Southern Minnesota's
Clown Roundup Alley

Clown Roundup Alley is often Contacted by Charity or Non-Profit Groups

Here's some advice that we give...

I am very glad you are considering having a clown at your event.  A clown can draw people to an event and create a fun and memorable event.  Advertising that you will have a clown present at an upcoming event can bring in families with children and increase the attendance of an event.  Clowns can often connect with people and draw people out and get them involved in an event.

Some things to look for and share with the prospective clown:
  • Ask if they have experience with the type of event you are hosting or what type of things they would be doing at your event.
  • Have they attended clown training programs and/or are they member of any clowning organizations. Clowns that have attended training programs and/or those who are members of clowning organizations tend to provide higher quality performances and tend to supply a better end product than those that just throw on Halloween make-up and some mismatched clothes.  They also give your event a more polished and professional feel.
  • If possible please tell the clowns ahead of time the general age of those you are expecting an example would be if most of the audience going to be small children 4 and under, kids 5-12 yrs old, teenagers, young adults 20-30 yrs, 30-50 yrs, or 50+ yrs.  This enables the clown to prepare appropriately.  It is okay if you are expecting a mixed audience but the more the clown knows about your audience the more he or she can tailor his show for your needs.  Also if your audience has special needs please share this with the clown.  It may not seem politically correct but the audience will benefit and enjoy the show much more if the show has been developed with these considerations in mind.
  • Be sure they have the times straight and the accurate information on the location of the event.
  • Please also give the clown a cell phone number where you or the person who will be in charge on-site for the event can be reached if something happens last minute that may effect their ability to perform at the event such as getting lost on the way to the event or car trouble.  Most clowns give themselves extra time to get to an event but every once in a while something happens that can not be avoided and the sooner you can be contacted the sooner the problem can be dealt with.

In general, we can not do your event for free.  Many clowns do clowning as a way to make a living.  They have a great deal of time and money invested in their props, make-up, routines, and education.  A clown's performance has expenses.  If the clown is tying balloons those balloons cost money, many magic tricks require one time use items that need to be replaced every time the trick is performed, and many clowns have to pay for insurance to cover their performances.  We do not expect a plumber to donate their time when they come to fix the plumbing.  They have time and money invested in their tools and training and they need to make a living by what they do.  Clowns are no different in that they provide a service and should be paid for that service.  Also keep in mind the old adage that you get what you pay for.  A bad clown can have a negative effect on your event.

Having said that, many clowns are willing to work with charity events.  Some clowns will donate one hour of their time for every hour they are paid for and they just ask for a receipt for the hour donation so they may get tax credit for it, in this way both the event and the clown come out ahead.  The event can spend less while still having a spectacular event.  This way the clown can cover the expense he incurs so that he to can stay in business.  So, may I suggest that when you approach a clown or any entertainer for your event that you do offer to cover some of their cost or work out an arrangement like the one I've suggested above.

Good luck with your event.

Greg for