I was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. I have been married to my lovely wife Debbie for 40 years. We have two wonderful children – a son Aaron and a daughter Amber. We are very proud of the successes of both of our children. My son has blessed Deb and I with our gorgeous 9 year old granddaughter named Molly and a beautiful 7 year old granddaughter named Natalie. They have grandpa and grandma totally wrapped around their little fingers. My daughter Amber has provided us with out one and only grandson names Elliott. He is absolutely adorable, but I am kind of prejudice.
I have worked for Caterpillar, Inc. for 40 years in various divisions throughout the corporation. It was at Caterpillar in 1990 that I noticed an ad in a company newspaper that got me interested in clowning. I read about a Caterpillar employee group of clowns that had apparently disbanded years before and were considering regrouping. I went home that day and told my wife that I wanted to become a clown. Deb thought I was joking! I have always been a fun-loving individual who loved entertaining others. After attending the first Caterpillar clowns meeting, I had learned just enough about clown makeup to attempt my first clown face. This is when “Patches” was created. I actually learned just enough to get a good start in clowning, but not much more.
Once “Patches” was out in the “clowning world, I wasn’t satisfied with just the basics of clowning. I wanted to learn more. I went to the library and read every book I could get my hands on about clowning. There was a great deal of knowledge out there, but it just wasn’t enough for me. One day I heard of a clown class that had just graduated from a local community college that was starting their own clown alley. I knew that this was the place I needed to be in order to hone my clowning skills. I attended the first clown alley meeting and have been an integral part of the Class Clown Alley of Central Illinois ever since.
I spent the next several years attending as many seminars, conventions and clown camps as I could possibly manage into my schedule. I went to several Midwest Clown Conventions. I attended Clown Camp on the Road. I attended Clown-In Illinois several times. I attended Clown Camp at the University of Wisconsin and Moosebuger University in Minnesota. I also helped the Class Clown Alley in hosting a Midwest Clown Association Convention in 1996. We hosted the 1997 and 2005 WCA Convention in Peoria as well.
I am always eager and willing to learn as much as I can about clowning. I continuously promote the importance of clown education and encourage others to do the same. The Class Clown Alley is very much an educational-oriented organization and has helped me in my eagerness to learn. There are many talented individuals in my clown alley that are willing to share their expertise. I highly recommend joining the local clown alley to all those interested in learning more about the art of clowning. I have been very involved in my local clown alley over the years. I have served in several of the Class Clown Alley offices, including the term of President for 6 years. I have also become heavily involved with the World Clown Association. I have served as the Midwest Director of the WCA for 3 terms and have served a term as the WCA Education Director. I was elected to the position of WCA President Elect in April of 2007. I have and always will have, a passion for my commitment to the art of clowning and continuing clown education.
While clowning over the years, I have found it more enjoyable to work with other clowns during different events. This led me to the idea of taking on a business partner. I met Harlen “Rollo” Pierson at Clown Camp on the Road back in 1991. He has worked professionally with me since 1996. “Patches” and “Rollo” working together have developed quite a name for themselves throughout Central Illinois. “Patches” and “Rollo” together have become known as A Couple of Clown & Company. We have four additional clowns that we use in our business as well. Our business has flourished and is doing exceptionally well in the Central Illinois area. “Patches” and “Rollo” are known in Central Illinois as “Peoria’s Premiere Clown Entertainment Group.” I find it very difficult at times to balance my Caterpillar career and my clowning career both. I have set myself up for “clown work” after my retirement from Caterpillar. I enjoy clowning personally as well as teaching the art of clowning so much that I am ready to retire today and get busy clowning and teaching on a full-time basis.
My talent and my love for the art of clowning are obvious when you see me perform. I consider myself a true professional entertainer who loves my work. I have the skill sets, the spirit and the heart it takes to perform well and allows me the privilege to help put smiles on people’s faces, young or old! It’s pretty obvious that my passion for clowning truly comes straight from my heart! I am totally committed to my passion…my passion for brightening everyone’s lives with a smile!
I was very honored in having everyone putting their trust in me by electing me as the World Clown Association President. I look forward to working with the WCA board of directors and the WCA members this upcoming year in striving to continue the growth and future development of the WCA. I have an open door policy. Please feel free to contact me at anytime with your questions, thoughts or concerns. I look forward to possibly hearing from many of you!
Rick A. Zaborac
WCA Past President