Clowning Around in Parades – Hot Fun! –
It is parade season, a time for clowns to have fun as they bring comedy to the parades. It is so exciting to spread joy and smiles to the gathered masses along the parade route. The spectators are dazzled by the wide variety of parade floats, bands and spectacle that draws at their attention. Is it possible that you might be lost and not noticed in the festive frenzy? Here are a few fun ways for you to stand out.
First, remember the environment you are performing in. A parade is like a 17 ring circus, the viewer is bombarded with spectacle and color. Imagine yourself as a child sitting on the curb looking down the parade route. In both directions there is so much to grab attention. There are fire engines, classic cars and dairy queens. There are mayors tossing candy and blazing brass bands. How can a lowly clown make a big impression? Here are a few tips.
#1 Big Props! – That means be big in your movements and your props. If you have a puppy puppet, make sure it is seen, not some small hand puppet in a basket with a 3 inch sized head, but big dog with floppy ears and lots of animation. Make it real big and push the dog in a shopping cart or other cart so it is high and not close to the ground like a stroller.
#2 Be Big! – In your movements you can make yourself larger than life if you wave with your hand high in the sky.
A Fun Parade bit of Business by Norman
Here is a fun bit. Point at someone way across on the other side of the street. This could be a 5th grader a teen or a grandma. (not a little child as they might be overwhelmed. Catch that person’s eye, and do a small wave, and when they wave back then do a bigger wave as you get excited to see them. (not hyper, but big smile and happy attitude) get out your binoculars and take a look. Yes, that is who you think it is. Smile bigger as you stare at that one person and then wave bigger with your hand way above your head. When they wave back, wave again and start to walk over with your hand outstretched. (do you see how this bit will now have all the attention of those alongside the parade route.) Then…
Come up, greet them with deep affection (ignoring everyone else) shake their hand and then start to go away, but the clown suddenly has a thought. You reach into your pocket for a little daisy flower. The flower is handed to this person with great pomp and a bow. They reach to take it and they end up with only the stem. As you walk away with the top part of the flower still in your hand. The bit is a classic gag, but the presentation of greeting this nice little grandma and then offering a flower and she ends up with a stem is funny. I then walk away and notice the flower still in my hand and trade with her. She gets the real flower and everyone has had a laugh and loves the clown. Flowers are cheap at a craft store so I like to give them out here and there along the way..
How it is done. You can have two pockets one for flowers and one for straws. Sometimes the person will get a straw only and other times the person gets a flower. I mix it up… But sweet grandmas only get a flower.. never just the stem. The audience will love you more for that.
The straw and flower bit is an old gag going way back… I have just added a bit of a routine and a unique way to present it. Be creative and discover other ways to play with this comedy parade bit.
By the way, you have to keep moving in a parade… The above should take less than a minute. You see the person up ahead in the parade route… you do the waves as you get closer and walk across the street. You get there do the bit and leave.
You can also carry a travel back with the artificial flowers in it. This bag would of course, match your outfit. One pocket or section of the travel bag has the straws/ stems and the other side has the flowers.
By Norm B. – Norm is a comic performer who has appeared in all 50 states and 7 other countries. He has entertained at 10 World Clown Association Conventions as well as Clown Camp in Singapore and the Clown Fun Convention in Hong Kong. He is from Minnesota and likes pie. http://aces-show.biz/normantheclown