Staying true to clowning while reinventing ourselves
There is no doubt about it — the Art of Clowning is going through a change. I’ve been a clown since 1980, spent some time on the circus, run the circuit of conventions, and run my own clown school. I was able to see clowning at its hey day.
But make no mistake, this is not a lament of clowning past. It is hope for the future. In fact, I have a lot of hope. We just need to adapt. Read this other post about adapting your character skills to be able to work as a “plain clothes” clown!
As a community, we should look ahead and see what we can do to reinvent ourselves. Yes, balloons and face painting are dominating our industry; but let’s look at ways to stay in business as performers as well.
During the annual holidays clowns can get left in the dust unless you are ready to specialize and capitalize. Do you have a Halloween show, elf show, Easter bunny, or patriotic party? Read my blog on how to create a fun Christmas elf character.
Look to the popular games and movies for ideas. Sorry folks, it’s just not enough to be a clown to get invites to a party. Ya gotta have a gimmick!
Need ideas? Take a look at this list of holiday-themed events and business opportunities where you can work your clown magic — but in a different costume!
Be on top of the trends
Disney’s Frozen is the hot new theme for birthday parties. Add some fun winter effects to your show, balloon art, and face paint designs. It might be as simple as a snowman out of a dove pan, frosty swirls with glitter in an eye mask, or antlers in a balloon hat. But be ready to capitalize on what kids are interested in.
Princess Parties are big business
But what if you are a guy? How do you capitalize on this idea? Be the silly handsome prince looking for Cinderella! Be a court jester, ready to entertain for the princesses party. Or be the royal wizard or fairy god-father of the princess. It doesn’t take a big costume change; just a silly hat or crown! Make a scroll out of fabric or paper and some dowel rods for a suitably royal birthday proclamation.
Themes for boys and girls
Wild west, safari, outer space, construction, wizard, super hero are ideas for generic theme parties which are popular with both girls and boys. If you want to tie in to a recent hit movie or TV show, try some of these: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Monster High, Marvel Avengers, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, My Little Ponies, Toy Story, or Adventure Time.
With a little imagination you can customize your parties and keep your calendar filled all year-round. Be ready to change up your tricks and games to fit the theme. Sure, it’s a bit of work, research, and investment, but it is better than sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.
Keep it fresh
Think of it this way: why should they hire you back or recommend you to their friends if you have nothing different to offer? Whether its balloon twisting, face painting or parties it’s fun to keep those creative juices flowing.
Ask yourself “What can I do to change things up?”
If you’re not sure whether your creativity has generated something amazing or something too “out there”, then look for feedback from your fellow clowns. Have you joined Clown Forum yet? It’s a free message board for clowns of all skill levels and performance types. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Throw your new ideas out there and see what sort of brainstorming a few of you can create.
And when you’ve hit on a great idea, capitalize on it with colorful pictures and marketing using social media to announce your new party theme!
The great thing about clowning, is that you can still be yourself even if you’re dressed in a different costume. You are still using your performance skills; you are still making kids laugh. It’s just wrapped up in a different package. Theme parties give your business a fresh face and a new avenue to reach a different clientele.
Tell us where you have had success with theme parties! Do you have any business advice for your fellow clowns? Write a comment below or post it to our Mooseburger Clown Arts Education Facebook Page
Read more practical tips for your clown business:
- How to promote yourself and your business
- Get more clown jobs in the Fall and Winter
- 5 Questions you should ask before the New Year
- Wrap up your Christmas business deals like a pro
- Creating a Facebook page for your clown
- Yes, you can say “NO” to a gig request
- When business is slow, you have to improve
- 4 Reasons NOT to wear your clown costume to a performance
- How to survive the birthday party business
- What is a “Plain Clothes Clown” and why should you care?
- 4 Tips for designing your clown business logo
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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