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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Last Answer on November 13, 2018

Best Rated

Do you have a trick or routine that never fails to put a smile on the face of even the most miserable of kids?

Asked by DanC over 6 years ago

Hi, Dan. Just about the saddest thing to see is a kid who’s miserable even at a party. Yes, I do have something up my sleeve for those blessedly rare occasions, or rather, it's around my neck. A child has to be pretty darn morose to resist the opportunity to honk Rosie the Clown’s horn and hear her scream, or to give her a hi-5 and watch her fall over. That gets them every time.

Did you go to school or train professionally to be a clown? When did you realize it's what you wanted to do?

Asked by nhl94 over 6 years ago

Hello, Nhl94. On-the-job training has been my road to success. I believe in earning while learning. To become Rosie the Clown, I apprenticed at a local clown shop, attended workshops and became a busker. Busking is an excellent way both to acquire and to asses clowning skills – money in the hat is proof of a good performance. The most important clown training I received wasn’t for magic tricks, pratfalls or balloon animals. The most important training I received was how to talk with children. A world-leading instructor of Suzuki pedagogy, Carole Bigler, passed on her skills to me. I didn’t know that I wanted to be a clown until I tried it. By impulsively answering an ad for party performers, I entered the delightful world of clowning. It was so much fun that I decided to stay. Now, I help others to achieve success in this great profession through live workshops, online courses and Skype tutorials. For more information, visit RosieTheClown.ca/clownlessons.html.

Have you ever worked in a circus? Do most clowns have a preference between working parties vs being in a circus?

Asked by ryguy over 6 years ago

Hello, Ryguy. I haven’t worked at a circus, so I can’t say whether I’d like that more or less than working at parties. I’ve seen the clowns perform at the fabulous Cirque du Soleil, whose home base is in nearby Montreal. Their routines are enormous fun and look easy compared to being a party clown. I’d love to try a month under the big top and discover its hidden challenges. Then I’ll let you know if I like it. I might miss the high level of audience interaction possible in smaller groups or weary of the travelling, but it'd sure be fun for a while. If you run into a circus exec who’s looking, Rosie the Clown’s number is +1 416-477-2209.

OK seriously, how DOES the clown car thing work? I literally saw 17 clowns get out of an old VW bug once. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how they do this.

Asked by Tim L over 6 years ago

Hello, Tim. Seventeen clowns tumbling out of a VW bug is hilarious because it's so contrary to reason. I've never tried it. I imagine that if Rosie the Clown were involved, the most clowns that could be got into the car is three. Apparently, the vehicle’s interior is stripped out and a passel of flexible performers maneuver themselves into it with great skill. I wonder how many clowns will fit into a modern smart car.

Has working as a clown led you into other types of performance like acting or comedy?

Asked by SB over 6 years ago

Hello, SB. Clowning has led me into many adventures in the line of civic participation. My two favourite adventures are:

(1) Rosie the Clown was an official candidate for a seat in the Canadian Parliament. Ya gotta love Canadian democracy. The citizens and I had a great time encouraging voter turn-out while some other clown got elected.

(2) Rosie rappelled (descended via self-controlled ropes) 37 storeys from the top of Toronto City Hall's East Tower to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Photos are posted at http://www.rosiefanpage.com.

I’m looking for my next adventure. What have you got?

What was your first busking experience like? Did you just set up shop on a street corner? Were you nervous about what reactions would be? Sounds pretty terrifying.

Asked by mom_at_home over 6 years ago

Hello, Mom-at-Home. The special joy of busking is meeting so many different people. I don’t remember the first time I went busking. I vividly recall a handful of outstanding experiences. I love talking with strangers about the pieces of their lives that make them the happiest. Our fun conversations brighten my day and make the sun shine all over theirs. Before I head to my post on a busy corner, I’m anonymous, which I like. The first step down the street is the toughest one. When I see the big smiles on people’s faces and hear their laughter, I start to feel great. For the rest of my busking day, I’m glad that I came.

What's the meanest thing a kid ever said or did to you during a party?

Asked by Maya over 6 years ago

Hello, Maya. The meanest thing a child ever said to me at a party was, “You sound like a teacher.” It was a wake-up call. I’m a teacher as well and am occasionally tempted to use the Voice of Authority and Knowledge to get my way with kids. Clowns and authority don't mix, nor do clowns and lucid explanations of anything. This comment has long reminded me to use my clown manners and not to take shortcuts that aren’t funny.

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 over 6 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.

What's the best clown joke you ever heard?

Asked by Sal over 6 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 over 6 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.

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

Asked by bryce over 6 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.

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 over 6 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.

How long does it take you to do all your make-up and suit up, start to finish?

Asked by jasmine over 6 years ago

Hello, Jasmine. It takes 15 minutes to transform myself from an ordinary person into Rosie the Clown, start to finish. It used to take half an hour, but I’ve become faster with repetition.

Do friends or family members ever give you a hard time about being a clown? I'd imagine you have to put up with a lot of clown jokes and wisecracks...

Asked by Bry over 6 years ago

Hello, Bry. Virtually everyone I know or meet thinks that being a clown is cool. The most common joke people make is, “Quit clowning around!” I act like I’ve never heard it before. Friends introduce me to new people by adding, “This is Rosie The Clown!” They get a kick out of it. My family was not so certain at first, perhaps considering it a throw-away of a good education, but they've grown more enthusiastic over time. Most remarkably, strangers thank me for bringing happiness, even when I’m simply walking down the street. If anyone were to be negative, I wouldn't take it to heart. Rosie the Clown is made of straw, so it's impossible to hurt her feelings. There’s an advantage to having the smile painted on :-)

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

Asked by big big Sal over 6 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 over 6 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.

How would you suggest a young man like myself (I'm 20) break into the party clown scene? For those of us not fortunate enough to have a local clown shop. =oP haha

Asked by Jdoub1111 over 5 years ago

Hello, Jdoub. Congratulations on beginning the fun and rewarding adventure of clowning. The very best of luck to you. Here are some tips for you to get started and prosper. If this seems like a long list, it's the difference between being a hobby clown and having a profitable business.

Half a Dozen Steps to Clowning Success

1. Seek out colleagues
2. Hone your skills
3. Develop your persona
4. Set up your office procedures
5. Make an online storefront
6. Market your services

1. Seek Out Colleagues

Is there a local Clown Alley? If your area doesn't have a clown shop, there may not be a local association for performers, either. No worries, you can connect online. LinkedIn has several great groups where performers discuss the ins-and-outs of the business and offer mutual help.

2. Hone Your Skills

  • Develop your skills to the point that people talk to their friends about their great experience with you. Word-of-mouth will be one of your main client funnels
  • YouTube tutorials abound on every topic, providing an extreme advantage to modern-day clowns who want to develop their skills
  • Learn to communicate well with children
  • Practice, practice, practice
3. Develop Your Persona

Who are you? What's your clown name? What's your look? A memorable outfit is great branding. What's your clown personality? Develop a persona that works for both your custimer base and you. If you're unsure which direction to go on this, start by exaggerating your biggest handicaps.

4. Set Up Your Office Procedures

Good office procedures will make everything you do easier, smoother and more rewarding.
  • They will prevent disasters, such as double-booking and lost contact info
  • They'll cement your client base, because people who are planning parties really appreciate good communication
  • Pleasant office manners and effective organization will brand you as a professional
  • It's an easy way to outshine the bulk of your competition
5. Make an Online Storefront

Online is where people find most services these days. 
  • Make a website that's easy to read and navigate, that's clear about what you do, that has videos of you in action (best) or pictures, and that has your phone number in big type at the top
  • Make sure it works well on mobile; half of all local searches are mobile
  • Sign up for a free Google+ Place Page, to boost your presence in local search results
  • Pick one big social media avenue (Facebook, Google+) and one little one (Twitter, Pinterest) to start
6. Market Your Services

There are more ways to market your services than there are clowns in a minicar. Pick a couple that work for you. From pay-per-click ads to mail drops to social media to volunteering for charity events, the faster you get your message out, the sooner the clients roll in.
  • Know your target market
  • Know your competition
  • Establish a good fee
  • Look for compensation other than money, such as wide exposure at large gatherings or earned media from special events
 

Are you usually competing for business against the same other clowns, and does it bum you out when you hear back from parents and they tell you "oh yeah, sorry, we decided to go with Jester Jerry instead"?

Asked by NeliaJames over 5 years ago

Thanks for your question, Nelia. The more good clowns people see, the more they want clowns at their parties. So if Jester Jerry is a great entertainer, I'm happy to be in the same industry with him. I'll refer people to him when I turn down events due to scheduling conflicts.

The other entertainers in town that I come across most frequently also have strong referral networks, of which I'm a part. We're constantly seeking out great performers to suggest to hosts when we can't make the party. Our business thrives on happiness.

Of course, I make sure to get Rosie the Clown's message out so that people have a fair chance to hire her and have a wonderful time. I do feel sorry when I hear that a mediocre clown has made a bad impression. That's the kind of competition I could do without.

Why do some clowns have tears painted on their faces?

Asked by Solidad almost 6 years ago

Hello, Solidad, The clown with the iconic tear on his cheek traces his roots back to the 1500s, when the clown Pierrot joined the world. I don't know the meaning of the tear, exactly – I'd need an advanced degree in history to be sure – but to me, it says something about melancholy and the human comedy being all of a piece. And anything that's exaggerated is funny. Is wearing a tear on your cheek like wearing your heart on your sleeve? What are your thoughts? Find out more about the classic clown tear at the following resources: http://www.allaboutclowns.com/pierrot.html http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090621080251AAWwd1i

Is whether to be a "talking clown" vs. one who doesn't talk a big distinction? Or is it just a personal choice, and it's really all just about whether you can make a kid smile?

Asked by Rosaria over 5 years ago

Hello, Rosaria. What an interesting question. Whether to be a talking or a silent clown is mostly a matter of choice for the performer. I love conversing with people as a clown, and I wouldn't want to lose that part of it. 

On the other hand, Rosie the Clown often entertains people who don't speak English, so she has lots of routines without words. I enjoy these non-verbal amusements very much indeed. 

As you suggest, it's all about the kids' smiles. Whatever way they come is good.

I am doing a project for college and would like to know what items go into each performance and how much they would cost roughly. Any help you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated.

Asked by D. Ravenstone over 5 years ago

Hello, D,

Thank you for your question. For detailed information such as you request, please contact me for an interview. Contact details are on my website, RosieTheClown.ca. 

Props generally cost between $20 and $200 and are good for years. Some of the most fun, most imaginative interactions, though, are done without any props at all.

Good luck with your project!

hey how much is your payment to malaysia for a birthday party?

Asked by Yue wen over 5 years ago

Hell, Yue wen. For a birthday party in Malaysia, Rosie the Clown asks no fee, just travel expenses from Toronto to Kuala Lumpur and back. 

I am going to Africa and want to learn balloon animal making ASAP I don't know the best balloons to buy or what pump. I here U tube has good videos what do you think?

Asked by Pookie over 4 years ago

Hello, Pookie. Congratulations on your upcoming trip to Africa!

Yes, YouTube has many great videos on balloon twisting. It's an awesome source of free lessons.

Opinions differ about the best balloons to use. The two front-runners are Qualatex and Betallatex. Definitely use quality balloons if you want things to go well.

Hand pumps break constantly, so get two or three. The expensive ones aren't any better than the cheap ones. Toys R Us has a red-and-yellow hand pump that's cheap, works well and is fairly durable. Make sure that yours blows air on both the push and the pull.

I use a 3-foot-tall pump from TMyers.com (Texas), and it's the best thing ever, as it's light to carry and inflates a balloon in one stroke. You might not want to cart it around Africa, though.

Here are some resources for you.

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=balloon%20twisting&sm=3

Other Balloon Tutorials:

http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/

http://www.misterballoons.com.au/learntobe.html

http://balloon-art.wonderhowto.com/how-to/

Linked In Twisters Group:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Balloon-Twisters-112392

Clown Forum:

http://www.clown-forum.com

Good luck, and have fun! 

I want to be the clown for my daughter's 5th birthday party but I'm not sure what to do to entertain a group of 5 year olds help

Asked by Amanda about 4 years ago

Hello, Amanda,

Congratulations on your daughter's upcoming 5th birthday!

Thank you for your fabulous question. Parents can give their kids a good time and save money, too, with do-it-yourself fun. It's appropriate for parents to take back the privilege of entertaining their children.

On the other hand, I'm reminded of an anecdote told by a famous Canadian author (was it Alice Munroe?). She was at a party when a neurosurgeon said to her, "After I retire from surgery, I'm going to write a book." Her silent thought was, "After I retire from writing, I'm going to become a neurosurgeon."

In other words, clowning ain't so easy.

When you look like a clown, children naturally expect you to behave like a clown. Being a regular person dressed in a clown suit can fall flat in an uncomfortable way.

IMHO, the best way to entertain as a clown without experience is to have all of the children dress up like clowns – have a clown party!

No? Well, here are some tips on being a clown at your daughter's party that might help to keep you out of the woods.

You're more likely to be super fun as a clown if the children are the source of their entertainment. You facilitate their fun. Rosie the Clown creates an environment in which fun is possible, then gets out of the way of the children's enjoyment. I mean that metaphorically; literally, Rosie is mixing in the group.

While remembering that physical and emotional safety is Job #1, you provide managed mayhem. Go to the edge of chaos without falling over it. Just like grownups, children have two contradictory loves: rules and freedom. You manage the balance so that they have a terrific time.

Activities

For activities, stick to the guaranteed crowd-pleasers that are simple to set up, easy for the players to understand and have great audience involvement.

Prizes aren't necessary for games. Prizes even detract from the fun by focusing the kids' attention on – you guessed it – the prize and not the game. Instead, Rosie the Clown offers bonus points at strategic intervals, with a minimum value of 10,000.

Musical Chairs is still the best party game ever. Make it really fun with driving music and wild, persistent cheering from the non-players/grownups all the way through. When the children are "out," have them join you in the Winners' Circle – nevermind that it doesn't make sense. Cheer exuberantly for the final winner.

Why not ask your daughter what her favourite group games are, if you don't already know? If she doesn't have any, it's time she did! Search online for what kids like, including at my site, rosietheclown.ca/parties.

Beyond that, the choice of activities depends on how many 5-year-olds come, how long you have to play and what talents you bring to the party.

Define your space for activities. Even outdoors, try to establish intuitive boundaries that kids can stay within. For anything that requires the children's focus, indoors is best.Tip: The best outdoor setup I've seen is big, thick carpets rolled out over the lawn. They don't get tangled underfoot, which is a real danger with blankets and plastic sheets. Carpets of different colours help kids easily see where to sit.Get the children moving. The movement will release natural happiness chemicals throughout their bodies. Yeah.

Use music to set the mood. For lively kids' music, CBCKids has a live-stream at http://music.cbc.ca/ (look in the list of genres in the right column). I've heard some great kids mixes played by DJs at parties, and I only wish I knew what all those tracks were.

While directing activities, be as flexible as possible. Spontaneity makes an ordinary gathering into extraordinary fun.

Do you want to face-paint? Use quality, hypo-allergenic paints; you'll be glad you did. Don't use tin glitter, which can scratch eyeballs; use polyester glitter from a makeup house. If you're not an artist, draw simple designs – hearts, stars, poisonous snakes and spiders, buttlerflies, etc – decorate them with swirls and dots, and put glitter on them. Voiå!

On Being Your Daughter's Clown

Pick your crazy clown costume for maneuverability and durability. Those big clown shoes are funny until you trip over them. Nix any costume part that will be damaged or put askew by a tumble on the floor.

Try out your costume and character. Put on your costume and make-up, and see how your character moves and speaks and feels. Pick a clown name, if you haven't already.

Does your daughter know that you'll be the clown? If not, tell her that you will be [your clown name] for the duration, and not Mom. Remember to give an adult friend or relative authority for the time that you're the clown. You can't do both. Let your daughter and the other partiers know who that person is.Tip: You'll want to resume being Mom after the party, so be satisfied that your daughter is clear on the difference. Clowns may encourage behaviour that Moms wouldn't.For extra fun, send your daughter a note in the mail from [your clown name], saying how much [your clown name] is looking forward to the party. Pretend that [your clown name] is someone else, not you. Because your daughter knows that it really is you, it's even funnier.

Be silly, then be silly more. Assert the impossible, and deny the obvious. Be incompetent at simple tasks. It's great to mess up what the children can do perfectly well. A good example is the alphabet, when they know it and you clearly don't. The more you need the children's help, the better.

As often as possible, get down on the children's level so you don't tower over them. Sitting on the floor with them is great. Sitting also makes it easier for you to fall over, which will never cease being funny.

Avoid keeping up any joke to the point of frustration, i.e. know when to give up a pretense. When a door is closed, open a window, and go through that.

Don't trick children unless they know they're being tricked and tacitly agree to it. Honesty is absolutely key. As a clown, you must maintain the children's trust in order to lead them in fun.

Move quickly; be at children's faster speed. Exception: When you want the children to calm down, start moving slower and talking lower.

For further advice, give Rosie the Clown a call at 416-477-2209. She'll be happy to discuss your entertainment blueprint with you. What have been your thoughts so far on the amusements your clown persona will provide?

How much money does a Children's party clown get paid? is it by the hour? a day? a week? or month?

Asked by forbesserena97@gmail.com almost 4 years ago

Hello, Forbesserena97,

Thank you for your first question. Children's party clowns are paid all kinds of fees on all kinds of terms. The payment might be a little or a lot. The contract might be for an hour or for a season. 

Short gigs generally pay more per hour than long gigs, because you have to dress and go to the location. The kind of entertainment also influences the fee.

For instance, a thirty-minute show at a corporate holiday party might pay $250, while a five-hour stint of walkabout entertainment at a picnic might pay $500. I do various activities for various levels of remuneration. One common element is that they're all fun.



Do you run into people who are actually SCARED of clowns? I know that's a joke, but I never knew whether it was actually a common thing, and if so…um, why?

Asked by BillKrewer almost 4 years ago

Hello, BillKrewer,

I do meet people who act scared of clowns. It's mostly teenagers and young adults. The babies, children and older people I interact with are rarely victims of fear. 

Although the frightened teens' friends find the phobia funny, the sufferers themselves probably don't. It's an ironic fear for an ironic age, and it's engorged on shared cultural artifacts of evil clowns.

Beyond that, to your query of why this is happening, my answer is, I don't know.

Ok, so like you I also entertain at parties, but I'm new and still kinda shy at the parties which is really bad. Do u have any tips to get over the shyness??? Just about anything would help (i think)

Asked by Victoria... Aka, Toria the clown over 3 years ago

Hello, Victoria.

It's so exciting to be starting out in entertainment. Have fun!

As soon as you hear the answer to your question, you're going to slap your forehead and say, "I could have thought of that!" 

Here it is: Don't get over being shy. Exaggerate it. Ham it up. 

Is it children you're entertaining? Most children have experienced feeling shy, and they'll identify with you. When you let them help you not to be shy, it empowers them, and they have more fun. 

There's one drawback: When you exaggerate your shyness symptoms until they're silly and entertaining, you'll find that you no longer have the condition. It's a good idea to take notes on your symptoms now. 

You can start building on your comic shyness at your next party, until it's comedy gold.

One more thought: Your on-stage persona, Toria the Clown, isn't the same as you. You can give her any trait you like. You can simply give her the quality of confidence.

What does Children's party clown do at a party?
(Make a list?)

Asked by forbesserena97@gmail.com almost 4 years ago

Hello, Foresserena97,

Thank you for your question about what clowns do at parties. The exciting thing about clowns is you never know what they'll do!

Kids have some favourite activities with clowns. They love comedy, magic, music, dancing, balloon animals, face-painting, puppets, skits, games and silly interactions of all kinds.

The activities depend on the ages of the children and what they like. The first thing I do at a party is meet the children and find out who they are and what mood they're in. Then, I pull out of my bag the things that'll be the most fun for them. I have a money-back Happiness Guarantee, so their happiness is very important to me.

Is there an age when most party clowns hang up their red noses? And is it usually because they decide they don't have the energy to keep up with rambunctious kids or for other reasons?

Asked by shot22 almost 4 years ago

Hello, Shot22,

Your question is most interesting. I was recently contacted by a current events TV show that was doing a piece on the aging demographic of clowns, and why that would be. I have no idea.

You make a good point about needing energy to keep up with rambunctious kids. It's more than just keeping up. The clown needs to be moving faster than the kids in order to manoeuvre them, like steering a boat in a swift river.

Can anyone become a clown for kids party like teenagers??

Asked by forbesserena97@gmail.com almost 4 years ago

Hello, Foresserena97,

Thank you for your third question. Teenagers make excellent clowns. Do you feel clownlike? If you love kids and you're willing to learn some skills, you can have a lot of fun and be well rewarded.

Have you ever seen another clown do a bit that you decided was so good you were going to do it yourself? And is it like stand-up comedy where professional protocol dictates that you ask the other clown's permission first?

Asked by Roger1 about 4 years ago

Hello, Roger1,

Absolutely, I've seen another clown do a bit that I decided was so good that I would do it myself. For example, I use Groucho Marx's joke on a line of opera, singing, "Reidi piachi, I love you very muchee!" I can't spell that, but people laugh every time they hear it. Marx had an amazing comic brain. To see his stuff is to want to steal it.

I'm grateful that my trademark routines and gags, the ones that arise from personal inspiration, haven't been seen by audiences before my arrival. That would be awful. I wouldn't want anyone in the same market to suck the wind from my sails by copying me.

So no, I wouldn't copy a routine unique to another clown in the same market without permission, and I can't imagine asking for permission to impose in this manner.

Being inspired by another performer's routines, though, and re-imagining them with my own comic sensibilities is a different matter. It's all grist for the mill.

Most routines are legitimately shared in workshops, books, DVDs, videos and are otherwise passed along from one performer to the next. Clowns have groups, called Clown Alleys, where we meet to share favourite bits and tricks. Clowns are, by and large, a generous and helpful community.

We know that the real secret to clowning is not what we do but how we do it.

My last question you answered about exaggerating my shyness, I would have never thought about that; thank you! But now I am wondering how long it took you to get started, because I have had a few parties but I can't seem to really get business going.

Asked by Toria the clown over 3 years ago

Hello, Toria the Clown,

Thanks for your question. Any business takes a few years to get going at full pace. Yours probably will, too.

How are you advertising? Are you putting a good offer in front of interested people? What's the size of your market?

It helps to have a specialty – the thing you become known for – so that your act doesn't fade into the crowd of performers. It's hard for people, who are so busy these days, to remember things, so you need to give them something memorable.

Who are the other entertainers in the area? Have you talked with them?

Good luck!

















When did you decide to be a kids' party clown, and were there other specialties in live entertainment you considered? If you weren't a clown, what would you be doing right now?

Asked by Sue over 3 years ago

Hello, Sue,

Thanks for your question. It wouldn't have occurred to me to be a kids' party clown had I not answered a help-wanted ad for clown trainees. I thought it would be fun. It was! 

I liked the experience of clowning so much that I stayed with it. Over the past twenty years, I've had immeasurable fun. I hope that the people I've met have had fun, too.

What would I be doing now if I weren't clowning? My straw brain would overheat if I considered, all at once, all the possibilities. There's no end to the number of things I'm not doing, even as we speak.

What's the biggest birthday party disaster you've borne witness to?

Asked by Meredith over 3 years ago

Hello, Meredith,

Thank you for your question. I've never seen a birthday party disaster. Have you?

Have Rosie had to adapt her act as times have changed? Like do you incorporate any technology into your act now, or have you noticed that kids don't have as much attention span for classic / old-school bits?

Asked by Donald over 3 years ago

Hello, Donald.

Thanks for your question. Times have changed, but children haven't changed their minds about what's fun.

There are a couple of pieces of technology I do especially love at parties.

1) Rosie the Clown draws faces on animal balloons with her "high-tech face-making device," i.e. a Sharpie marker. As soon as kids are aware of technology and what it can do, they laugh.

2) Rosie gives relief to charity marathoners with her portable "environmentally-friendly air-conditioner," i.e. a handheld balloon pump. The air feels good when you're hot.

3) iPhone and UEBoom bluetooth-speaker combo. This pair of devices has become fundamental for delivering my entertainment in countless ways. The powerful UEBoom lets me lead kids in dance parades with the music cupped in my hand. Love it.

I'm looking forward to the self-driving, inflatable clown-mobile that won't need parking at parties.

What kind of education did you have before you decided to be a clown or is it not your primary job?

Asked by LeakTom about 1 year ago

Hello, LeakTom.

Thank you for your question regarding education. Did you know that clowns are not allowed to go to school? Do you think that's fair? I've studied math and reading on my own, and I often check my answers with children whom I meet; I'm sure that one day, I'll get an answer right.

My business manager and identical twin sister, Laura, has a bachelor's degree. That's odd, as she's not a bachelor, but then, many school things don't make sense.

What education do you have, LeakTom? Have you learned things that are useful to you? Would you like to share some highlights?

How do you become a birthday party clown? Is there some kind of special school or something?

Asked by Becoming a Birtday Party Clown 4 months ago

Hello. Thanks for your question. There's no school for becoming a birthday party clown that I know of. (Clowns don't know much, though.) 

There are ways to get training. I started by apprenticing with a bp clown -- I tagged along to parties and learned how it was done. Throughout my career, I've increased my skills by attending workshops sponsored by local and national groups, such as clown alleys and clown associations. Clown alleys are great places to learn from experienced professionals. Do you have one nearby to you?

Is it hard to always be funny?

Asked by Leon74 20 days ago

Hello, Leon. Thanks for your question. I suppose it would be hard to be funny all the time, if that was what clowns do. It’s people who are funny. Clowns only help them to see themselves more clearly in the human comedy. Because people are all different, after decades of clowning, our comic interchanges are effortlessly fresh and new. It's no work at all.

Do you like children?

Asked by Marcel 7 days ago

Yes, Marcel.