If you can’t beat ‘em, join’em!
What do you do when you get a customer’s call to be a clown, but not really?
We want you to perform, but not in your clown outfit and no make-up
At first, a request like this could really catch you off guard. “What do you mean? Be a clown, but don’t be in my make-up and costume??”
Then they follow up with “You might scare the kids”.
🙄 SHEESH! Oh, that’s right. That’s why we spend all the time and money on costumes, make-up, props, and practicing…just so we can get out there and be SCARY CLOWNS! Yup. *eye roll*
Okay, I’ve calmed down now.
Yes, there is real coulrophobia out there, but there is also the “fake fear” of attention-craving folks. And some parents don’t want to risk a roomful of scared kiddos, so they worry about hiring you as a clown. We need to acknowledge that this attitude IS out there and learn how to work with it. How can we make the most of this opportunity? Most of us are more comfortable in our costume and make-up. So how do we make the transition to a “Plain Clothes” Clown?
1. First, don’t worry. Know that you can be just as funny in your full make-up and outfit as without. You still have your comic patter, your cool skills, and your fun expressive movements. It is all a part of being a family entertainer.
2. It’s important to still look professional even without your make-up. Put together a new “family entertainer” outfit with pieces of your existing costume. Your clown striped shirt is your best friend. If you are face painting or balloon twisting, try a colorful apron to protect your clothes and give you extra pockets to make a fun statement. Tie-dyed shirts, bold color pants, tuxedo shirts with colorful bow ties, sparkly vests, a snazzy hat. These are all costume possibilities. Just make sure you look like a real entertainer, and not a weirdo!
On the right: I’ve added more pieces to make a complete clown costume. Now I just need the grease paint and wig.
It’s easy to convert your existing costumes into fun non-clown outfits. Be creative!
3. Hone those character skills! Taking classes on character development will help you be entertaining without the make-up and costume. Characters like Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean, and Bill Irwin as Mr. Noodle are terrific clown like characters without make-up. I have great selection of workshops and courses offered at Mooseburger Camp that will help you take your character to the next level.
4. Promote the Art of Clowning. Your education time and talent are worth a lot, whether you go as a clown or a “plain-clothes” family entertainer. Be sure to promote yourself as a clown for their next event when they see how great you are. If we as a clown community want to keep the art alive, we need to educate our customers as we go. So tell them you will come in fun clothing in keeping with family entertainment, but that your clown character allows you to do SO MUCH MORE. Tell them about your success as a clown and how much the kids and adults love you. Yes, some children may be cautious (DO NOT SAY SCARED!) of clowns, but you are a trained professional. Tell the parents that the kids come around once they see all the fun you bring to the party! You walk a fine line between educating the client and defending yourself. Don’t act insulted; just be upbeat. Know in advance what you are willing to do and NOT do. That helps to prevent from being caught off guard.
Always do your best, use your fun clown skills, and DO NOT let yourself get short-changed. Navigating these entertaining waters is a challenge. It is still possible to bring your creative skills to the market place. Being prepared and thinking outside the box will keep you in a great position to teach the world it is still okay to love clowns and have them be a part of this ever-changing world of entertainment!
Have you been in this situation?
Share your thoughts with us by posting a comment below or on the Mooseburger Facebook page
Be inspired! Read these other blog posts to help boost your confidence and get you thinking:
- “You Never Know” You never know who is watching that might need a smile. You never know what dreams you may inspire.
- “Learn to Adapt” How do you reinvent yourself and stay true to your clown?
- “Don’t Over-Think It” How to create a clown character without too much stress.
- “Clown All Year ‘Round” Ways to stay in business during the holidays
- The Real VS. Fake Fear of Clowns – When does it become bullying?
- “You Are A Gift” Feeling down? Remember, each time you put on that red nose, you’re going to make someone’s day!
- “Clown Goals” We need to set goals in order to grow. How do we do that?
- “National Clown Shortage” Where have all the clowns gone?
- “Are You Funny Enough?” Sometimes it’s not about the costume or the props.
- How to turn a boring t-shirt into a clown shirt!
- Do you NEED a new costume, or just WANT one?
- 4 Reasons NOT to wear your clown costume!
- Take a closer look at clown t-shirts
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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