Clowning for Christ – Revised, by Randolph J. Christensen
I first heard about Randy Christenson years ago, reading the original Clown Ministry Handbook by Janet Litherland. Randy was one of the ‘featured clowns’ in the book, and I was very intrigued. Randy has been very active in clown ministry for many years now, and has written numerous short books and created several videos on the subject. This book serves as an introduction to beginning in clown ministry.
First, it needs to be pointed out that this is a short book (53 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″), with a lot of information packed into a small package, with several photographs and illustrations. It contains a lot of good information, as you can see for yourself in the Table of Contents below – in short, I recommend it highly.
You can order it through Randy’s web site (www.RandysInfo.com — which I recommend highly if for nothing else the excellent articles you’ll find there).
- The Christian Clown
- A short history on clowning, leading into the character of the Christian clown, and traits that he or she demonstrate
- A very short, but very important, chapter on the need for developing a clown character, as opposed to simply putting on make-up. I quote: “If you do not feel the need to develop another personality for the clown, then don’t bother to put on make-up.” Randy goes on to talk about the motivation, goals and creating a biography for your clown character.
- Make-up tips
- A short collection of tips for putting on (and removing) clown make-up. Note: this is a short, 2-page collection of tips, and is not a substitute for either his ‘Lights, Camera, Clowning!’ video or my favorite resource books Creative Clowning or Strutter’s Complete Guide to Clown Make Up
- Gospel Skits
- A very nice introduction on how to write clown skits, how to write Gospel clown skits (in a clownish way. I quote: “Jesus taught in the terms of his day. As clowns, we should teach in the realm of the clown. Strive to create that magical atmosphere in your skits â¦ that magical atmosphere that only clowns can create.” — followed by 4 sample clown skits:
- “Which Way”
- A speaking skit for 3 or more clowns, dealing with how we don’t have to be like others, since God loves us just as we are.
- “The Pharisee and the Publican”
- A very nice re-telling of the famous parable, using 2 speaking clowns
- A very nice skit for 2 speaking clowns, talking about the need to be born again – and what it doesn’t mean. I love the giant egg shell prop!
- A silent skit for 1 clown, talking about trading eternal reward for temporary pleasure. Also seen on Randy’s video ‘Lights, Camera, Clowning!’
- “Which Way”
- The Clown Team
- A short chapter talking about the benefits of clowning as part of a team.
- Solo Clowning
- Talking about how to perform as a solo act, and how to use props to ‘create’ another character to play off against.
- The Frightened Child
- Simple, yet good, advice on how to deal with a frightened child, and how to avoid frightening a child in the first place!
- Where to Clown
- A Closing Thought