How to Become a Professional Clown

Do you still love it when the circus pulls into town? At Halloween, do you find yourself gravitating to giant shoes, red noses and white face paint? Is entertaining children second nature to you? Then, the life of a professional clown might be the career for you. From entertaining at children’s birthday parties to performing at fairs and festivals, making money from clowning can actually be no joke.

Make ‘Em Laugh

Getting into clowning as a profession takes a certain amount of patience and skills. You will also need to have a professional-looking costume, complete with make-up and accessories. Having a great repertoire of tricks, an easygoing and fun personality and the ability to handle a stressed parent or organizer professionally will also come in handy.

1) Decide what kind of clown you will be.

Your clown persona should be as unique and individual as you are, so be sure not to follow the crowd when developing your act or your look. Juggling, songs, playing guitar, magic tricks and mastering the fine art of balloon animals are all entertainment factors people will look for when booking a clown, so getting top notch at those skills will help to improve your chance of going pro. Going to a clown school or even serving as an apprentice under a master clown can also do wonders for your act.

2) Decide what you’re specialty is.

Clowns can be used for all sorts of occasions, from children’s birthday parties to delivering in-person birthday greetings to someone’s office. Make a list of areas you feel most comfortable in. For example, you may only do children’s parties, but might not feel as confident on a large stage. Tailor your skill set to the kind of performances you’d like to be involved in to maximize your chances of getting booked.

3) Register with agencies and advertise locally.

Getting on the roster of a trusted agency can increase your bookings a great deal. Generally you will have to audition for opportunities like that, so be sure your act is water tight be for heading in. Also, ask local party stores to put up flyers and take out advertising in community newsletters. Getting a great-looking website together will also help to give you that professional edge.

4) Know how to deal with problems.

As any good entertainer knows, problems come up where you least expect them. There can be last-minute cancellations and as you are often performing in someone’s home, occasional broken items. Always put a performance contract in place that outlines your policies on this.

Additionally, many families also have a pet dog that may be frightened by your appearance and you could end up with a nasty bite. Should that happen, be sure to consult a lawyer who specializes in dog bites to find out what the owners’ rights and responsibilities are.  One San Bernardino personal injury attorney vouches that, “…dog owners are responsible when their dogs bite people — even if that dog has never bitten someone before.”

5) Be able to provide a background check.

If you’re going to be working with children on a regular basis, having a background check that you can show to parents can soothe a lot of potential worries. Some states may even require it if you work with kids on a regular basis, and many entertainment companies will insist on it. Getting one is easy, and can be done online for as little as $20.

If clowning around sounds like your dream job, then think seriously about making it your profession. Get the training you need and sharpen up your entertainment skills to get those really good bookings. With a little time and effort, you’ll be living your life in giant shoes in no time.

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