What do we teach at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp?
Maybe a better question would be “What don’t we teach???”
If you’re willing to learn it, we’re willing to teach it!
Click to DOWNLOAD the schedule to see all the education we have planned for you!
Consider us like a clown college:
We offer our curriculum much in the same way as a university does: one major course and many minor electives.
COURSE : You will meet with the same instructor for 2 hours every morning, studying one — and only one — of the main courses.
WORKSHOPS : After lunch, you can choose from many different Afternoon Workshops each day! These cover every aspect of clowning, children’s entertainment, business, and performance. Sometimes the staff will be teaching portions of their course in a shorter Workshop format. We recommend you try all our staff. If you like them, then perhaps next year you will want to take a course from another staff on another subject!
Don’t know which Morning Course to choose?
Relax, we’ve gotcha covered. As part of your registration, you will receive a free P.E.P. (Personal Education Plan) Talk by way of a phone call from Tricia Manuel (aka “Pricilla Mooseburger”). Your P.E.P. Talk will help you get the most out of your time at Moose Camp.
After getting to know what sort of clowning you wish to do, Tricia will give you the best suggestions for which Course and Workshops to take. For more information about your P.E.P. Talk, go to the “What Makes Us Different” section.
We have been tweaking our schedule and clown training educational system since 1994, and it has evolved into the best clown school in the country (in our humble opinion).
Don’t believe us? Read the testimonials from past students.
Learn the funny art of clowning from the ground up. You will be introduced to make-up, costuming, character development, and performance skills. Their team-teaching approach will seamlessly interweave the skills that will start you on the road toward being a great clown. You will learn volumes in a short time! You will be putting on make-up every day. When you leave Moose Camp, you will have all the basics you need to begin your new life as a clown. If you have never put on make-up before, then Clowning 101 is the right Course for you!
Clowning with Puppets
This is an immersion in puppetry for clowns. You will try your hand at rod puppets, marionettes, hand puppets, and various other kinds of puppets as they apply to clowning. Each type will be explored through a series of exercises and scenarios that emphasize play and comedy. As we move forward we will incorporate lessons on character, movement, identity, voice, presence, solo and partner work and, most importantly, puppet life. By the end of the course you will be comfortable having your favorite puppet pal share the limelight with you when you perform.
Nowhere in the US can clowns get a better education in face painting than through this seven hours hands-on progressive workshop! Starting with learning to master the techniques necessary to make your artwork pop and wow a crowd, in this class students learn how to apply these techniques to create beautiful masterpieces. From simple and fast designs aimed at efficiently moving the line, the most popular designs of all time to how to paint designs that WOW, this class is a must for anyone looking to fine tune their skills and learn new ones.
Gospel Mission Clowning
Have you ever considered using your clowning skills to do Christian Mission and ministry work? In this course Brenda, Brand, and Sandy will share the diverse experience they have applied nationally and internationally. This dynamic trio will help you develop tools and clown skills to help you deliver a Christian based message that will appeal to children of all ages and nationalities. Understanding how effective a red nose can be, this group will also offer you instruction, resources, and connections to get you started.
Hospital and Caring Clowning
Clowning in hospitals and nursing homes is challenging but hugely rewarding. This course will cover both the artistic choices that need to be considered as well as the limitations and precautions that this work requires. We’ll cover a variety of subjects including: forging a relationship with hospital or nursing home staff; learning the requirements for proper hygiene and universal precautions; developing age appropriate material; working solo or with a partner; preserving your own emotional health; and learning how to be an “ego-less” performer. This course includes a visit with patients in a local care facility, with Karen supervising visits. It creates the perfect safe environment to get your feet wet in this special art of Clowning!
Magical Comedy Illusions
With decades of experience as both a serious stage magician and a magical clown, Fred is a wealth of entertainment knowledge. This year he is changing up his course to teach Stage Illusions, with a comic bent of course. Through these illusions you will learn not only some large scale tricks, and a few smaller ones too, but techniques that you can apply to any performance. Come learn from one of the Masters of Magic Mayhem!
Want to write a short gag? Need to develop an entire stage show? Are you in charge of long-term project and have to write all the skits? Greg and Neal’s experience both under the big top and on stage will guide you in learning the nuts and bolts of successful comedy. In this course, you will learn what makes a skit work well, and how to create your own original material. Your work in this course will produce gags used in the All Star Clown Show. Bring your thinking cap!
Solo Show Success
Take your clowning from a hobby to a real business. Learn what the steps are to climb to success as a solo performer. There are many steps in the process of moving from variety performer to putting on a show and marketing it so that you can succeed in this business. Sean will take you through gathering your skills and ideas, to evaluating your needs, to putting the show together. He will review the tricks and techniques of showmanship and staging, technical needs, and how and where to market yourself and your show.
(in alphabetical order)
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Annette Darragh
Annette is an award winning twister and will present a workshop for the balloonist that wants to make something a little more creative than a three-twist balloon animal. You will learn how to twist balloons that can be worn on a headband, wrist, or in a candy cup. Bring your balloons and pump and get ready to twist and shout “I did it!”
After the Volunteer Training: Care and Feeding of Volunteer Clowns
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Terry Ricketts
How and when to volunteer (and when not to) and get the most out of your time. Learn how to get the respect for your valuable time that you give so freely while helping a cause you support (and be safe and have fun at the same time!). We will cover clowning as a single clown volunteer and as part of a larger group, along with some of the dos and don’ts and things to watch out for so you set yourself up for success.
Airbrush Face Paint Demo
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Sandy Kephart
Ever thought about adding an airbrush system to your face-paint business? Here is your chance to see one in action! Sandy will have a Question & Answer session after the demo.
Art of Henna (Part 1)
July 30 2:00 – 3:00 Annette Darragh
Learn about Henna and the materials needed to apply it. You will learn some simple designs to make beautiful henna tattoos. Please bring a pencil to this class.
Art of Henna (Part 2)
July 30 3:15 – 4:15 Annette Darragh
This is a hands-on class. We will be applying the designs learned in Henna (Part 1) to a partner or ourselves. (Henna cones will be available for purchase in the dealer’s room PRIOR to the class.)
Art of Working with Soap
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Greg DeSanto
Observe the master while he turns ordinary bar soap into the best clown cream pies you’ve ever seen! Greg will show you the ideal tools and supplies to use for whipping up the frothiest soap.
Basic Strolling Magic
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Rex Nolen
Have a gig with no stage? Load up your pockets and get ready for magic on the go! Learn some of the best magic tricks to perform while on the move. Perfect for fairs, picnics, restaurants, outdoors, or anywhere you need portable magic!
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Brenda Marshall
Learn lots of fun routine and theme ideas, plus the tips to help make your business profitable. Clowning is fun; business can be fun, too! Let her show you the way to be a success in something you love.
Birthday Party Show from A to Z
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Connie Kennedy
Connie will show you how to put together a complete birthday show from beginning to middle to end. Will also include tips on the Business Side of your show such as “how to book the party & how to collect your fee.”
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Christopher and Candace Hudert
If you have never used bubbles in your clowning you don’t know what you are missing. They’re things of quite beauty and good clean fun! Come find some of the many ways you can use them and discover (and play with) some of the many bubble toys that are available to buy in your local stores or make at home.
Caring Clown Do’s and Don’ts
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Annette Darragh
In this class we will discuss the things you can and cannot do in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Children Shelters, etc. You will learn what you need to do to get in to those facilities.
Caring Clown Performances
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Connie Kennedy
Nurse Stitches will teach the ins and outs of hospital clown performances, sharing her tips on how to set them up and what to do. From rules and regulations to hospital humor, you will get an inside look at this difficult yet rewarding type of entertainment. This class is a great way to find out if hospital clowning is for you!
Children’s Worship Next Sunday! Now What?
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Brenda Marshall
So you need something easy to implement into your church program right away, right? Learn some simple presentations that incorporate kid-friendly ways to present the gospel message. You will see how to use your clowning skills in ministry.
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Greg DeSanto
Did ya ever wonder how to make smoke shoot out your ears or cry gallons of water? He’ll show you the sight gags, gimmicks and cheap bits that clowns have been using for decades to look like a real life “Looney Toon”! Features fright wigs, stretch arms, exploding props, squirting rigs and many other one of a kind “clown brainstorms”.
Clown Ministry: Storytelling Magic
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Brenda Marshall
Can you combine storytelling with a message and magic? Of course! We will explore the basic techniques of storytelling as well as some simple magic that you can make yourself, then we will look at combining the two to reinforce the message.
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Steve Busch, Sandy Kephart
Have you been thinking about clowning abroad and don’t know where to start? Sandy and Steve will share tips based on their experiences on several clown trips abroad to give you some direction in how to prepare for a successful and fulfilling overseas clowning experience.
July 31 3:15 – 4:151 Rex Nolen
So you have the basic skill mastered, but you have no idea how to use your clown character while juggling, right? Learn how to juggle in a funny way, and get more mileage out of this great skill!
Comic Movement and Character Development
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Sean Carlock
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Neal Skoy
Learn to move like a cartoon! This class is great for clowns of all ages and body types! You will learn how to present yourself like a pro and feel funny doing it. Unlock the mystery with simple, useful ideas that allow you to become the clown character you have always wanted to be!
Face Painting for Dummies
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Connie Kennedy
So you have no artistic ability and think you can’t face paint? WRONG! Connie will introduce you to the magic of stencils and the art of split-cake on sponges for FAST – and I mean 30 seconds or less – works of art! We may also include a special section on Glitter Tattoos!
Face Painting: Tips from a Master Artist
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Gene Flaharty
Learn about new products and tips to make your painting easier. Gene will talk about allergic reactions, and products that may stain and how to treat them. Gene will demo brush-loading and other new techniques that have proven effective — even under water!
Fun Magic for Birthday Parties and More!
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Fred Baisch
Fred will show what it takes to put comedy magic into your routines for birthday parties or any place you need to perform a bit of magic. Perfect for those of you who use magic, ideal for clowns wondering what it is all about! Learn how to be a funny magical clown from one of the best in the business.
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Greg DeSanto
Clowning is very much like a live action cartoon. What we do is tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. Those three elements are at the heart of all clown routines. Whether called gags, routines, entrees, or skits, they are the framework that you will hang your comic bits of business onto. Greg will take you through the process of creating a story that relates to your clown character, builds the comedy and finishes with the “blow-off.”
How to Teach a Junior Joey Program
July 3- 3:00 – 4:00 Connie Kennedy
Connie will show you how to put together a complete Junior Joey Program from beginning to middle to end so that you can use your clown skills to present the Art of Clowning to the next generation. She will share the secrets of how to build a successful basic program.
How to Tie a Balloon
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Annette Darragh
For beginners only! If you don’t know what an “ear twist” is, then this is the place to begin your balloon twisting. Annette will be providing hands-on help you need to create simple balloon creations. Not everyone needs Snoopy on a motorcycle! Learn the basics to get you started on this fun and lucrative hobby.
Improve Your Clowning with Improv
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Sean Carlock
Most of us will never work for Second City or “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” but that doesn’t mean that improv is not a tool we should have in our arsenal. In this hands-on workshop you will learn practical applications and techniques for using improv skills in your everyday clowning. **WARNING** laughter is a guaranteed side effect of taking this class. Other possible side effects include sore sides and leaking of the eyes.
Large & Small Illusions You Can Do
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Fred Baisch
You don’t have to be Penn & Teller to perform some great magic with lots of comedy. Come to this workshop and Fred will share a little piece of what is going on in his course. You’ll see a large illusion and several smaller ones that even the most magically challenged can do, then learn how and why they work and how to marry the funny to the magic.
Library & School Shows
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Christopher Hudert
Clowning, storytelling, puppetry, and magic are skills which you can use to entertain AND educate young audiences. Learn how to get involved in your local libraries and schools, put together a show, and use your current skills to make kids laugh while they learn.
Lite, NOT Lazy Auguste
Lite Auguste make is all the rage. Be sure you know how to do it properly. Cutting corners is not what this style of make-up is all about. Pricilla and Gene will demonstrate how to do a Lite Auguste face with all the techniques necessary so you look professional and not like a slacker!
Mad Science with Professor Flutterbuster
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Brad Stone
Have you been thinking of adding some science experiments to your show or birthday party? Maybe you have even thought of doing a science show. Why don’t you join Professor Flutterblaster he demonstrates some cool science experiments that anyone can do? This workshop will also introduce you to where you can get the chemicals and supplies needed for the experiments. All chemistry nerds are encouraged to come and add any input they have on the subject.
Magic Routines and Fun Routines You Can Use
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Rex Nolen
Learn routines for all types of performance venues. Rex keeps it simple and easy. It is more than learning how to do a magic trick; it is about creating a fun routine and humorous patter to go with it. Rex shows you how!
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Emily DeSanto, Gene Flaharty
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Gene Flaharty
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Emily DeSanto, Gene Flaharty
Come to an environment where we can further develop your clown unique persona. A clown’s make-up is their own trademark. How do you bring your inner clown to the surface in an approachable manor? We will be conducting the labs per needs of the students – from application pointers, to consultation, to complete face overhaul!
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Karen Hoyer
Using a set of papièr machè full face masks, as well as neutral hoods, this class will explore the specific techniques of bringing a mask to life. Besides being a fun experience, we will be studying how the body becomes more precise and expressive once the face is covered. You as a clown will explore new ways of moving and you as an audience member will be inspired by what you observe and how you can adapt it into your performing.
Mime: The Language of Clowns
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Karen Hoyer
As a clown you need to use your whole body to communicate. Mime is the art of using movement to create physical characterizations, express emotion non-verbally, and tell a story without depending on words. For clowns, mime is a vital tool for making physical choices that will take us out of everyday life and into a clownesque world of play.
Music and Movement
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Cheri Venturi
Using music is a GREAT way to work on your comic movement. Wear comfy clothing and be prepared to groove. You might even get some idea of how to use music in your act!
My Favorite Props
July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Allan Flagg
Allan is an amazing clown who belongs to numerous clown clubs and performs in hundreds of events each year. Tap into his vast experience and see how his favorite props will become your favorites.
My Favorite Props with Everyday Objects
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Terry Ricketts
You will love this class if you want to laugh, make your own stuff, and stay on a budget! Learn how get the most use out of the clown props made from basic items everyone has around the house.
Physical Comedy for Every Body Ability!
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Christopher Hudert
The name of this workshop says it all! No matter what your body type or athletic ability (or lack thereof), you can incorporate these bits of comic movement into your clowning.
Pocket Magic for Walk-Around Events
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Fred Baisch
Load up your pockets and get ready for magic on the go! Learn some of the best magic tricks to perform while on the move. Perfect for fairs, picnics, restaurants, outdoors, or anywhere you need portable magic!
Pocket Props for Walk-Arounds: Make it and Take it!
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Terry Ricketts
Get ready for a wild ride! Terry is the king of make-it and take-it, cheap but easy, fun and frolic! We have created the perfect prop workshop, full of supplies, ideas, and expert advice for your walk-arounds and parades.
Pool Noodle Props
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Terry Ricketts
You will be amazed to discover just how many awesome things can be made from a simple foam pool noodle. With a few tools and craft supplies (and an extra dose of creativity), you can make anything you need!
Posing for Pictures and Working with the Media
July 31 2:00 -3:00 Tricia Manuel
Learn the tricks to taking a great picture every time. From practicing poses to speaking with the media, you’ll walk out of this workshop looking and sounding like a pro!
Secrets of Parade & Event Planning
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Terry Ricketts
Everyone loves a parade! The best way to insure the fun and success is to plan for it. If you want to learn a simple method of “how to plan a parade or special event,” this is the class for you. The secrets will be revealed.
Simple Clown Skits
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Rex Nolen
Looking for some skits for that alley show? Something everyone can do? Here are some simple but funny skits. We will use some students to go through a skit to show all steps necessary to put something together in a professional manner.
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Neal Skoy
Falling down is funny, but only if you can get back up! Here we will explore the explosive world of comedic pain. We will learn the basic moves in slaps and falls; then workshop interesting ways to integrate these into your performance. Come prepared to take physical risks in a safe environment.
(For those of you who want to learn physical comedy WITHOUT falling down see “Physical Comedy for Every Body Ability” by Christopher Hudert.)
July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Cheri Venturi
Learn from one of the best story-tellers in the business. Cheri uses storytelling to keep children of all ages mesmerized during her performances. She will illustrate techniques to create magical experiences!
Super Simple Sound Tech for Clowns
July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Sean Carlock
Many clowns are tech-phobic, or at the very least tech naive. That doesn’t have to be you, and tech doesn’t have to be too complicated. In this Tech for Clowns class, we will talk about basic sound equipment, PA’s, MP3 players, remotes, and software/apps. Then we will cover why music is important and how to get it, edit it, and make it part of your show.
Theatrical and European Clowning
July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Neal Skoy
These bare bones approaches to clown performance reveal the closeness between theater and circus in the European culture. We will strip away the bells and whistles and find ways to approach clowning from its most pure existence –mirroring the everyman. Thinking simple and playing with genuine effect will elevate the way you approach clowning for the rest of your life!
Walk Arounds and Paradability
July 30 1:45 – 2:45 John Joseph
If you perform as a walk around clown or in parades, this is a popular lecture you won’t want to miss. Jay Jay discusses why we parade, safety during parades, etiquette while parading, and over 100 actual parade ideas you can use.
But wait — the education doesn’t stop there!
At Mooseburger Clown Camp, the learning never stops!