Category Archives: DIY
As the 6th month approached I realized that I had some hot gigs on the burner, so I put off my recap until after the April Fool’s service. Then I waited until I had something to report about the Spring Break Clown Camp… Pretty soon it was Summer Clown Camp, and then it was National Clown Week. That’s when I found out that all of her sites had been hacked and she was not able to do the follow-up article after all.
Now it’s been 14 months since the first article. Here are the updates I was going to share with Becky Cortino.
In “Launch”, Michael Stelzner emphasized the power and necessity of collaboration, and his examples and suggestions helped me focus on a better collaboration strategy. Per the suggestions in “Launch”, I have continued to seek out and involve Other Great People and “exchanging offerings” with them. Notably, I actively recruited successful peers and industry experts to visit the local clown alley, the Red Nose Brigade. I convinced Guinness World Record Winner, Alex “the Zaniac” Zerbe, to give a skill share workshop. He later called me needing a pie-in-the-face consultation for a regional library promo video he was shooting.
Each year around Halloween I spend time working with the scary clown stereotype instead of against it. I did three consecutive years at the Tumwater Halloween House. On the third year the owner also accepted a pie-in-the-face, and I inaugurated a scarier look complete with prosthetic teeth.
In 2011, I negotiated with several non-profits for an 11 night run as a scary clown in a Haunted Firehouse. In addition to cash and logo placement on the flier, one perk was a pair of season tickets to a local theater.
I sponsored a successful 10 week “First of May” internship with an Evergreen State College student, who studied clowning through a Marxist feminist lens. This gave me a chance to reflect on suitable reading and viewing lists. Books included: “Pie any means necessary” (the Biotic Baking Brigade), “Clown Girl” (Drake), and “the Death of Ben Linder” (Kruckewitt). I shared videos ranging from Danny Kaye in “The Court Jester” to Chaplin’s “the Circus” to the inner city Krumpin’ Clowns of “Rize” and the spacey clowns of Cirque du Soleil. She accompanied me on a variety of gigs: a parade, a birthday, a drive-by pieing, several workshops and spring break clown camp. I introduced her to a half-dozen members of the local clown community, and she interviewed them for a wider perspective on the craft.
My Laughter Yoga practice has also grown beyond the free weekly club meeting at the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC). A PE teacher from Elma hired me to give a lecture-demo for her school’s staff meeting, and the Olympia Occupy Solidarity Social Forum invited me to give two workshops.
Since April Fool’s fell on a Sunday this year, I coordinated with the minister, worship arts committee, and eight clown confederates on a church service around the theme of “How Humor Serves the Soul”. I led a Laughter Greeting & Laughter Meditation portion.
Several Sundays later I led a church service at the OUUC on the topic of “Laughter: opens minds, fills hearts, and transforms lives” partnered with another Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. We made the connection between the church’s mission statement and the use of laughter as a tool to achieve those goals. After the service I was approached by a man from a smaller church to the south. They don’t currently have a minister and they share the responsibility for a weekly message. His official title may be President of the Board, but he was actually also a talent scout. He offered to hire me to do a service for them.
I was the “2011 Best of Olympia” Staff Pick in Tacoma’s Weekly Volcano for “Best Pie (in the face)”.
I also got good publicity by offering a free class in “Esoteric Red Nose Clowning” at Waves, a local dance studio, as part of their Community Event Nights. A reporter from Olympia Power & Light attended, and his article made the front page.
I hosted a spring and a summer Clown Camp. I taught a total of eleven students, and I was able to bring in five additional part-time counselors. The larger success, however, wasn’t the number of students who actually enrolled, but the scope of the advertising I was able to achieve by partnering with the Parks & Recreation department. They published several photos with the camp description in their catalog that went to thousands and thousands of locations. The school districts allowed me to send fliers home to students because the parks department is a non-profit organization. After the spring camp I decided to upgrade my flier and made a deal with local illustrator, Chelsea Baker. She stays busy drawing a 4 panel comic every day. It was the best advertising investment I’ve ever made.
It was my 3rd year pieing at Festival of Purim and 2nd with a large entourage of clowns. The rabbi was on sabbatical, but I’ve already pied him twice. This year I stayed for the whole megillah.
It’s come down to a “Go Big or Go Home” mentality. Technically, it’s a “Go Big and THEN Go Home” thing. If other clowns sometimes offer a 2nd clown, I like to offer half a dozen. I like to arrange a multi-clown team to accommodate the balloons, Laughter Yoga, singing, dancing, and piñata bashing. Clown OVERKILL is really my favorite thing. It’s especially efficient when we’re doing one-on-one activities like face painting and balloon twisting.
Some clowns work in pairs. I like to roll about 5 deep whenever possible. I keep a clown in every corner and one in center stage. Guess who gets center stage.
Here’s the artwork for Orion’s Birthday invitation. Those are Lego 1xs (One By’s). The bottom of the seven is a piece that represents scoops of ice cream.
Lego Brick Cake from Cakeitecture. She also makes Cake Pops (Frosted Doughnut Hole on a Stick) in the form of minifig heads.
Have to order these next time.
Birthday Boy gets the first pie in the face!
A Five Clown Party: Ridiculah, Honey, Sage, Jusby & Elliot!
Thank You created by Uncle Nick.
Guests also received a custom Lego Party Mix CD
Artist – Song [Relevant Lego Theme]
- Daft Punk – Superheroes [Batman/ Spiderman]
- Bryce Panic – Hidden Track (Can I Kick It?) [Mystery Minifigs]
- Talking Heads – Papa Legba (Pops Staples Vocal) [Agents]
- Talking Heads – Stay Up Late [Classic]
- The Police – Demolition Man [Police]
- Cryoshell – Creeping In My Soul [Bionicle]
- John Williams – The Temple of Doom [Indiana Jones]
- Weird Al Yankovich – Star Wars – The Saga Begins [Star Wars]
- SWSFX – Ship – Flyby_17 [Star Wars]
- Andrew Zilch – Ewok Gospel [Star Wars]
- SWSFX – Force Lightning [Star Wars]
- Star Wars the Musical – May the Force be with you [Star Wars]
- Jason Traeger – Love Faeries [Star Wars]
- SWSFX – Radio Chatter_1 [Star Wars]
- Mad Tea Party – Mad Watch [Belville]
- Harry Gregson – Williams – Ostrich Race [Prince of Persia]
- Sandman (the Rappin Cowboy) – Crazy Animals [Duplo]
- Gipsy Kings – You’ve Got A Friend In Me (Par Espagnol) [Toy Story]
- Chuck Berry – Route 66 [Cars]
- Pink Martini – The Gardens of Sampson & Beasley [Town]
- Jethro Tull – Orion [Space]
- Klaus Badelt – He’s A Pirate [Pirates of the Caribbean]
- Ministry of Magic – Marauder’s Map [Harry Potter]
- Ministry of Magic – Accio Love [Harry Potter]
- The Boyz Who Lived – Wizard Rock [Harry Potter]
A client recently had me come for a 6 y/o boy’s GI Joe themed birthday party.
I went with the basic black topped with Grampa Del’s garrison cap, accented with a camouflaged belt from a long gone bathrobe. For extra fancy, I added the spats that came from Puck F.
On the way, I noticed someone had pranked a car in the OHS parking lot. I left them my card in case they wanted to get even.
Afterwards, I pied a bonus face back home. AJ had been visiting and took a large pie to the face.
The videos tell about the Magic Kombucha grenade fail.
(c) Mike Fritsch
I pulled up the Halloween House on North street the other day, and Mike said, “We were just talking about you.”
What a reception! Okay, here I am!
“If you still want to do the tour guide bit…?”
Oh, yeah! So he sent me home with a head that I doctored up with some Jusby make-up.
Then Orion and I brought it over to The Clown Room. Tonight is Opening Night 6-10 PM.
I got a-head of myself!
btw, it’s REALLY DARK and SCARY… Don’t bring the little ones.
But if you insist, Jusby will guide them through with shouts of “LITTLE KIDS! LITTLE KIDS!”
Later that night… Jusby escorted the first visitors through, but not before a long discussion about the True Meaning of Halloween, and what to do when a little boy says, “Please, No, Daddy! I don’t want to go! I’m TOO SCARED!”
I spent the afternoon with Luke shopping for the new flaming pie hardware. We went to Home Depot for an hour. Then we stopped at Ace Hardware for the white gas (aka Coleman fuel). We walked to the dollar store and got cutting boards, red oven mitts, a red checkered tablecloth, and plums (for Orion). Then we had to go back into Ace Hardware for more screws and washers to attach the boards and mitts where scrap lumber had been.
Luke handled all the drilling and screwing from that point. They were done in time for me to rush down to the Midnight Sun and talk with Elizabeth Lord about the possibility of flaming pies in her upcoming Vaudeville show.
What was expected was “an audition”.
Two groups were before my conversation. A couple did a drag Mary Poppins / Chimney Sweep lipsynch and dance. I wasn’t familiar with the version, but it took aim, in part, at Disney. Then the woman had another partner do a Flamenco duet.
I told Elizabeth frankly that my new flaming pie act had never been tried, but I proposed a Clown-lesque act of approximately 5 minutes. If I felt I could not safely perform flaming pies indoors I was willing to work outside, perhaps during intermission. I was sure to light them up later that evening. We would be in touch.
Here they are soaking in white gas. Neighbor Aaron advised, after the fact, mixing the white gas with paraffin lamp fuel, to lower the flash point and mellow it out overall.
A fully soaked pie. Aaron also demonstrated how it is wise to shake off the excess fuel… before lighting it.
They lit up good!
So I did a little dance.
Then I consented to an interview with David Raffin.
Here’s the video
Actually, the first one was more of a Cirque/ Caberet/ Salon, and this one was more of a Carnival/ Midway/ Sideshow…
but I was so happy to get a 2 hour Premium Visit booked that I called Honey the Clown to be my assistant and photographer.
My first face! He got the full length spiel. We had a water fight toward the end of the party. Him with a water pistol vs. me with squishy-fishes!
Cindy seemed a bit overwhelmed.
Birthday girl watches on while Makenzie takes a pie.
Sammy hung around ALOT. She retrieved balloons and kept saying that I was So Funny! I kept saying,
“I’ve worked hard to become so.”
So she got a nose… and paper towels instead of a specially custom JUSBY PIED terry cloth model.
Then… I brought out the new dispenser… and it FAILED again! Gas hissed out the side and, when dispensed, shot everywhere. So I just splattered around toward adults. We gave it to the birthday girl, and she wouldn’t put it in dad’s face. Good girl!
[at home I found the O-ring on the drying rack! Well, it’s clean for tomorrow! LMAO What a Life!]
Honey enjoyed the trampoline.
Then the water-balloons came out and I actually used the bucket of water… AS WATER. Then the confetti!
The Deck of the porch provided a marvelous stage! I used the left, and Honey painted faces and bejeweled on the right.
In addition to the pie-ings, they had a giant back yard filled with activities including TWO pools and a Trampoline. All around the perimeter were activities like Pop the Balloon with a Dart, Cardboard Bumper Cars, Ring Toss, Western Dress-Up Photo, a Hamburger/ Hot Dog Stand with Cotton Candy, Popcorn, Etc. Etc. Etc.!
Kids came up and started giving me tickets to ride the stilts!
I gave a few rides out and harassed a teenager who had one of two earbuds in his ears. I asked what he was listening to and HE DIDN’T KNOW! Later I caught him about to text. I told him no texting!
I got the show started by pouring out the five or six little white plastic bottles in to the bucket so the fish could drink. I ended with the not-so-little brown plastic jug. “They drink like fish”, followed by “Little brown jug how I love thee!” And of course a fish squirted me. I made sure they were full at home.
And I kept repeating that I might need it during the juggling fire part. [which I never did]
I did juggle the sports balls and went through the whole routine including “They should call it the Super Hoop, or the World Court, but I guess that one’s taken”. Which wound up with Cup, Bowl, Plate/ What’s for dinner? Fish! and a squirting fish!
All concluded ahead of schedule and under budget! Go team JUSB-HONEY!
I did my first double pieing the other night.
It was at the birthday of a twin, a gemini, but I didn’t pie her and her twin brother. I pied two girls who are dating, and they are both named Erin.
Mauren and her twin brother turned 33 (another symmetrical synchronicity!), and she decided to announce her party on #fcbk. Since she didn’t have a computer with internet at her house, creating the invitation fell to me. Since she had decided on a Circus theme I felt morally obligated to make the scene.
I convinced Heather “Honey” Duke to accompany me and assist with principal photography. heh.
Honey applies the bindi jewel to Maureen’s 3rd eye.
The birthday girl now sees all, and tells nothing. We gotta get her a red nose and clown character though, so she can start participating in the RNB alley events.
“Blaireau” did a great set with a street organ. He’s an actual French “organ grinder”.
This fellow wanted eyes like Siouxsie Sue. Sarah got a white dragon across the nose. How could I have forgotten to take a picture of the Temple kid who got a blue dragon?!
Glen had some great “chicken scratches” from prison.
The King of Olympia (in yellow pants) tried to pie me at one point, but I fended him off with my superior Clown Fu.
The two Erins. My first time doing a double shot.
Bil Fleming finally got his pie… a year in the making.
Before it got dark I got to show off my fan flipping to a beautifully costumed Dutch-Indo family. Who, of course, I didn’t get any pictures of… nor the other clowns! nor the half dozen weiner dogs in cute costumes! Oh, I was preoccupied. With pie-ing! Here’s ANOTHER double shot! Two men, one young and one not.
Tim “Big Mouth” the Ringmaster waited until sunset until he felt ready. Then the Little Prince seemed to want to get it too.
My second double shot EVER. Appropriate for the birthday party of a Gemini Twin.
Then the King set up a video projector and we watched UHF and Shakes the Clown projected on the side of Maureen’s house. Until the cops came.
Here was the epic fail of the night. After a flurry of twittering about inaugurating the new Organic pie-in-the-faces with a red 1/2 pint whipped cream dispenser delivered fast and cheap from e-bay…. it didn’t work.
The busted rubber gasket in my brand new whipped cream dispenser from e-bay. I wasted the first two NO2 cartridges before I realized it wasn’t keeping a seal. Sprayed Horizon Organic Heavy Cream and Agave syrup all over the dining room and Trish’s homework! The seller said “I don’t have spare parts. Call the company!”
The company website lists a spare gasket for $3, but they’re asking for $7 in shipping and handling. That would bring the total up where it would’ve been if I had bought the thing from Fred Meyer or the mall, but they didn’t have RED.
I’m checking locally with Espresso Parts to see if their gaskets are compatible. And I’m geeked to collaborate with them on a Barista Clown idea.
Absconded with Chuck’s hat at the end of the night. I’m keeping it hostage until my missing lucky spatula is found.