Pom Pom Changes
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I am the 4-H clown leader in our area. Our group consists of clowns ages 5-13,
some of which have been clowning with me for about 8 years. Throughout the year
we get together to perform for annual events and occasions. Sometimes we have a
new event sent our way. The Emblem Club performance was a new event sent our
way. The performance was scheduled at the end of a very busy week, the last week
of school. Many of my clowns have close ties to the school in one way or
another. Some have parents that work there. I myself work at the school and,
because I am also a balloon decorator, I had had a hectic week myself. In any
case at the end of this wild week the 4-H Clowns and I were going to put on a
hum dilly of a show for the Emblem Club.
Trouble the Clown reporting for BOZO news
Feeding Peanuts to the elephants skit
My little 4-H clowns are kids, and kids will be kids. So I was a little
concerned about keeping the crew on task to get ready for this performance. We
only had 2 1/2 hours before the show to practice skits and get make-up on etc.
But the clowns have a few skits and routines that we’ve done for many events.
These are tried and true routines that the older clowns know by heart and are
sure to do correctly. So I was not too worried about having only a short amount
of time to practice, as I was sure the more experienced clowns would handle
About a week before the performance one of the newer clown’s mom, commented to
me about how excited her daughter, (Sunshine), was to be performing for a “real
live audience.” She said her daughter could hardly wait for the show and they
had even juggled her weekend schedule around in order to accommodate our event
into her plans.
This got me to thinking that the performance needed to be more balanced out so
that the newer clowns as well as the more experienced were performing in equal
amounts. With such a short preparation time, I was not sure how this would work
out but I was going to give it a try. Or rather...let the little clowns give it
The day of the performance I gathered the necessary props and gags and wrote out
the scripts and a show schedule. It was then that I realized that I was 1
basketball short of having everything I needed so I made a quick trip down to
the school to borrow a ball. Once again I spoke with the mom of the little 4h
clown that was so excited about performing “live.” Since I had been working on
the show schedule I told Sunshine’s mom that she would be performing in quite a
few of the skits and that she had more appearances in the fashion show. But I
also wondered if she would be able to learn everything in only 2 1/2 hours.
Buddy the Clown performs
The Incredible Shrinking Machine.
That afternoon we practiced our Kalvin Clown Fashion Show, our ballerina skit,
our peanuts skit, wishy-washy skit and “The Incredible Shrinking Machine.” All
the clowns were doing great taking direction and suggestions.
At the performance, little Sunshine the clown brought the house down with her
antics. She and the other clowns with lesser experience couldn’t have done a
better job with a week’s worth of practice!
These experiences, among many others, are one of the reasons that I teach
clowning. It not only opens my eyes to the possibilities and accomplishments
that these kids make, it also opens their eyes to how successful they can be at
what they do as well.