Clown Alleys are for Everyone.
In the diverse culture of clowns, how can we make it so everybody wins? How do we make everyone feel welcome and included? I have some ideas which are easy to implement in your clown alleys, shrine units, and clubs.
Over the years I have watched various clubs go up and down in enthusiasm and attendance. If you belong to any kind of organization you will find the same trend. Not everyone is able to commit the same amount of time, effort or energy. There are as many reasons as styles of wigs!
People’s desires are bigger than their schedules
Members may want to be a part of the clown alley, but find themselves pulled in a variety of directions by work and family obligations.They want to be involved, but they just don’t have the time.
After a while, the other folks who do have the time and dedication get tired of being the ones who “do all the work”. Then resentment sets in, and clubs fall apart.
People who don’t have as much time to commit can feel this underlying resentment (even in the best of clubs) and don’t feel welcome.
It really is not anyone’s fault. It is not intentional. It is simply human nature. Think about it. It happens in all organizations!
This may be the year you have a lot of free time to commit to the clown club. But next year…who knows? Next year, it may be YOU who is the one with an ailing parent, teenager in trouble, or spouse out of work.
Not all reasons are obvious — nor are they anyone’s business! Be kind and understand that everyone is doing the best they can. Keep the “Welcome” mat out and your door open.
What to do so everyone feels welcome?
Get some jokes and a kazoo! Seriously. I mean it!
This is a great way to make sure everyone feels welcome when your clown alley has a performance. Beginning clowns need something to build confidence. Clowns who are over-committed need something low-pressure they can jump into without a lot of rehearsal time. In other words: Everybody Wins!
Here are some ideas for using jokes:
- Use short jokes to fill in time between your skits during your next performance. It gives the new clowns a chance to get on stage without a lot of pressure. It requires little or no practice.
- Follow the easy instructions on my “How to Tell a Joke” sheet. If you’ve attended my classes at conventions, you probably already have this. If you want like a PDF copy emailed to you, use coupon code JOKESHEET the next time you place an order at www.mooseburgeronline.com.
- Invite club members to bring their best kid-friendly jokes to the club meeting and share them. Have folks give them a thumbs up or thumbs down!
- Appoint a “Keeper of the Jokes” to create a list of your club’s favorite ones! Just remember to have fun with it.
Put together your clown alley kazoo band:
- Open and close each show with a kazoo band performance.
- Keep some spare kazoos handy so if someone forgets to bring their funny instrument they have one to go.
- This works perfectly for Shrine units who have a Circus. Putting together a funny kazoo band is perfect for those guys who can’t afford the time to be at all the gag rehearsals and circus performances. This gives them something to do at the shows they can make it to.
- With a kazoo band in your clown club’s repertoire, everyone has something to do that fits their time schedule.
I would rather be in a clown alley that has more members, than just a small unit of a dedicated few — wouldn’t you?
We need to find ways to foster the fun and community within the club. I hope you find these ideas helpful!
You can purchase these items at Pricilla Mooseburger Originals to use in your clown group:
- Clown Jokes and Walkaround Gags – BOOK
- World’s Funniest Clown Skits – BOOK
- Kazoobie Plastic Kazoo
- Bulk Bag of Kazoos
- Kazoo Band Kit
- Sounds of the Circus – CD
Let me know how you keep the fun alive in your units.
What type of events have had success?
Is there a particular activity which has helped your membership grow?
Read more blog posts to help your clown club thrive:
- Limber Up, Cool Down – How your unit should prepare for a pain-free PARADE SEASON!
- What Keeps a Clown Club Growing? – Avoid these pitfalls to keep your club thriving
- Improve Communication in Your Clown Alley – Prevent misunderstandings at your meetings
- Making Changes Can Be Scary – Are you afraid to try something new in your alley?
- Remember the Purpose of a Clown – This will inspire your club members
- Emergency! – This is important medical information every clown alley should know
- Fail Zone – Why parades are the perfect environment to try (and fail) new material