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Who's in the alley?

Discussion in 'The Clown Forum' started by WillyNilly, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. WillyNilly

    WillyNilly Member

    Hi All: Who belongs to a clown alley or other professional organization, such as Clowns Of America International (COAI) or the World Clown Association (WCA) or other, or international organization?
     
  2. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I am the President of our local clown alley, although we struggle to get more than four people to show up to the meetings or other activities. I am also a member of COAI and WCA. Although, I honestly don't know that either group really does much to benefit their members beyond hosting an annual convention that might be attended by 10% of the members. They have magazines that they send out, but the content isn't overly educational.
     
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  3. WillyNilly

    WillyNilly Member

    Hi Sir Toony:
    Back in the day, I also was WCA and COAI, mostly for the insurance, the magazines were nothing to write home about. There weren't any alleys within 100 miles. My present location puts me with spitting distance of a COAI Alley, which I think I will join. I also got a look at the COAI magazine, and it has come a long way, so I think that's in my future also. Not a lot of convention action on the east coast lately that I have seen, since Clownfest folded.
    WN
     
  4. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    The Mid-Atlantic Clown Association has their annual convention in November. It has been in the Harrisburg/Hershey PA area for the past several years.
     
  5. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    It's interesting how you, accurately in my opinion, note this. I'd like to relate it to the Circus Fans Association, which I have been involved with and served, for a short stint at least, as membership chair.

    The latter organization, a few years ago, conducted a planning survey in which they discovered similar statistics. Part of the conclusions drawn included a need to focus less attention on an annual convention and dedicating greater resources towards the larger percentage of members who may never attend one. Such was certainly a key element of my own advocacy and work during my time of service. I also noted that the organization's magazine (for which the bulk of their budget is spent, alas in an era when that forum for communication has grown increasingly expensive and reaches fewer people) was not particularly effective at promoting circus and reaching audiences in an engaging manner, and that both the substance and means of media use required improvement/adaptation to our era.

    Unfortunately, these calls (some of which was also determined via said survey and plan) were largely ignored in favor of promoting conventions and running a largely ineffective, and somewhat expensive, magazine. Such doesn't especially attract new membership, and certainly does little to encourage retention/renewal.

    Old habits die hard, I suppose. Change, even when obviously necessary, isn't easy.

    Yet, as we performers know, if one fails to connect with an audience, what is the worth of one's endeavor, ultimately? It will not likely long last.
     
  6. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I know that a lot of people joined WCA just to get the insurance. Many weren't even clowns, but face painters or balloon twisters who wanted the performer's liability insurance at a reasonable price. COAI copied the idea a year or two ago and now also has insurance.

    COAI has a fancy website, but I couldn't tell you the last time I bothered to visit... but I come to the Clown Forum daily. Their Facebook page is mainly used to tell people how many likes they have and how close they are to the next milestone, such as getting 5000 likes to their page. They could post mini articles, joke of the day, or stuff like that, but they don't
     
  7. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    Heh. I don't know about the fancy website. That thing looks like it was made 15 years ago and never updated. (Notice the labyrinthine menu options. Modern sites simplify these to a greater extent, owing to the prevalence of users now viewing websites on phones or tablets.) I'm with you... this site is far more useful.
     
  8. V

    V Well-Known Member

    I once joined the 'Fellowship of Christian Clowns,' not because I felt it was a quality group, but rather because it was a fledgling organization looking to get started and I figured I'd join and supply the dues to getting the group off the ground. I don't recall ever doing anything with it and the group may now be defunct - I've never checked. It was much akin to joining the audience of a fellow entertainer at a festival - to show support.

    I keep, for the most part, an IBM membership. Sometimes I let it lapse, but more often than not, I keep it renewed. I like the Linking Ring (for the most part) and they've tried to keep things modern - moreso than the clown groups I'd argue. You get access to all past issues of The Linking Ring, some tutorials, reviews, etc - small tidbits that make it worthwhile to visit the website and all. Obviously, you get access to the Castle with your membership which is good for getting to live performances and lectures and such, or as a simple stop on a vacation when you're out west.. I rarely do anything with local chapters formally because I tend to work with the same group of people I 'work' with in putting together festivals, conventions, etc.

    I use 'Specialty' insurance and it's not really tied to one group or another these days. I honestly do more with the non-professional groups (Wheelmen, 501st, etc) than I do with any industry organizations....
     
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  9. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    I think it also depends on how invested the leadership is. I'm part of two different clown organizations. The first does a heavy amount of planning, and that's very much due to the folks at the top. They organize and network, and we have several events we go to every month.

    The second is more catered to clowns who operate on a more individual level. The mission seems to be more educational. I do learn quite a few magic tricks from them. But otherwise it's more of a monthly support group.
     
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  10. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I was using the word "fancy" to mean they spent a lot of money on the website only to use a fraction of the features.
     
  11. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Could someone please like this post? I want affirmation!
     
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  12. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Considering that anyone can go direct to them, I'm not sure why anyone would join an organization for access to, essentially, the same sort of policy.
     

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