Some time ago, I was booked for a party, only to be cancelled a day later. A year or so later, I chanced to meet the mother who had booked then cancelled me, and found out that she had done so because a friend had steered her in the direction of another "clown" who charged about half what I did (and compared to other good clowns in my area, my rates are quite reasonable).
"What a mistake," she told me, referring to the other clown. (I hesitate to use the term for that individual.) You see, what she had paid for and received was what we professional clowns refer to as a "lipstick clown".
The lipstick clown is a person who is only interested in making a few extra bucks, and decides "hey I can make a fool of myself at children's parties and earn some dough that way!" The lipstick clown will then buy makeup and a costume, throw on a hastily drawn, often garish face (hence the term lipstick clown), and advertise themselves as birthday party entertainment. If you have hired the services of such as this and are really lucky, you will have hired someone who has learned a couple of magic tricks and maybe how to make a balloon dog. But more often than not, the lipstick clown will have no repartee with children, in fact will often try to be so much bigger than life that it scares children, and their show will be boring, dull, and lifeless.
I'm not suggesting that you need to hire the most expensive clown you can find. I am simply saying that if saving money is your primary objective in choosing a clown for your child's party, prepare yourself for disappointment, because you almost always get what you pay for.
To avoid such disappointment:
* Ask questions before booking a clown. Find out what the clown does at a party, how much clowning experience he or she has had, and how he or she deals with frightened children as well as excited active children. Wheeler specializes in winning over the frightened child.
* You might consider asking for references. Check with your neighbors to see if they have had experience with specific clowns. If your child has attended someone else's party at which a clown was present, ask him or her for an opinion as well..
A good clown can be a most rewarding experience, as you see your child enthralled by professional entertainment and fun. A lipstick clown on the other hand, can be disappointing at best and a frightening detriment at worst. Just as you plan your child's party carefully and wisely, use that care and wisdom to choose the best clown available for your party or other occasion.
Good luck parents. Wheeler the Clown
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