5 Comments

  1. Dave

    I’m very new to clowning and hoping to be involved in a parade very soon, but I have some questions about sunscreen. Do you need/can you wear sunscreen if you have a full face of makeup? What if you go with a liter look? Thanks!

    Reply

    • That is a GREAT question Dave! There are two things you should do to prevent getting sun-burnt (or getting weird tan-lines) while clowning:
      1. Apply a moisturizer which contains sunscreen BEFORE you do any other skin prep. (read more below)
      2. Apply a greasepaint base which provides coverage wherever your white greasepaint does not. This has been the norm for clowning for decades. But recently there has been a trend towards going more a more “light auguste” look with less make-up. While there is nothing wrong with going with a more minimal look, the folks who adopt it have unfortunately skipped an important step: base make-up. A performer will always look more professional if they have a base to cover the skin which is not covered in white/black/red/whatever.
      This should be common knowledge, but for some reason it isn’t.

      Why should it be common knowledge?
      Here are 4 reasons:
      A – Readability from the audience. The rule for stage makeup is your foundation base should be one shade darker for every 100 seats in the audience. This is due to stage lighting and distance. The same should be true for clowns.
      B – Pasty Caucasians need contrast. I’m from the Midwest, which has a lot of pasty white people. Also, our skin loses its pigment as we age, and the majority of clowns are retirement age. When you put white greasepaint around your eyes and mouth, but your own skin color is already like chalk, there won’t be much to distinguish the two. Right? So a base greasepaint a little more “tan” than your normal tone will help contrast your skin from the white greasepaint.
      C – Weird tan-lines and sunburn. Did you know that clown greasepaint blocks most of the UV rays? I was surprised to find this out, but I guess after 30 years of clowning, it shouldn’t shock me. After all, my face never got sunburned when I was in clown, even when my arms would get sunburned. Why was this? Greasepaint doesn’t contain sunscreen, but it does act as a sun blocker. So it makes sense to cover your whole face with clown greasepaint.
      D – It is the professional thing to do. Now, I *KNOW* most of the folks clowning are volunteers and are not for-hire performers. But that fact doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still try to look and act professional. A base foundation helps to even out the skin tone, fills in fine lines, covers pockmarks/blemishes, and gives a polished finish to the whole appearance. Trust me. Every clown should use a base foundation, even if they are going for a “Light Auguste” or “European Character” look. Study some of the Cirque du Soleil performers and other European clowns. Even though they may not look like the classic American clown, they still will have a base which matches or is slightly darker than their natural skin tone.

      Okay, okay, enough about that! 🙂
      Here is the bit about the moisturizer I promised.
      The order in which you put on your clown face:
      1. Wash face. Dry face.
      2. Apply moisturizer containing sunscreen.
      3. Apply Barrier Spray.
      4. Apply Skin Prep Pro Anti-Antiperspirant.
      5. Apply base greasepaint. Cut-out shapes for filling in later with other colors.
      6. Powder.
      7. Apply white greasepaint. Cut-out shapes for filling in later with other colors.
      8. Powder.
      9. Apply other colored greasepaint.
      10. Powder.
      11. Apply dry colors (blush, eye shadow, glitter, etc.)
      12. Spray with Barrier Spray.
      13. If you glue on a nose, do that next.

      Now you should be smudge-free, sweat-proof, and free from sunburn for at least 4 hours (probably a lot longer).

      This was a lot of information to throw at you, but I’m really glad you asked the question. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact me! info@mooseburger.com

      Reply
      • Dave

        Thanks for the response, Pricilla. This is great information! You should just copy and paste this info into an article. 🙂

        Reply
  2. Larry Trover

    This is spot on that parades are a great way for new clowns to get experience and for old clowns to try out new stuff.

    I have been roller skating all my life, clowning since I met Floyd Shaffer/Socataco in the ’70’s, and juggling since I learned from Paul Robichaud at the Newman Clown School in 1981. A juggling clown on roller skates has only to show up to be a hit at a parade. There’s no such thing as a mistake–it’s all a part of the act! A lot of my interaction with the crowd comes from how I retrieve dropped balls.

    Have fun and let the folks have fun with you.

    Reply

    • Thanks for your comment, Larry! I love that you juggle while roller-skating. Keep up the great work. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Reply

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