Clowning goes with summertime like milk and cookies, baseball and hotdogs, beans and toast…. well you get the picture. It doesn’t matter whether you are working a paid gig or volunteering your time for a local fundraiser, summertime is a great time to be a clown.
As I always emphasize, with the warm weather make sure you stay plenty hydrated so you don’t become ill while out on a public appearance. Like most clowns you will probably have requests coming in regularly for picnics, parades and other summer activities both for pay or requests of a donation of your time. I think it’s great to help out certain groups and do shows pro-bono at times; but be selective, those big floppy shoes don’t grow on trees after all! Jobs are more plentiful in the summer so this does allow you to slide a freebie in here and there more easily than in winter months when you are looking for the extra money. So what do you do for summer clowning, you ask? Well the biggies are festivals, picnics and parades; so let’s discuss some ideas for those events.
Also check out our article on Face Painting Tips for the Summer Heat!
Summer festivals are a great place to be out among the crowd visiting with folks and performing fun pocket magic. Take this opportunity to get valuable one on one time with small groups to perform a couple of fun pocket tricks or pocket gags, like sponge balls or pull out the Clown Story and share your family history with your audience. Easy card tricks also fit nicely in your pocket. Spend just a few minutes with each group and leave them wanting more, this is the perfect time to hand out your business cards to hopefully book a nice birthday party or company picnic.
PicnicsThe summer picnic is a perfect venue for some fun outdoor games like relay races, the parachute or maybe a scavenger hunt. When hosting a game day, try to include a broad range of age groups. For the very young ones a simple ball drop into a basket can keep them busy for a long time, where with the older kids they are up for a good challenge. I like relay games because most any one can play and the ideas are endless. Fly Swatter Soccer is a game I created using the Giant Fly Swatters and blow up soccer balls or a beach ball and orange cones. The object is to swat the ball with the fly swatter from one end of the course to the other while maneuvering around the cones, this is not always as easy as it looks and keeps the crowd on their toes.
Another fun game is the Boardwalk; two players on a team have to walk across the field while using two planks with ropes attached as shoes. They lift the plank with the rope while lifting their feet one side at a time and they need to stay in sync to make this work. This game is great because an adult and a child can be on the same team. After everyone has played the games they get to pick something form the prize chest, which makes everyone feel good about there participation in the games.
ParadesGetting involves in a local parade is great fun as well as a wonderful marketing tool. Have signs made up for your vehicle and have some one drive this down the parade route while you are in your clown gear out entertaining the crowd. You may not get an immediate booking from this but if there is a festival coordinated with the parade see if you can work the event and folks will remember seeing you in the parade and now will have a chance see you perform and more importantly get your business card or flyer. For ideas on parades read our article the article on Parade Clowning.
Have fun and be safe!