Clowns utilize humour to entertain and inspire audiences to rediscover their intrinsic attributes of childish spontaneity, delight, wonderment, and fun.
Similar Job Titles
- Commercial Comic Artist
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Clowns do?
A Clown would typically need to:
- Wear a brightly colored, outrageous outfit, paint their face, and perform in a hilarious or entertaining manner to entertain and make people laugh.
- According to the hiring agent’s requirements, provide entertainment such as humorous skits, juggling, magic feats, stunts, or musical performances.
- Put on big pants/overalls, brightly colored shirts, jackets, and ties with large designs, rainbow-colored wigs, intricately patterned socks, and oversized shoes.
- Put on a traditional red clown nose, a thick white cream base makeup, and crimson and black face paint.
- To appear joyful, apply larger, longer, more arched, and expressive black brows above their natural brows.
- Outline the lips in black, then draw an exaggerated shape and paint them in crimson to make a smile or a sad expression.
- Customize the look with painted triangles above or below the eyes, red circles on the cheeks, colourful eyeshadow, vibrantly coloured freckles, and faux tears.
- Create a distinct clown identity and use appropriate tricks, clothes, and makeup.
- Determine a name for their clown persona that will be utilized in marketing.
- Purchase clown accouterments such as juggling handkerchiefs, false thumb tips, magic change bags, silk scarves, and a deck of trick cards.
- Perform at birthday parties, parades, circuses, and other similar events; interact with the crowd, particularly children, and pose for photographs with them.
- Participate in community activities such as school assemblies, charity events, fundraisers, and blood drives to spread your message.
- Participate in corporate or commercial events to gain exposure and market goods or services.
- In their leisure time, they rehearse and fine-tune their performances; they watch and are inspired by videos of successful clowns.
- Make a sketch and practice it. Improvisation routines that correspond to their clown image; costume and makeup practice in front of the mirror
- Design, sew, iron, and maintain their clothing and accessories; perfect their makeup application.
- If you are traveling to several locations to perform, pack and transfer props, costumes, accessories, and cosmetics to the performance spot.
- Spend time selling yourself and looking for new career prospects; keep track of ongoing projects; and handle administrative responsibilities if self-employed.
- Participate in industry events, network with other performers, and contact possible clients.
Standard Work Environment
The work environment can range from a circus to a birthday party to a corporate event, but it is usually highly illuminated and boisterous, with large crowds. Clowns may operate indoors or outdoors and must be on their feet for extended periods of time while dressed in full costume and makeup.
The finest occupations require frequent cross-country travel, staying in hotels, and driving for long periods of time. Every week, clowns may find themselves in a new city. Freelancers typically work alone, in pairs, or in groups of three.
Clowns typically work long and unpredictable hours that include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Clowns that specialize in performing at parties and on television work all year.
The actual work hours may vary depending on the type of activities done. Working in an amusement park may need you to work long shifts, whereas circuses may require you to perform for five to ten minutes in between other performances.
According to research, flexible hours are more appealing to the younger generation than money. There has been a gradual growth in the number of firms prepared to give promising employees the opportunity to change their schedules based on job demands.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Clowns can improve their job hunt by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search portals, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and inquiring at hiring agencies.
Clowns are generally employed by:
- Circus Companies
- Shopping Malls
- Television and Video Production Companies
- Private Entertainment Companies
- Theme Parks
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organizations, such as The World Clown Association (WCA), are essential for Clowns who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their industry or employment.
Professional groups offer their members a variety of continuing education, networking, and mentorship possibilities. Membership in one or more of these organizations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- A physically exhausting job that entails significant walking, bending, and lifting
- Regular stress of interaction with large crowds whose reaction to the performance is always uncertain and may range from bored to rude
- Extensive travel, if employed by circuses and private entertainment companies; negative impact on work-life balance
- High probability of physical injuries, if employed as a rodeo clown
- Stiff competition for the best jobs
- Lack of due credit, appreciation, and recognition for work; anonymity a given, if working as part of a team
- An unstable source of income, if self-employed, that requires an alternate artistic or traditional job to pay the bills
Suggested Work Experience
Accredited vocational clown colleges provide training programmes ranging from two months to two years in length to help students enhance their clowning talents. Furthermore, the college organises auditions for circuses for interested pupils.
Consider clown schools that offer all-inclusive intensive and personalized training on pantomime, related physical abilities, improvisation, humour, costume, makeup, and producing clown skits over a weekend or a week.
Circus schools that expose pupils to a variety of disciplines, including aerial arts, ground skills, physical theatre, and dance, may benefit clowns interested in auditioning for the circus.
Prospective Clowns can also benefit from weekly online lessons that combine basic clown exercises with activities that produce ideas and material for clown performances on both online and offline platforms.
Many clowns develop their latent ability or attend training conferences to learn valuable talents such as magic, juggling, tumbling, and acrobatics.
Creative workshops ranging from a few hours to an entire week are also available. Facilitators with various backgrounds in theatre, education, storytelling, play therapy, and counselling lead them in teaching clowning through collective intelligence, supervision, peer evaluation, and co-facilitation.
The majority of classes are hands-on, involving movement, theatrical performances, and reading from various books. Students advance from warm-ups that include games and vocal and physical exercises to individual or group stage improvisations.
Join clown groups to gain access to exclusive resources for members exclusively, such as mentorship from a more experienced Clown or a video on how to apply makeup more successfully.
Clowns who want to work for themselves should focus on learning and developing abilities that will allow them to perform crowd-pleasing acts such as balloon animals, hilarious pranks, basic magic tricks, slapstick humour, juggling, and tiny acrobatics.
Make business cards with your contact information, clown name, photo, and specialist acts on them. Create informational fliers and distribute them to coffee shops, restaurants, public parks, and toy stores.
Offer to perform for free at a birthday party for a child in your family or social network. The free publicity will almost certainly result in hefty offers from parents at the party.
Another popular option is to perform in front of a small group of individuals you know and trust, especially if they are also into clowning. They might give you a rating based on how entertaining your performance was, as well as comments and recommendations.
Setting up a shop on a street corner to perform for tips would also let you to try out new acts, meet new people, and spread the word, especially if you can distribute business cards.
If you want to be a circus clown, you should start with minor performances at birthday parties and festivals to hone your talents in a non-competitive environment before auditioning for the circus.
The abilities and expertise required will vary depending on the type of circus you want to join. A good sense of body language, comic timing, improvisation, gymnastics, and juggling are generally valued.
Even if you are still in high school, you can talk to a teacher or a counselor about appropriate job-based learning opportunities in your school or community that can help you connect your school experiences with real-life work as a clown.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an intriguing organization to have fun while learning about yourself and being guided toward your chosen job.
The experience may also assist you in determining whether the private or voluntary sectors are best suited to realizing your goals. Your educational provider’s career service section can provide information about work placements and volunteer opportunities in a variety of industries.
To demonstrate your devotion to course providers and possible employers, read about the profession and interview or job shadow experienced Clowns.
Although a high school diploma or GED is normally sufficient to become a Clown, some aspirants choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in drama, theatre, and performing arts, drama and theatre studies, or fine arts.
Short courses that incorporate warm-ups, play assignments, comic craft insights, and text work can help trainees feel more secure in their ability to make audiences laugh.
Clowns that want to build an oral comic routine should take acting, writing, drama, and public speaking classes.
Drama, music, singing, acting, physical education, and psychology are all recommended high school courses. English and speech lessons will assist you in improving your research, writing, and oral communication abilities.
It is important to remember that completion of a certain academic programme does not ensure admittance into the profession. Professional qualifications and transferrable skills, on the other hand, may open more than one door.
Before enrolling in a specific programme, do your homework and investigate all available possibilities for education and career. Associations and employers in your field are reliable sources that can help you make an informed selection.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
A respected organization’s accredited certification in business skills like as accounting, company administration, and marketing will assist Clowns, particularly those who aspire to be self-employed, in setting up and running a flourishing business.
Certification normally requires a mix of education, experience, and examination, though criteria vary by location.
Clowns may be required to obtain licences to operate motor vehicles and use pyrotechnics in the entertainment sector in order to perform in a variety of entertainment venues.
The licensing process is handled by individual government agencies. It usually necessitates passing a test after satisfying the eligibility requirements, which include a certain degree of education, work experience, and training.
Clowns may also be subjected to an employment background check, which may include but is not limited to, a person’s job history, schooling, credit history, motor vehicle reports (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, usage of social media, and drug testing.
Projected Career Map
Clowns advance in their careers through performance, experience, and the acquisition of new talents. They gain ground by developing a distinct clown identity and promoting themselves efficiently.
Clowns can work for themselves by performing solo gigs at private parties or events, or they can work for circuses and private entertainment businesses. In any case, they begin their careers as extras under the instruction of more seasoned actors.
A few attain worldwide notoriety, others become the star attraction in a circus, a few become local celebrities, and only a few make it to the small screen.
Fame makes it simpler to demand a bigger salary, relocate to a larger company, and pitch for longer-duration performances.
Clowns with teaching experience provide workshops in both conventional and special schools. As Laughter Leaders, they collaborate with speech and language therapists or get involved in the positive psychology movement.
It is also feasible to work as a Clown Instructor or Clowning Facilitator and teach future generations the art of clowning.
A growing number of millennials are opting to job hop and build a scattershot resume that demonstrates ambition, enthusiasm, and a willingness to master a wide range of skills in order to expedite their career progress and personal development.
Studies show that job hopping, which was formerly considered as “flaky” activity, might lead to increased work satisfaction. Employees looking for a healthy culture and fascinating work are eager to try out different roles and settings while learning vital, transferrable skills.
Clowns with the best career chances are those who are entertaining, punctual, and personable.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Clown in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, a professional activity, or self-directed learning. CPD also allows for the consistent renewal of coveted certificates and licenses.
Most employers provide important on-the-job training, which may include learning the script for a particular show and practicing with props and other clowns.
Efficient publicity and word-of-mouth referrals are tried-and-true techniques for self-employed Clowns to distinguish themselves from the throng. Use your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to assist you to gain additional clients and gigs.
Conferences and seminars, whether employed or freelancing, provide a fantastic opportunity for Clowns to interact with their peers and learn new skills and tricks from them.
You must invest in intensive practice sessions to keep your talents sharp and your fitness levels up. Advanced training can help you develop your comedy talent, improve your stage appearance, and elicit more laughs from your audience.
Clowns who want to capitalize on the growing popularity of business events must learn how to collaborate with other performers and create activities that appeal to the corporate sector.
Clowns will need to provide exciting and engaging activities that sync with children’s expectations as an increasing number of parents want their children to be entertained in a safe atmosphere.
Those who want to teach should look into how clowning is used in teacher training, medical, conflict resolution, ecology, and intercultural work around the world.
Clowns continue to ply their trade with courage and discipline, simplicity and genius to make their audience laugh heartily, while not receiving fair credit for practicing one of the greatest and most difficult art forms.
Advice from the Wise
Advertise yourself aggressively. If you want to establish a successful career out of clowning, you must exhaust every potential opportunity, person, and resource.