What makes a clown club fun?

 

No rules.

Seriously, I believe that is what makes The Clown Arounds of Wright County a fun club. Most of you know I am the founder of Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp and Queen of Pricilla Mooseburger Originals. After my friend Darrell went to Mooseburger Camp he looked at me and said, “We need a clown club”. Oh no!!! I really didn’t think I had time to run a clown club, but I could see his point. I couldn’t very well have him come to camp, learn all these fun things and then have no one for him to play with. At that point I really didn’t do much local clowning as I was traveling around the country a lot going to conventions teaching and selling PMO merch.

So what to do? I knew a couple of other clowns and they were excited about starting a club. I made it clear that it had to be easy to belong and fun. So here are my rules, LOL!

  1. No dues. All ages are welcome as long as they are serious about clowning.
  2. No attendance requirements. – Why? Because we all have lives. Sometimes things happen in our families that we don’t necessarily need to share with the group. So you may not be able to a meeting or performance. That is ok. We make that perfectly clear. It’s ok! We will miss you while you are gone, (maybe send an email to make sure you are ok) and be glad when you come back. It has worked great for us!
  3. Be nice or leave. Yup, it is that simple. We don’t get into politics. Just be nice and have fun. No rules and no dues make that work.
  4. Perform a lot! That is what keeps a club strong. We do lots of parades in the summer, and lots of shows at care centers in the winter. We don’t judge each other either. All clowns are equal and welcome in our club.
  5. What about the money? Sometimes we get paid for what we do. It goes in the checkbook. If we have too much at the end of the year we write a check for a charity. A different charity every year. If we can’t decide we put the names in a hat and draw a winner. Easy!
  6. We use some of the money we make for balloons and mileage and other stuff. Sometimes we buy everybody a chicken dinner! Winner!

Practice! I really like it when we practice skits at the meeting. We all have a good laugh as we try out the skits. This helps the new people too. Oh and by the way, the skits are for everyone. 90% of the skits we do don’t “belong”  to anyone. They are classic skits that anyone can do. That way if someone can’t make it at the last minute we can plug someone else in. That doesn’t mean that someone can’t have a routine that they have created and perform. We all respect that. But we try to keep it fun and simple so everyone can play.   Our group thrives on our volunteer performances. We do some for pay jobs on our own as well.

That’s it really. If someone new comes along  we help them get performing as soon as possible. I teach them make-up and they are invited to perform. It doesn’t hurt that I have a costume shop full of costumes that I can borrow them to wear until they figure out their characters. But most clubs have members with costumes to spare. The sooner they can perform the more committed to the club they will be. People keep coming to club meetings and functions because they are having fun. Period. You always make time for things that are important to you. So keep your meetings fun. Keep things simple. Support and encourage each other. Remember to laugh! Forgive when things go wrong. Nobody’s perfect.

What about those skits? Here are a couple that we use all the time.