It is the age old question:
“What did you do on your summer vacation?”
While it may be a theme for 7th grade papers, as we see summer in the rear view mirror it can be a great question for clowns.
Summer is the time of endless parades and weekend celebrations festivals and parties. We have three months of summer in Minnesota so we try to make the best of it. That means every weekend is a celebration.
I want to know what you did this summer. Did you capture it in a great picture? Send it to us.
Did you come up with a new bit with an old prop? Tell us about it below!
My rubber chicken addiction
For those of you who know me best you know I have a thing for rubber chickens.
I just think they are hilarious.
Actually my daughter Julia pointed it out to me, “Mom, you have a problem!” That came after I seat belted one of my chickens into the passenger side of the car she drove to school.
Or was it the time I sneaked one into her bed on the pillow next to her?
Or was it when I sewed a party dress for Gladys? (that’s my #1 chicken)
Hm…hard to say. Do I need an intervention?
I will stake my life on the fact that rubber chickens are FUNNY!
I have been using them in my gags for years, but I needed something new this summer for Mooseburger Clown Camp.
Thus, the Chick-a-le-le was born.
Creating a routine
Ideas percolate in my brain a long time before I act. Usually at the last minute I am spurred into action.
I knew there had to be a way to attach pieces of a rubber chicken to a ukulele. I turned to my glue expert to get the job done and my assistant Mary.
It turned out much better than I expected, as usual!
The routine that followed was quite simple:
I would come out onstage with a fun polka dotted bag and get an audience member to hold it for me. I open it up and produce the chick-a-le-le.
Realizing that my assistant didn’t have one, I have a backstage friend stick a big chicken out through the curtain.
Can we take a moment to talk about it?
Now this chicken is a real beauty. I spotted him at one of those expensive Disney shops last year at the COAI convention.
I tried to walk by, and not be lured in. I really did try!
…but the pull was too great.
(Maybe I do have an addiction??)
I bought him, and then waited for the right idea to “hatch”.
Okay, enough about my chicken; back to the routine.
I start to play the cords for the “Chicken Dance” and my assistant would play along on my big squeaking chicken.
Then we and the audience all break out into the traditional chicken dance.
Fun! Simple, silly, short, and sweet.
A great piece of comic genius? Nah, I doubt it.
But it was a great way for me to introduce my new Auguste character “Miss Moose” to my Moose Camp family this summer.
Thanks to Tripp Burnett for his musical talent and comic timing — you were great!
Keep it simple
So often we are trying to hard to be comic geniuses. When you create a new routine, keeping it simple is the best way to go.
Think of using a prop as a way of showcasing your character rather than making the routine the focus of the show.
You do that by not being afraid to engage with your audience. Perform with them, not for them.
Use volunteers, be happy, have fun, play! Going into your show or event with a playful attitude makes all the difference in the world.
Ask yourself: “how can I make this fun?”
Practice, practice, practice
Believe it or not, rehearsal helps. Our clown club schedules regular rehearsals so they can relax and have fun at their shows.
You can’t have fun if you are stressed. While clowning is not cancer research or brain surgery, it does help to be prepared.
Back to the question “what did you do on your summer vacation?” I bought and remodeled a building!
Sewing I can do. But when it comes to using power tools, I had a lot to learn!
Thankfully the list of friends and family members who helped is too long to mention. You all know who you are. You have my undying gratitude.
Thanks to the local clown club, The Clown Arounds, we moved the shop in record time. The Costume Shoppe in Maple Lake was re-opened for business by September 1st.
My summer was filled with demolition, laying flooring, installing insulation and sheet rock. Lots of painting and going over plans.
It was quite the adventure and I am thrilled with the results!
My rental costumes have more room to breathe. Now I have a permanent showroom for Pricilla Mooseburger Originals for the local clowns and all the ones who pass through town.
Life is good!
Oh and did I mention we had a rockin’ year at Mooseburger Clown Camp?
If I ever say “I’m too busy” again after this summer, kick me! LOL!
What did you do?
I want to know what your clown did this summer. Send us your photos of your club or your show!
Write a comment below telling us about a new routine, or a new use you found for an old prop.
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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