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What is Clown School?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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Clowns are defined as comedians, or buffoons. Their purpose is to entertain people and make them laugh. Clowning is, above all, a performing art and it may seem like a simple task, but this profession involves much more than just goofing off. Individuals looking to become a professional clown may benefit from one of the many clown schools and colleges around the world. These schools teach the basics of being a clown, and they teach more focused aspects as well.

Every clown school is different. Many of them will teach the basics of clowning, such as history, make-up, and technique. Others may be more specific and teach certain things such as physical theater or mime.

There are many types of clown schools and clown classes that an individual may attend. Many traditional universities, community colleges, and theater schools offer clown courses. The schools and colleges that specialize in clowning are a little more expensive and can take months or years to complete, but they offer the best clown courses for an individual serious in becoming a professional clown. A student can even attend an online clown school, which is usually less expensive and can be completed at a student's own pace.

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Like any other career, a person should do some research before becoming a clown. Before taking the plunge, a prospective student should decide whether he wishes to attend a full clown school or just a few simple courses. Looking into the different clown schools and classes and comparing things like cost, duration, courses offered, and location is very important.

The next step for a student would be to research the different types of clowns and decide which type he would like to be. There are three main types of clowns — whiteface, Auguste, and the hobo or tramp. Each clown type has a different general personality and clowning type. A certain clown school may specialize in teaching about a certain clown type, or it may teach all three.

Prospective clown school students should also take a look at their own skills. While skills such as juggling, face painting, and magic are important, knowing these is often not a requirement for clown school. Many times, these skills are taught at clown schools or courses, and practicing is the most important thing. Picking up a gig at local venues can give a clown the practice needed to hone his or her skills. Performing at a child's birthday, local carnival, or parade does not always have to be seen as a paying gig, but as an opportunity to become better at clowning.

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