that would be clowns are bamboozled into registering by more seasoned performers for one reason or another (not to be inflammatory, but I'd always heard so-and-so was a great clown instructor or whatnot and actually almost went to one of these damn things before coming to my senses!). Second, at it's closely related to my first point, is that up-and-coming clowns don't take the opportunity to become educated. Part of this is because a large portion of clowns are essentially retired persons looking to make a quick and easy buck and figure party clowning is an easy method of accomplishing this, but there are plenty of people out there in the industry who have never bothered with stage or theater experiences, or public speaking classes, etc. I've seen an infinite amount of socially awkward clowns who frankly, have no business billing themselves as entertainers. I've also seen a stead supply who are clumsy and have no talent for stage presence or movement or most especially in relation to the clown; comedy. So many of them seem to be part of the "how hard can this be?" crowd and just blindly jump into the industry. I imagine most of them fold eventually, but they still have a legitimate negative impact on the entertainment industry - much moreso than any horror clown could ever hope to achieve. I think part of this is because the professional clown community offers no encouragement to become educated because of their weak convention and camp scheduling, but just as much, individual laziness is likely to blame. Anyway... This is getting long, so I'll pause for responses (if they come - lack of activity and all) - just rambling..