This article is for clowns who have been clowning a long time.
…It is also for clowns who want to clown a long time!
If you are going to stay in this creative art, you are going to need to adapt.
Nothing stays the same, especially in entertainment, kids, and the media.
Our bodies don’t stay the same, either!
So let’s talk about change and how you can work with what you got.
A change of face
In 1980 I started clowning as a white face. Yes, I have a few pictures that I would rather not see the light of day! But for the most part I LOVED my white face clown character, “Pricilla Mooseburger”. I felt beautiful every time I put it on. I got lots of complements and it gave me confidence as a person. I was a teenager in need of a positive image.
My clown gave me that encouragement.
And I was a clown who could do physical comedy! I was not afraid to fall down for a laugh.
Fast forward a few decades. (Okay…several decades!!!) Now when I fall down, it’s harder to get back up again.
I felt a need to change things up. I wanted to express the wackier side of my character. I switched to my new Auguste character Miss Moose. Not only can I clown pain-free, but have been able to enjoy a great love affair with rubber chickens (something that perfectionist Pricilla Mooseburger only dabbled in).
The agony of da feet
Thanks to a life in clown shoes, high heels, and spending a lot of time on my feet, I have made another change.
I love parades. But they do not love me or my sorry feet. Even with custom-made orthotic inner soles and lighter/smaller shoes, I needed to wise up and take a load off.
Enter the Chicken Mobile, stage right!
It is amazing what you can do with duct tape, feather boas, toys, and zip ties. I bought this adult trike the very morning of the parade. I decorated and rode it to the parade route! I even had room in my basket for my water bottle!
I was lucky enough to have a friend with a trailer so I could get it home after the parade. I will be using my big van for future transport. But I might invest in a small motorcycle trailer if this really takes off! LOL! I will also be in the market for a bell, a tall flag, and a horn!
Making the best of it
With my lighter-weight make-up costume and mobility I can say that I really enjoyed the recent 4th of July parade! And I mean really enjoyed it.
I had a riot riding around, honking my chicken, making pit stops to play my ukulele and give out tickets to the clown show. My rig got lots of extra laughs as well.
I learned to work with what I had, and made the best of the situation.
If you need to make a change so you can continue to clown, do not hesitate. Do not let well-meaning friends or family slow you down. If you get too much resistance, just tell them you are just giving it a try.
My mom wasn’t thrilled about my new Auguste character, but *I* am happier!
Yes — we need to embrace it. I am not saying you need to tweet every meal you eat. But it is good business sense to be present in social media like Facebook. You can take a fun picture of yourself at an event and post it to your account, all from your phone!
Keep your professional clown page separate from your personal page.
Post only positive things on your clown page. No one really wants to hear you vent about inconsiderate patrons, bad service at restaurants, or rude children. No one likes a complainer (especially a potential customer). Also keep it G-rated and free of politics!
I knew a family entertainer who had some sexual content on his Facebook page. Even though he didn’t post explicit photos, his questionable taste showed up in his choice of music, movies, and TV shows he liked. Whoops.
Keep your private life private.
And make sure your professional account looks professional.
The most popular social media sites and apps which have the most traffic are Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, Periscope, and Vine.
Kids these days
Children are taught to be afraid of strangers and — sadly — clowns. You may not be able to just give freebies like balloons and stickers to kids, as it goes against what they are taught about not taking things from strangers.
So change up your delivery by telling them to ask their boyfriend or girlfriend (you can’t say “Mom” or “Dad” because in this day in age you don’t know who is minding the kids or what their relation is!) if they can have a prize.
It is a bit different in rural areas, but in urban areas it is more important. Know your audience and know your community!
I get by with a little help from my friends
Need some help clowning around? Ask for advice from your local clown club!
I am working on a new routine with a very silly prop. I want to debut it at Mooseburger Clown Camp. But I wasn’t sure about some aspects of the routine.
I brought the prop to my clown club meeting and got some great ideas from our members. I shared with them my ideas and got some wonderful feedback and a bonus blow-off! Thanks Clown Arounds!
Why not schedule a “show and tell” (or “ask” in my case) for your next meeting? Someone might have a prop or trick that they would like to work into a routine, but are stuck. Get those creative juices flowing!
Change is a-coming
You know that change is inevitable. It is wise not to fight it. Work with it.
Instead, learn how to make the best of it. The most important thing is to do the things that make you smile and make you feel funny! It is okay to change things up from time to time to stay fresh and keep smiling.
Have you had to make a transition in your clowning?
Share your advice below for working with what you got!
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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