Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp
Below is a testimonial written by Ann “Tuttles” Sanders. She won a Bo Dino Scholarship from the World Clown Association last year. She used her scholarship to attend Moose Camp, and she was kind enough to share her words with us. Thank you, Ann!
THEN, NOW… WOW!
In 1994 I had only been clowning for a couple of years and was at a point where I felt I needed to make a decision whether or not to continue. With the encouragement of Jane “Fizzy” Crouse, I attended Mooseburger University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Since I had not been to a multi-day training that offered a single focus intensive course for a portion of the day and a free-choice variety of classes for the remaining half, I had no idea what to expect. For my focus area I enrolled in Tricia Manuel’s (aka Pricilla Mooseburger) Clowning 101 class. It turned out to be an experience that changed not only the way I looked as a clown, but my perception of the art form. Needless to say, I continued clowning.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2013. While researching scholarship information for a fellow Kolonial Klowns’ Alley member, Amber “Skittlez” Knerr, I remembered World Clown Association (WCA) offered the Bo Dino Scholarship. Not only did I suggest “Skittlez” apply; I decided I would apply as well.
One of the easiest questions on the application form was, “Please indicate the instructional program for which you are applying.” If selected, I knew exactly where I wanted to go – Buffalo, Minnesota, to attend Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp, July 23-28, 2013.
I was thrilled and honored to be selected as a scholarship recipient. Over the years I have attended single and multi-day seminars and workshops; this would be the first time, since 1994, I would return to Mooseburger. Again, I had no idea what to expect.
Each morning our day started with a Round Table Chat by one of the staff members. “Sweet Connie” Kennedy, Rex Nolen, Cheri Venturi, and Fred Baisch shared their stories on how they became clowns, answered questions about their areas of expertise, and told tales on other staff members.
While at Mooseburger Camp, my roommate, Cindy “Peepers” Kella, and I selected Comedy Magic as our focus course. Skillfully taught by Fred Baisch, the class covered a hodgepodge of magic and performance techniques. It was fun and informative. For the tricks we couldn’t master during the time allotted, Fred was available between sessions and before meals for extra assistance.
There was such an array of offerings for the afternoon workshops, it was difficult to select which ones to attend. My choices were Karen Bell’s “How to Use a Clown Hat in a Routine”, Sean Carlock’s “Character Development”, Karen DeSanto’s “How to Teach A Junior Joey Program”, Peggy William’s “Girl Clown Evolution” and Terry Ricketts’ “Props in Your Pockets – Make and Take It”. (Please don’t ask me to select my favorite among them, because that would be impossible to do!)
I also managed to squeeze into my schedule a couple of balloon jams with Dan Langwell and juggling labs with Rex Nolen. I had two conversations with Greg DeSanto about the International Clown Hall of Fame – one during a rare moment of free time and the other during lunch. I even found time to stop by Brenda Marshall’s “Beginner Make-Up Lab”. While I wasn’t there for make up assistance, she was most helpful with supplying information about where to obtain preschool praise songs.
“Sweet Connie” Kennedy was the “Detour” gag rehearsal coach – the skit in which I and five other campers participated. We had a number of morning practice sessions with “Sweet Connie” to prepare for the All Star Clown Show. If you know the routine, you will also know you use muscles you didn’t know you had!
In 1995 I tried out for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College. I was heart broken when I received the notice I was not selected. The Saturday night performance at the Civic Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, was as close as anyone can get to being on the big show without actually being a circus performer. I got to experience first hand the preparation and precision it took to set up and break down the performance area. I must admit that walking around back stage was one of the highlights of my week.
When the campers prepared to enter the stage, you could sense their excitement and — from their performances — you saw the evidence of their hard work and dedication. Best of all I walked among so many of the former and perhaps future stars of Ringling. Short of being Ringling alumni, it could not have gotten any better. Even if it was just for a couple of hours, my dream of running away with the circus had come true.
The days passed far too quickly. As “Peepers” and I waited for our ride to the airport on Sunday, I asked myself over and over why I had waited so long to return. (I can guarantee you I won’t wait another 19 years before I go back again!)
Whether you are considering becoming a clown or are already one, you would find Mooseburger Clown Camp to be a worth while experience. It provides an educational opportunity for every skill level. Unlike most conventions, there is no competition – just an environment created for learning and sharing. If I could use just one word to describe Camp it would be incredible!
I encourage the membership to consider applying for the scholarship. You can select Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp, as I did, or choose another 40 hour program. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!” What better way to do it than as a clown?
In closing, I would like to thank all the members of WCA that endorsed my application for the Bo Dino Scholarship.
To read more Moose Camper testimonials >> CLICK HERE <<
Did you know…
…Moosesburger Clown Arts Camp also offers it own scholarship?
The Ralph Pounder Memorial Scholarship application deadline was February 1st. Winners will be notified April 1st.
If you missed applying for this year, please consider the scholarship for 2015. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an application.
Read these other posts about Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp:
- Join the Yahoo Group!
- Does the staff really like each other?!?
- Take a clown retreat
- How many clowns can you cram in a car?
- Learn it by doing it
- Soul mates
- Hands-on experience
- Face Paining Course
- Where else is a clown shot from a canon?
- Mooseburger Scholarship