Birthday Party Clown

Birthday Party Clown

Rosie The Clown

Toronto, ON

Female, 19?

I've been a practicing Birthday Party Clown for 22 years. What other job is there where you can go to a party, have lots of fun, be the centre of attention and get well paid? I enjoy visiting with all kinds of people, experiencing many different cultures and seeing a variety of places. There's never a dull moment. Well, almost never. In addition to birthday parties, I entertain at fairs, picnics, corporate events, club parties, university parties and at any event that sounds like fun.

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44 Questions


Last Answer on November 13, 2018

Best Rated

When you're not dressed up as a clown, are you still a fun, peppy, silly type person, or do all-things-clown disappear as soon as the costume is off?

Asked by Benita about 12 years ago

Hello, Benita. Clowning is an exaggeration of who people are in real life. If you try clowning, I bet you’ll like it; it’s both freeing and funny. I’m happy in day-to-day life. I’m also clumsy, which I exaggerate into hilarious bits of business. Sad can be funny, too. Emmett Kelly is a famous sad clown. One of my favourite ways to amuse children is to cry. Any fun excuse will do. When the children honk my horn, I suddenly stop. Kids and parents laugh at this every time. I don’t know why, so don’t ask.

Does the clown make-up scare the crap out of a lot of kids?

Asked by bryce about 12 years ago

Hi, Bryce. If clown make-up scared a lot of kids, could McDonald’s have built their world-dominating family restaurant using a clown mascot? Young children and babies are seldom afraid of good clowns. When they cry, it’s the behaviour of the performer and of the parents that makes them uncomfortable, not the make-up. In my experience, the age group most frightened of clowns is teenagers. I don’t know what causes this, but Stephen King’s It is greatly involved. Teens are not as flexible as children and tend to stay stuck in their fear rather than to re-examine it based on current evidence. Perhaps having a trendy phobia with a delightful edge of irony is somehow helpful to stressed young people.

What's the best clown joke you ever heard?

Asked by Sal about 12 years ago

Hi, Sal. My favourite clown joke is a cartoon by Gary Larson with the caption, "When clowns go bad."

How long is your typical party visit and how much can birthday clowns make?

Asked by brandon B about 12 years ago

Hello, Brandon. Your question tackles the meat of the matter. How much can a birthday party clown earn? We all have to buy groceries. A typical birthday party appearance by Rosie the Clown is 90 minutes and currently costs about $225 CAD. Expenses run to 30%, including advertising, supplies and transportation. Some clowns earn more, and some less. A clown’s take-home pay depends on his purpose, ambition, skill, level of organization and economic environment. Most birthday party shows are local, so the population base is another income factor. I also entertain at corporate events and at community fairs, festivals and fundraisers. The length varies from a half-hour stage show, (about $250) to a five-hour extravaganza of balloon-twisting, face-painting or strolling entertainment ($500-$600). Long-distance travel and accommodation are paid by the client. Charitable organizations often pay just expenses.

Have you ever been in a situation where you wound up having to take care of something serious while in full clown make-up? Like go to a hospital, bank, etc?

Asked by mellie about 12 years ago

Hi, Mellie. Once, I had to stand in a long bank line while dressed as a clown. A pair of young boys waiting for their mother taught me a game called 007, a modern variation of Rock, Paper, Scissors. We played it together and had a good time. Banks are not as dour as they used to be; they regularly hire Rosie the Clown for their customer appreciation days, which are hoots. When I use Instant Teller machines, folks smile at the incongruity of a clown doing banking. I've been lucky enough not to need a sudden trip to the hospital in full clown regalia. Like you, I can only ponder what would go through people’s minds to see it. Doing errands in costume is not my favourite pastime, but I make the most of it. If a situation arises that’s serious enough for a costume to be inappropriate, my kit contains a change of clothes. A clown’s motto is like a Girl Guide’s: Be Prepared.

What's the worst party or event you ever had to work at?

Asked by big big Sal about 12 years ago

Hello, Big Sal. My assistants and l like to joke about the Party From Hell, which we were unfortunate enough to attend. The children were completely out of control, and getting help from their adult supervisors only worsened the situation. The experience serves as a good benchmark for anytime we think that our current assignment is tough. Nothing is, or ever can be, as tough as that party. It's true that some groups of people are more reserved and/or less interested in clowns than others. Bringing them into the experience and seeing them enjoy themselves is very rewarding.

Do you ever have problems with parents not paying you? Or do you get paid up front?

Asked by Gresh almost 12 years ago

Hello, Gresh. For prompt and easy payment, birthday parties are a good gig. I’ve been in trades where you spend half your time working and the other half trying to get paid. It’s not like that in clowning, thank goodness. At parties, people are in great moods for the big day. They’ve long since accepted that the shindig is pricey. They usually have several envelopes prepared for on-the-spot expenses. Rosie the Clown’s written agreement stipulates payment in advance or on arrival, along with a money-back Happiness Guarantee. Some hosts hand me the envelope while I’m removing my colourful clown shoes at their door. If not, I don’t press the matter right away. It’s natural for people to want to see value first. I generally wait until the entertainment is about two-thirds over to remind them. The greatest risk in asking for payment at the end of parties is schedule-ruining delay. Sometimes, hosts can’t be found quickly, or they haven’t prepared for the moment. The cake-cutting ceremony, which usually happens right after my entertainment, makes it impossible to speak to the host for ten minutes. An advantage of being paid at the end, though, is that tips are more generous. When children and parents have had a blast, an extra $20 or $50 slips into the envelope more easily.