Ambassador of good will is a moniker clowns should gladly embrace. How wonderful is it to arrive at an event and here the joyful shout from children “The Clown is here!” That simple phrase makes it worth the hour plus you just spent putting on makeup, wardrobe and packing your gear. Collecting your fee at the end of the gig is well received as it helps keep us in greasepaint and over sized shoelaces but clowning because it makes people smile is where it all starts.
Clowning for Charity:
In my 20 plus years of clowning I have lost track of all the events I have done for charity; everything from large foundations such as Make A Wish and The American Cancer Society to a local fundraiser for a family who has lost everything to a house fire. Opportunities will always present themselves to help a person in need and when we are able it’s nice to step up and be apart of the solution.
*Pace yourself: While donating your time is noble, don’t become overwhelmed by trying to do every charity, there is nothing wrong with politely declining an offer. Pick a couple events a year, especially one that is close to your heart. During National Clown Week many clown alleys take this opportunity to get out in the community and supply free entertainment for worthy causes.
*Should you always work for free? This can be a touchy subject when working for a charity or fundraiser, you may be able to donate time but perhaps the balloon or face paint supply is running low and you can’t really afford to do the job for free. One solution is see if a local business will cover the cost of supplies which could be as little as $25.00 and you will waive the performance fee. Fundraising events sometimes have a small budget for entertainment so offering a discounted rate is perfectly acceptable.
*Another way to help is offering yourself up as a host; meet and greet guests as they arrive at an event, announce raffles, pose for pictures and just walk around and share a smile. Giving the gift of your time can sometimes be more helpful than making a handful of balloon animals or painting faces. Fundraising and charity events can be a large undertaking for a group, having a clown step in and lend a helping hand can be just the thing to make their event a huge success.
Sometimes it’s the small gestures of kindness that make the biggest difference in life, so if we can spare a little of our time throughout the year to make the world a happier place, let’s do it!