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Become a Circus Clown

What if your job was to make everyone laugh and smile? How sweet would that be? Are you wondering what type of job you might have where your entire goal is to be funny, to make people laugh, and to make people happy?

It's a circus clown. Clowns play gags and tricks to be funny. They walk around in big floppy shoes, paint their faces in silly makeup, don ridiculously colored afro wigs, honk big red noses, and wear bright, baggy clothes.

Then they do silly things like squirt water out of flowers, cram too many clowns in a tiny car, throw pies in people faces, or fall on their silly clown butts. In general, they just act silly and foolish. Plus they get paid for it.

Being a circus clown is a job you can be passionate about. It's a high-energy job that takes lots of stamina. Clowns are part humor and part athlete. While they are making people laugh by pulling gags, pranks, and tricks they also are doing flips, walking tightropes, taking falls, slipping on banana peels, juggling cotton candy, balancing on another clown's head, or even riding a motorcycle while standing on the seat. Clowns can be pretty crazy. If you saw the rodeo clown job page, then you know some gigs are crazier than others!

Clowning is a talent. Being a hardworking naturally talented clown is a gift. While officially no formal education is required to be a clown, most professional clowns attend clown college. Clown college is a chance to perfect both your athletic skills and humor routines. You'll learn clown skills like costuming, character development, makeup, comedy skills, humorous routines, safe falling techniques, audience interaction, and even acrobatics. Clown college usually lasts about 8 weeks and you can find clown schools across the nation.

California, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Hampshire all have quality clown schools. After graduation, you'll have the chance to audition for circuses.

After being hired by a circus, clowns perform between acts and also have large acts of their own. Usually clown acts are quite flexible and freelance. Nobody really knows what might develop when you let clowns on the loose, but you can plan on laughing at whatever situation presents itself.

Circus clowns work in circuses like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey or the Big Apple circus. They work irregular hours and can work up to 500 different shows each year. Lucky for you, circus clowns have quite a few job openings. They have to travel around the country performing for the circus.

Traveling puts a strain on life that most clowns cannot sustain for long periods of time.

At every show, clowns are busy making people chuckle, giggle, and laugh. A clown can plan to make about $300 a week or about $15,600 per year. It's not crazy money, but when you consider that circuses are big enough businesses to offer benefits, you'll realize that clowns have a pretty good deal. Some of them offer perks like free room and board to performers. Take a look at different clown associations to get a glimpse into the life.

Unlike rodeo clowns or freelance clowns, circus clowns can count on salaried paychecks, health insurance, housing, paid leaves, and even life insurance. That's a great perk, if you're up for the life of clowning around all the time.

Circus clowns are always learning. The best way to learn is by watching other clowns. There aren't many jobs where you'll get paid to throw pies and make a fantastic mess. And there is no feeling like an audience full of laughter.

Quick Facts About Clown Jobs

Job Title: Circus Clown
Office: Circus
Description: Entertain people and make them laugh
Certifications/Education: No formal education needed, clown school is very helpful
Necessary Skills: Stamina, energy, humor,
Potential Employers: Circuses
Pay: $38,000 per year average

Helpful Links:
Clowns of America International
Clown School Info
Big Apple Circus
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
International Clown Hall of Fame
World Clown Association

 

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