Many people know Maleficent as the "Mistress of All Evil" in the Disney lore. However, contrary to popular belief, Maleficent is actually a CLOWN! Well, that's in our Trick or Treat Halloween Costume Contest at least.
Jim Donoughe aka 'Maleficent' was going to a Halloween weekend camp. He was supposed to be dressed as a Dr. Seuss character with other participants but they bailed out on the idea. So, as a last-minute choice, he decided to become the famous "Maleficent".With a suit he bought years ago, he went to camp as the "Mistress of All Evil."
The Evil Fairy is a Clown
Other than dressing up as an evil fairy, Jim is actually a clown. He has been clowning for 30 years and, amazingly, paid his way thru college with it.
As Jim shared with us, "I started clowning doing balloons as a way to pay for college. Which it did, I have 2 ¾ Associates, my BA and even Grad studies, all theatre."
As time passed by, he started attending clown classes to improve his skills. Then after, he added magic, face painting, walk around and parade ability in his repertoire.
Jim and his Characters
Jim plays a number of characters, namely, Donuts, Pirate Pete, and Jiminy.
Donuts is an Auguste clown, Pirate Pete loves to do pirate-themed magic shows, and Jiminy is a Elft 1st class born from his desire to do more on his other persona December Santa.
Jim also plays as the Grinch and as Easter Bunny during Spring.
Inspiring a Clown
"I was in love with clowns and balloons from the time I was 10. I would watch clowns doing there shows and how they twisted balloons, then going home and practicing what I just saw at home."
It is really amazing to see how a seemingly 'insignificant' event to many can be a turning point to somebody's life. This is what inspiration is all about.
After watching clowns twisting balloons, Jim went home to learn how to twist balloons himself. This was way before the internet and books on balloon twisting was prominent. Now a self-taught balloon twister, Jim started twisting balloons at events, usually as a volunteer.
"I watched old shows like Red Skelton, Carol Barnett and ever local clowns I could see at events. I would look forward to when the Circus would come to town RBBB, Shrine's or small traveling mud shows. The clowns were my favorite."
Jim the Clown
"My Clowning has allowed me opportunities that I don’t know if I would have been able to."
Jim's clowning career has opened many doors for him. He got to work with a Ringling Clown School graduate, featured in local television shows, performed for famous people as a street performer, travelled and performed abroad, and many more.
Today, he is sharing his knowledge, experience, and skills as a teacher in their Clown Alley classes to help new and seasoned performers hone their craft.
Jim's story is a story of all of us. He was once inspired to do what he loves and thru hard work and dedication, he was able to share laughter and joy to all those around him.