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Lights, Camera, Clowning! with Randy Christensen

Lights, Camera, Clowning with Randy Christensen – An Introduction to Effective Clown Ministry – video review

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 video serves as an introduction to beginning in clown ministry.

This video (approximately 40 minutes long) is broken into 3 sections – an introduction, a make-up tutorial, and a series of examples. The video quality is good, although the music soundtrack on the last section (during Randy performing his ‘Bubbles’ skit) sounded off, at least on my review copy.

Introduction to Lights, Camera, Clowning

The introduction is very good, offering some background on clown ministry, historical perspectives including the ‘divine interruption’ during medieval times, various types of clowns, and some very solid advice on to minister as a clown, as well as how not to 🙂

Clown Makeup Tutorial

A very good section of the tape, Randy goes through the process of getting into clown makeup as his whiteface clown character. He gives excellent, practical pointers on how to choose makeup suppliers, how to apply makeup smoothly, how to design your clown face, etc. The only caveat here, and it is an important one, is that this is restricted solely to the whiteface clown. There is no demonstration of the Auguste or Tramp/Hobo make up at all. However, considering the audience for this tape (those just beginning, or just starting to get interested in, clown ministry) this is probably a plus – not “muddying the water” so to speak.

Clown Ministry Examples

This is my favorite part of the tape. Randy, as his whiteface clown character, gives examples (and do’s and don’ts) of interacting with children, dealing with frightened children, etc. He then goes on to demonstrate how clown ministry can be used in conjunction with children’s ministry, doing two mini clown skits with a children’s minister, and closing with one complete, silent clown skit – his “Bubbles” skit, dealing with choosing temporary pleasures over eternal ones — and done very well.

So, is this tape for you? If you’re just beginning clown ministry, or just thinking about it, or want to have it in your group’s video library for those folks, then absolutely yes! It’s a very good video introduction to the subject. If, on the other hand, you’re an experienced clown minister, then it may be of less use to you — although, at $15.00 (as of this writing, 08/17/03), it’s certainly an inexpensive addition to your video library.

You can order it through Randy’s website (www.RandysInfo.com — which I recommend highly if for nothing else the excellent articles you’ll find there).

I rate it 4 clowns on a 5-clown scale.

About

Computer nerd by day, professional clown on evenings and weekends (Raynbow), who combines the two by maintaining a bunch of websites dedicated to the history and performances of clowning, such as Free Clown Skits, and comedy such as Best Clean Funny Jokes.
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