“WHAT!?! My favorite clown supplies, make-up, wig, fabric, prop, _______ (fill in the blank) has been discontinued?!?”
…that’s right — discontinued. Not available. Done gone. Good bye!
Going, Going, GONE!
I hear it all the time in the rapidly-changing world of retail merchandise. It really hits hard when something you love is no longer available.
For us clowns, it means more than just a minor inconvenience. It means having to find a replacement product — right away!
How do you stay ahead of the curve to make sure you don’t get caught by surprise? I have some advice on keeping track your clown supplies and preserving what’s left of your last remaining items.
Track it down
If you find something is no longer in stock from your favorite vendor, you can check other dealers to see if they might have one more left on their shelves. But do not delay!
If a vendor tells you the item has been discontinued, find out if they mean it is no longer being made or if that vendor has decided to stop carrying that item or color. But I repeat: do not delay!
Searching Facebook groups and eBay can be your friend as well when searching out rare items.
Use your cell phone to take photos of the labels, containers, and packages so that makes it easier to keep track of what your preferred colors and brands are. It also makes it a cinch to post a photo on Facebook asking “I’m looking for a few more of these ____. Anyone have them for sale?”
In all the world of clown supplies, it is the wig styles tend to disappear the most. We may not like to admit it, but cosplayers and fans of anime (Japanese animation) rule the world of “fun color” wigs. It comes down to the numbers, folks. If a company doesn’t sell enough of an item, it is discontinued (no matter how much we clowns love it).
Luckily, here at Pricilla Mooseburger Originals, we have a very good relationship with our wig manufacturer Westbay, and they let us know when a certain style or color of clown wig will be on the chopping block, so that we can stock up ahead of time and have enough supply on hand for our customers.
I recommend always having a spare wig in your favorite style and color. You never know when the dog or cat might decide to make your wig its new plaything, or when the snarls and frizz are just too much to repair.
Making the most of it
I’ve harped about this for almost thirty years: WEAR A SKULL CAP!
I promise it’s not me trying to make more money off of my customers. It’s the best thing you can do for your wallet (and comfort).
Why? Here’s why:
- Washing a wig shortens its life.
- But you need to wash a wig since your sweat and skin oils will seep into it.
- If you DON’T wash your wig, it will smell bad. (you do know what sweat truly is made of, right?)
- Wearing a cotton skull cap prevents that seepage. So you wash the skull cap INSTEAD of the wig, thus preserving your wig longer.
- Bonus: The skull cap keeps you cooler because of its moisture-wicking properties.
So that’s why. You’ll feel cooler, smell nicer, look better, and spend less money on replacing your wig.
Unless you have them custom made by your favorite clown shoemaker, the best thing is to get two pair if you can.
If you did buy them custom-made, then your shoemaker should keep your measurements and specifics in your account file so you can re-order easily the next time.
And if you find some fun colorful show laces that you love, always buy at least two sets.
Making the most of it
Fabric? Once it is, gone it is GONE! Trust me on this one. My heart has been broken more than once over the discontinuation of a really cool plaid!
Making the most of it
If you buy a bolt of fabric, you’ll have all the information on a sticker at the end of the cardboard tube. That info may help you find it online if you need to buy more.
When you buy extra fabric, write on a tag all known information: yardage, fabric content, store bought, date bought, manufacture, what you used it for. Wrap the fabric tightly or put it in closed bins and put the tag on the outside. Store it in a dark, cool, dry place for the future.
I still have folks lamenting the demise of Stein’s make-up! Oy!
Clown make-up is an entirely different deal. Old make-up is not like finding an old wig style. While most popular brands to contain preservatives be careful of buying old stock just to get your favorite. Yuck. Better to be safe than sorry.
Did you hear? Mehron, our makeup manufacturer, has discontinued making its ProFACE line of products. It means you may have to find a replacement for your old stand-by. Luckily, we have a list of comparable makeup to help you make the transition:
IF YOU WEAR PROFACE… …TRY THIS MEHRON
- Clown Palette – 5-Spot Palette
- Black Greasepaint – Black Color Cup or Creamblend Stick
- Blue Greasepaint – Blue Color Cup
- Bright Red Greasepaint – Creamblend Stick in RB Red
- Dark Red Greasepaint – Creamblend Stick in Red
- White Greasepaint – Clown White
- Lt Auguste Greasepaint – Creamblend Stick in Juvenile 3B or Lt Auguste 8.5B
- Dark Auguste Greasepaint – Creamblend Stick in Neutral Buff 24, Tan Glow 26, or Auguste 8.5B
- No Sweat – Skin Prep Pro
- Liquid Makeup Remover – Solid Makeup Remover
- Barrier Cream – Barrier Spray
- Glitter – GlitterDust
- Setting Powder – Colorset Powder
Making the most of it
You can store most makeup in your fridge, but beware of excess moisture and condensation. The only things you could freeze well would be the pencils. Cool, dry, and dark are best for most storage plans.
If you do find that your makeup has separated into oil and solid, throw it away!
Always keep the caps screwed on tightly and clean up the top surfaces before storing away for a long period. Those surfaces came into contact with your skin, where tiny microbes live. They could fester on the surface of your pencil, greasepaint, etc. A simple swipe of a paper towel or baby wipe will do the job quickly.
The glues, tapes, and adhesives are the most finicky. They should be store in neither too warm or too cool of a spot, and always out of direct sunlight. If latex gets below 30 degrees, it will loose its adhesion properties. If glue gets too hot or humid, it will start to separate.
I have a very informative blog post about how to make your makeup last longer and when it should be thrown away. >> READ IT HERE <<
Many clowns spend a good deal of time trying on clown noses, trying to find the right fit for their face and their clown character. And then once they find the perfect size and shape, they either lose the container or slip of paper!
Oh no! now they’ll never know that the brand name or code number is. How will they ever find the perfect clown nose again?!?
Here are a few hints:
- If it is hollow, thin, and needs glue to stay on, it is probably Jim Howle brand.
- If it is hollow, thick, and needs elastic string to stay on, it is probably ACME brand.
- If it is filled with foam, it is probably ProKnows brand.
As for determining the exact size/code number of your nose, you can try holding up your nose to the screen while you scroll through our photos to make a match. Or you can send us a photo of your nose and we’ll do a little detective work for you. Take a picture of your clown nose next to a ruler and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have more blog posts about clown noses and nose glue. >> READ THEM HERE <<
Making the most of it
As soon as you find your perfect clown nose, type the brand and size and code into your smartphone. Next, take a photo of you wearing your clown nose (with or without clown makeup on, doesn’t matter), and then immediately take a photo of the container with the size/code number visible. Finally, email those photos to yourself and type the nose brand and code in the subject heading.
This way, you’ll have all that information not only saved in your phone for quick reference the next time you are shopping online or at a convention, but you’ll also have the email as a back-up copy in case something happens to your phone.
“The more things change, the more they stay the same”
Are you dealing with transitions in your clowning and life? Please read:
- Don’t be afraid to make a change
- How to clown within your limitations
- Are you brave enough to alter your clown?
- Transitions aren’t easy, but they are necessary
It comes down to dealing with change. It can be a good thing. Maybe it is time to update your wig style? Switching things up a bit can actually bring a new fun energy to your performance.
Trust me, it will feel like a big shift the first time you make even a small change, but it will matter more to you than your audience.
Remember: you are their clown no matter what color wig, shoes, or base color make-up you are wearing. So keep it all in perspective.
Go with the flow, and embrace the change. …After you have had a good rant about the loss of your beloved item, of course!
Read more about planning ahead and stocking clown supplies:
- 5 things you need to do before your next big gig
- Top 10 “must have” clown supplies
- Plan ahead for success and fun
- Is your clown business prepared for anything?
- How to take care of your clown supplies so they last
What are some ways you have found replacements for your discontinued clown supplies?
How have you dealt with necessary changes to your clowning?
Post a comment below and share your advice with other clowns.
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
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