Jusby & Juliette partied with Blayke in Rochester last August and returned this year with Sweetpea… and the Photographer was also called Sweet Pea!
We hit the 707th Willingly Pied Face Today!
“Bapak Utan” sang “Ol’ King Kong” by Sandman the Rappin’ Cowboy.
I read “A Birthday Clown for Archer” by Kathy Mashburn about a boy who convinces his coulrophobic mother to hire a clown for his birthday. After all, it’s HIS BIRTHDAY!
PLEASE MOM PLEASE MOM PLEASE MOM j/k. He’s a nice kid that Archer. Not like some people’s kids. This lady here has a kid. The middle kid. I worked with him. I have lots of notes. A real sweet heart and funny guy but he could turn on you, start throwing crayons faster than you can say Jack Asperger’s.
In March, I came out to Elliot’s 7th birthday to pie his parents. He wasn’t interested in a pie for himself, but his friends lined up.
One of the guests was a boy named Malakie who was VERY into getting pied,
So.. his mother asked me to show up for HIS 7th birthday.
We did 9 willing faces, most of them LARGE pies, including his mom. Current total is ~873, almost a hundred more in less than two months!
I got a call around 11 AM from California. A mom’s travel plans had fallen through, so she was looking to surprise her son with a pie-in-the-face delivery that evening. She used to plan elaborate theme parties for him, so when he had heard the news he remarked, “You’re not coming? What, no clown either?”.
Quickly google-ing, she found a clown offering “a twist” on traditional birthday clown services: C’est Moi!
Jonathan is turning 23. He’s a senior at Evergreen, my alma mater. He’s the proud father of a 6 week old. I asked him, “Is it too early to ask what you’re doing next?”
“Graduate school,” he answered without hesitation.
His mom originally scheduled me for a 6:30 delivery, but pushed it back until after 7.. which coincidentally had me arrive during the middle of another epic hailstorm.
First of May Intern, “Spontgomery” debuted today for a 3 hour party in rain and hail. He translated, juggled, and documented these 8 faces getting pied.
New Total ~792 Willingly Pied Faces
We arrived on schedule and were told to wait a bit longer, which is hard when you’re in clown and people can see you and want to begin interacting with you, so we unloaded as slowly as we could and began to set up the comprehensive equipment.
We were expected to entertain for a THREE HOUR PARTY, so it included:
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.
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 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.
Jusby & Juliette partied with Blayke in Rochester last August and returned this year with Sweetpea… and the Photographer was also called Sweet Pea!
I was flattered when Ned Hayes asked me to provide some professional face painting to support Kids at Play during Sunday’s Sand in the City. It also provided another opportunity for intern “Crystal” to shine.
In email exchanges before the event, I quickly found out that an emergency comedy consultation was in order. They let me know they were providing two palettes of Diamond FX 12 Essentials with four #2 & four #4 brushes. It’s the same palette I use. However, the Hands On Children’s Museum (who sponsors the event) had suggested that painters be prepared for 2500 faces over the course of 7 hours! [uh… six faces a minute?!]
I would get way more brushes of varying sizes and shapes. And sponges. And baby-wipes. Just saying.
Especially if you let kids say ‘Tiger’ you need to get a square foot of orange (for example) up in a hurry.
Sidebar: if the paints are not depleted I might suggest you trade those for (a portion of?) the labor of my assistants. Those clowns have been using my paint!
Luckily, it made sense to them, and we had enough paints AND brushes to cover many many faces. Of course, we didn’t serve anywhere near the estimate. In the end, I was able to bequeath my used palette to Crystal and accept a brand new & unopened one as a perk.
“Justin is the consummate professional clown. He loves his work — and it shows! He knows his way around kids, makeup, crowd control, and parents. What I love most about working with Justin is that he strives to create a complete atmosphere of fun — with pies, music, professional props, and all the accouterments. Justin is great to work with — and I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to have a GOOD TIME !!!” Ned Hayes
Then I rushed home to get into clown and gather supplies [pies, Coke & Mentos, and water balloons]. I had a previously booked party for that evening. The client had called Marie from Sustainable South Sound asking whether I would extend my coupon from last year. She was especially excited when I further offered to bring Crystal as a Buy One Get One special.
Right after I started work on my Adult material for the Vaudeville audition, I got a call regarding a party for two amigos turning 40 & 48. I directed the caller to check out my services page, and she asked about the Adult Themes! However, she said that kids would be present, so I suggested a second clown. No dice. Of course, as soon as I arrived, the kids were all over me and the adult material was kept under wraps as I tried to convince them I was a REAL CLOWN! One expected scarves to come out of my mouth.
I invited Juliette to assist during a Party Extraordinaire in Rochester for a 4 y/o girl’s princess party. We had a blast! They had a professional photographer/ videographer, pony rides, croquet, trampoline, pinata, and swimming pool! We came to twist balloons (Juliette’s area of expertise) and paint faces. I also delivered a few pies, of course. The total went up to ~536
A little backstory
The clients first inquired about the party through a facebook message on August 5th, confirmed through facebook on the 8th! We had lots of positive facebook interactions, including using the pic of Juliette w/ the birthday girl as a profile pic! I definitely recommend using your facebook profile vs. your page.
[you can do both with Jusby]
For Kai’s 11th birthday at the Circle Hawk Farm house on the 11th with approximately 11 guests…
a highly interactive mini-clown camp from 1 – 3 PM, a microcosm of the week-long camp in July: juggling/ object manipulation lesson, balloon twisting lesson, joke telling lesson, laughter yoga session w/ Trish & Orion, & pies in the faces… in the theme of Lego Star Wars meets Old MacDonald.
For this party, I realized where the advice of other clowns was leading me astray from my natural instinct. It’s been ‘common knowledge’ among party clowns that the clown’s role is over when the cake arrives. No one wants to compete with the cake and presents. I’ve been making my exit as mom takes over and everyone gets their sugar buzz on.
During the discussions with Kai’s mom, however, I followed my own inclination and offered:
“I hired Justin to manage the entertainment at my son’s 11th birthday party. The entire class was invited, and I wasn’t sure how to keep a dozen pre-teenagers (boys and girls) adequately and appropriately entertained. The results were nothing short of spectacular. “Jusby” and his team of clowns engaged the kids by first leading them in an icebreaker Laughter Yoga session. He came prepared with lots of different activities, but the two that the kids went absolutely ga-ga over were the face painting and the pies. I’ve never seen kids line up so enthusiastically to get a pie in the face. Additionally, several of the parents opted to be pied as well. Everyone was laughing hysterically and very happy. As an added bonus, Jusby and his team handled the cake presentation and serving (clowns serving cake!) and the unwrapping of gifts (hilarious). BUT THAT’S NOT ALL – Jusby also provided me with beautiful online photos of the event (he’s a terrific photographer). Would I hire him again? In a New York minute. He will give you every dime’s worth of your money and then some. He’s also great with all ages, from little kids to adults. Highly recommend –
– Jennifer Waldref, Communications Specialist at Democratic Caucus/Washington State House of Representatives
… waiting for stills from Party Mom cam…
[edit.. tracked down a few on facebook. This mom said her son had taken a big, medium AND mini.
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.