How to Become a Clown
By Eric Hammer
At one point or another, almost every kid decides they want
to become a clown. Clowns are fun people and they are always
making children laugh, so it's only natural that kids decide
they want to be a clown.
But what does it take to work in this business? Is it easy
or hard to become a clown? Well, it turns out that to succeed
you primarily need to have a desire to succeed. As to being easy
or hard, it's mostly a matter of talent.
One of the sites we looked at for this article suggests that
you study some of the old time comedians. The ones who did more
than just stand there telling jokes. People like Laurel and Hardy,
Abbot and Costello and, for something a bit more modern, Jim
Carrey. All these people used hand gestures and faces to make
things funny rather than just using words (We also suggest looking
at "The World's Greatest Comedian" - Lucille Ball,
who was a master at using her entire body to create funny situations.
The idea is to learn to do things in a more visual way rather
than with words. That's how you become a clown as opposed to
being an ordinary comedian.
How Much Can You Make?
According to SimplyHired.com, the average salary for a clown
ranges from around $38,000 per year to $44,000 per year. Of course,
those just starting out will earn less while those who are extremely
talented (especially if you have an act which involves talents
that not everyone can do) can earn much more.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Keep in mind that clowns come in all shapes and sizes. While
our classic image of a clown may be Ronald McDonald or Bozo the
Clown, these are one type of clown called a "white face"
clown. While this is probably the most common, there are two
other types of clowns:
Auguste Clowns - These guys are what Lucille Ball would be
if she put on a clown suit. They show some skin and typically
are more recognizable from their ordinary persona but they also
tend to be the type of make a mess of everything, always doing
things wrong. In other words, they do slapstick comedy.
Character Clowns - These are the tramp types of clowns (though
they can be other kinds). Typically, they go around looking sad
and bothered until they get the chance to brighten up a child's
In all cases, when you work as a clown, you're creating a
new persona for yourself. Your clown self shouldn't be you in
makeup. It should be a new person who can make everyone laugh
from his or her actions rather than words (many clowns don't
even speak and do pantomime instead - look for example at Harpo
Marx, who was a classic character clown. He never spoke but instead
would use pantomime and his horn to tell people things.)
As far as work is concerned, there are any number of possibilities
for work as a clown. You could work at children's birthday parties,
in a circus or a carnival, or as a hospital clown. The key is
to be flexible and to go wherever the jobs are.
Qualifications / Requirements
There are no formal requirements to become a clown. All you
really need is some makeup and a costume. However, in practice,
you'll want to spend some time putting together an act to put
on as a clown and you may want to attend clown school to learn
how certain things are done. Common acts that you may want to
learn include juggling, making balloon animals or pantomime.
The web sites we looked at for this article all suggest that
you start small and work your way up, Get some decent make up
and practice your act. Then you can start looking for work. Start
by offering to volunteer at a local children's hospital. Then,
start advertising your services for parties and other venues
where a clown may be called for.
You can also contact circuses and carnivals to see if they
have room for a clown, however keep in mind that these places
will likely hire people with more experience.
Check out these helpful resources to find out more about how
to become a clown:
How to Be
a Clown - While they are trying to sell you something, there
is a wealth of information at this web site and you should be
able to pick up lots of good information from them.
Clown's Web Site - Besides giving you a good example of a
clown's web site, Chooney also has some great advice here for
those who want to become a clown.
International - This is a web site for clowns by clowns.
Lots of great information on how to become a clown and how to