Mix it up!
Believe it or not, there are times when your regular clown costume is NOT the right tool for the job. Like Halloween, for example.
I’m talking about those events which fall outside of your usual range of “clown gigs”:
- Formal Parties
- Themed Events
- Annual Celebrations
You never know until you try
Have you ever thought about dressing in something OTHER than your clown costume? Mix it up every once in a while! It might be a little scary to step outside your comfort zone; we are creatures of habit. Once we find our clown character, we make our nest there. It can be difficult to budge yourself out of that hidey-hole and stick your neck out to try something new.
But I encourage you to take the risk! It is very liberating to have a new costume. You have the chance to exercise your creative muscles and stretch yourself. You never know how amazing it can be until you give it a chance.
Besides the character-building experience, there are other good reasons for changing your costume.
4 Reasons to invest in a non-clown costume:
- You do this event every year
- It is for an important client you want to impress
- A costume helps your performance and your enjoyment
- It’s not as expensive as you might think
You know it’s coming
If you have an annual local celebration like a rodeo, expo, or community festival, then it is definitely worth putting together a themed costume. You’ll get to use it every year (quite possibly more than just once a year), and the event organizers will remember you and hire you again. You might even become the official “unofficial” mascot for the event, guaranteeing yourself a gig every year!
A friend of mine wore a Christmas Tree costume to her Library’s fundraiser at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in 2010. She made quite the impression, and now they invite the Library to come back every year. When she calls Barnes & Noble to schedule the fundraiser, they tell the Library “We hope that big Christmas tree coming along, too!” LOL
Just think how fun a hobo costume would be for Box Car Days. Try a cowboy for the Buffalo Rodeo, or lil’ old church ladies for Good Neighbor Days, a chicken costume for Red Rooster Days, a leprechaun or Irish washer woman for St. Patrick’s Day…you get the idea.
Since we only have 12 weekends of summer in Minnesota we really get carried away with our community festivals. We even have Wood Tick Days!
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce schedule and see what kind ideas pop up. With an annual event, you know it’s coming up, so you have time to prepare. Planning ahead takes the stress out of it.
Here are my local folks from The Clown Arounds, mixing it up at the Wright County Baby Animal Fair. As you can see, some of them are wearing clown make-up and wigs with their animal costumes from my other business: The Costume Shoppe. They sure are cute! They did walk-around, meet & greet, and balloons. It was a busy event, and these clowns worked hard to give everyone a good time. The folks running the event said that having the clowns dressed as animals and a farmer was a “Big hit!”
Have a hot-shot client to impress?
I will get a call every now and then from clowns who have been hired by a corporation or organization which is hosting a fancy-shmancy party. Their usual color explosion clown costume with all the ruffles and bagginess just isn’t going to cut it. They ask me for something a little more “refined”.
Now, by clown standards, “refined” varies a great deal from posh society! Haha!
But I think you know where I’m going with this. A special client paying lots of money for you to entertain at a high-class event attended by people in formal wear demands your very best, don’t you think? It does if you would like to be invited back year after year.
It is in your best interest to polish up your costume and look your very best.
A costume is your performance tool
You are a character. Yes, we all know the best characters are extensions of our existing personalities, exaggerated to comic levels. However, there are MANY facets to your personality, right? So when you get ready for a themed event, dig deep inside and find a part of yourself which can be amplified for your new character.
How you package that new persona and deliver it to your audience is just as important as the props and tricks you bring with you. Take some time to think about how that new character would dress. It’s a lot of fun to plan it out, but it’s also necessary. Your costume is one of many tools in your performance. Don’t just slap something together and call it “good enough”. Invest some effort and time into it.
When you coordinate your new costume, not only will you look great, but you will also feel great. It is amazing how confident you feel when you know you are giving your client your best effort. When you look the part, you’re not worrying about your appearance and you can focus on your audience instead. You will perform with more confidence and enjoy yourself more.
I have had the pleasure of making a variety of character clowns from professors, to pirates, to duck hunters, costumes with teddy bear ears, to one with dog paw prints and bone neckties! It’s always fun to think outside the box when it comes to costuming.
If you want some ideas, please contact me: 800-973-6277 firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not as expensive as you think
If you’re been nodding your head as you read this article, there might hear a little voice as the back of your mind wondering “Yeah, but how much will this cost me?”
The good news is, you don’t have the spend a lot to create a themed outfit. Often it is all in the accessories. If you have a simple base of shirt and pants in a solid color like red or black or blue, you can build on that with accessories in color patterns to coordinate with the theme.
Remember that fancy formal event? Because you are a comic performer, you can get away with not having the most up-to-date style of gown or tuxedo. Find a suit at a thrift store and jazz it up with satin accents or sequins. You know your clients best. What would they appreciate the most?
Make an effort to put together a classy outfit that says “entertainer” but without all the usual busy-ness of your usual clown costume. It doesn’t have to break the budget.
Don’t forget the holidays!
Let’s touch base on some ideas for costuming during the holidays:
- Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Fourth of July – Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty, colonial character, or red/white/blue themed costume could work for multiple events. You can add some patriotic flair with a star-spangled red, white, and blue hat or tie.
- Christmas – Mrs. Claus, Susie Snowflake, Jack Frost, and Elves, of course!
- Easter – Make a funny hat with bunny ears. Add a puffball tail and tell the kids you are the Easter Bunny’s helper, or a bunny-in-training.
- Halloween – A child-friendly wizard or witch is great for those community Halloween parties that take the place of the door-to-door trick or treating. You should read my blog about putting away your clown character during Halloween.
Will you give it a shot?
Coordinating your costume to match the theme of an event is easy and fun! It can be as simple as adding a cowboy hat and bandana to your existing outfit or putting together a full blown new look.
You get to decide what works best for you. What you can count on is extra kudos from the organizers and attention from the crowd.
So will you give it a try? Let me know if you do!
I would love to see photos and hear about your success. Post them below in the comments or email them to me.
Look & feel your funniest with these clown costume articles:
- How to turn a boring t-shirt into a clown shirt!
- Do you NEED a new costume, or just WANT one?
- Take a closer look at clown collars
- How tough are your clown pants?
- Take a closer look at clown t-shirts
- What is a “plain clothes clown”? Why should you try it?
- How to style your clown wig into braids
- Washing & styling tips for the professional Santa Claus-for-Hire
- How to take care of your clown shoes
- Why is fabric content important for your clown suit?
- How to do a “pants drop” and properly wear suspenders
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Mooseburger Clown Arts Education has been running one of the world’s most well-rounded clown schools since 1996. Performers from all over the globe travel to Minnesota each summer for a fun and intensive clown training program. Each aspect of our clown camp is designed to meet your needs and boost your confidence as an entertainer.
Whether you want to join the circus, visit nursing homes, run your own birthday party business, paint faces, or twist balloons, there is something just for you at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp.
Or call me toll-free to discuss your education and see if Mooseburger is the right fit for you: 800-973-6277