Clowning Tutorial

Clown Tutorial - twisting balloon animals, part 1

Clown Tutorial – twisting balloon animals, part 1

Clown Tutorial – twisting balloon animals, part 1

The first ‘clown skill’ we’ll look at is twisting balloon animals into different shapes. Why balloon animals first? There are several reasons: it’s virtually expected of a clown for one, it’s inexpensive (roughly 8 cents each, buying them retail), and extremely versatile. (more…)

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How do I start clowning tutorial - inexpensive clown shoes

How do I start clowning? clown shoes on the cheap

How do I start clowning tutorial – inexpensive clown shoes

This is simply a short article expanding on the advice from last time about cheap clown shoes.  “Again, advice from Turk Pipkin – €”feel free to pick up some ordinary sneakers and either 1) color them with acrylic paint – €”they’re no bigger, but they’re definitely clown shoes now, or 2) glue them inside a pair of size 18 shoes! That way, you get to wear a comfortable pair, and still look ‘clownish.’€™ ” ) (more…)

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Clown Tutorial - Choosing a clown name

How Do I Start Clowning? Choosing a clown name

Clown Tutorial – Choosing a clown name

“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, Act II Scene ii

“A rose by any other name
Would still give ya hay fever.”

Benjamin J. Grimm, The Fantastic Four




How do you choose a name for your clown? Is it important? Should you worry about it? (more…)

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How do I start clowning? Clown makeup essentials, part 4

Clowning Tutorial  – clown makeup essentials – completing your clown face




Welcome back!  So far, we’ve talked a little bit about some of the underlying concepts of clown makeup in Part 1, and the basics of applying clown make-up in Part 2., and somewhat about clown noses in Part 3. Now we’€™re going to address some of the other remaining ‘pieces’ and try to wrap everything up. (more…)

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A close-up of the Happi Hippi, now retired from teaching & touring the country, spreading smiles wherever she, her husband & their RV goes. This is a fine example of the Auguste clown make up style.

Clown makeup tutorial, part 4 – completing your clown face




Welcome back! So far, we’ve talked a little bit about some of the underlying concepts of clown makeup in Part 1, and the basics of applying clown make-up in Part 2., and somewhat about clown noses in Part 3. Now we’re going to address some of the other remaining “pieces” and try to wrap everything up. (more…)

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A new character for Ellen - Goofy Grape, a new auguste that worked her way to the surface. Note the professional clown make up, designed by Jim Howle

How do I start clowning? Clown makeup, part 3

Clowning Tutorial – clown makeup essentials – clown noses for your clown face

Welcome back!  So far, we’ve talked a little bit about some of the  underlying concepts of clown makeup in Part 1, and the basics of applying clown makeup in Part 2. Now we’re going to address some of the other remaining “pieces.” (more…)

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Ellen in Whiteface, for her previous Prudence character. Note Bagels in the background to the left.

How Do I Start Clowning? Makeup Essentials, part 2 – your clown face

Clown Tutorial – Clown Makeup tutorial, part 2 – designing and applying your clown face

raynbow-headshot-whiteHere is a picture of my clown character, Raynbow the clown, in make-up.  Bear in mind that no rules are carved in stone; initially, my auguste character had a beard; so what? When I was first clowning, I was very torn about this (since my wife loves my beard), but felt ‘reassured’ by seeing a picture of Mitzi in the Creative Clowning book (another bearded auguste).

Now, how do you get to this point? You start with the proper tools. You will need: (more…)

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Frosty Little applying makeup

How do I start clowning? clown makeup, part 1

Clown Tutorial – creating your clown face – clown makeup introduction

There are many things to be said about clown makeup – €”however, there is one thing that must come first. Ignore what you’ve heard — €”your clown face is not a mask! It’s entirely the opposite — rather than hide your features, it should enable you to show off your features. Make-up comes from the theater, where facial expressions need to be seen even from the back row. That’s why the oldest style of clown is the whiteface clown. Black on white simply shows up best from a distance (there’€™s probably a joke in here somewhere about a newspaper, but we’€™ll let that pass for now). (more…)

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Clowning Tutorial - creating your clown costume

How do I start clowning? clown costume, part 3

Clowning Tutorial – creating your clown costume

When it comes time to make your own clown costume—a few things to remember.

First, you’re going to be moving around quite a bit.  You’ll want your costume to be comfortable. Pick fabrics that are comfortable, cool in summer, warm in winter. Give yourself additional size.  You don’t want the seat of your pants to rip when you bend over (unless that’s part of your routine, of course :o) (more…)

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Assistant Director, college professor, and a truly great clown, Lee Mullaly, doing his Staff on Stage as Juggles.

Clown Costume part 2 – part of the clowning tutorial

Let’s talk about some of the specifics of your clown costume. Keep in mind a few basic guidelines:

  • Colorful – you want to be seen from a distance
  • Large patterns – you need to be seen from a distance; as well, this visually establishes your ‘clownishness’
  • Contrast, not conflict – you want to have physical contrast built into your outfit, but you don’t want the individual items to clash

So, where do I find this wonderful costume? (more…)

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