Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So. There you go.

We had snow here today but it has started to rain.

I don't think we'll get to go sled riding today.

What did you have for breakfast? I had oatmeal.


BAMBOUK said...

I feel so good about myself as a clown right now.

Pat Cashin said...

No one who attended this show was instructed that this "circus clown" was a well-intentioned volunteer prior to this performance.

This audience went to the circus. They paid full price to watch a professional show. This is what they saw.

This is what has killed circus and circus clowning.

It is being killed in arenas all over the country every weekend.

By well-intentioned volunteers.

If you went to a major league baseball game and they asked volunteers to get up and pitch so that the team could save money by not hiring professional pitchers the crowd would demand their money back.

If you went to Madison Square Garden and paid full price for a concert only to find audience members singing kareoke there would be a riot.

Stripping and comedy are the only two professions in the world that everyone firmly believes that, given enough alcohol, anyone on earth could do and be every bit as entertaining as a professional.

Mike Naughton said...

Pat, you are correct.
In the past when I have announced Shrine Circuses I use this "into" to the Shrine Clowns.

Ladies and Gentlemen we have some special guests in our circus performance today. They are your friends and neighbors who volunteer countless hours entertaining at community events and the Shriner's Hospitals. We'd like to make them real Circus Stars today and they would like to present a little SKIT for your enjoyment. So let's give them a great big welcome, your friends and neighbors, The (insert name) Shrine Clowns.

For the record: I do NOT NARRATE the skit, the piece should work visually, top to bottom.
I will provide an intro announcement or wordage to
set up a piece.

My policy came out of necessity. One day I was handed a clip-board with at least a dozen typed pages of script for ONE of TWO skits. I told the "Boss Clown" that as a member of Actors Equity I cannot recite words that were not written by the Writers Union.

Somebody has to draw the line somewhere.

Mike Naughton said...

In all fairness...

This is a volunteer, who might have taken time off from work or taken time away from his business to add to the merriment and general ambience of the show.

He means no harm nor disrespect, he is helping and that is his sole motivation. It might be his first day in make-up -- we all had a "DAY ONE" -- or he might be someone who did not have the opportunity to attend clown classes.

Chances are he is a good guy and just wants to help. There should be an opportunity for him to help at the show.

The circus "show" is SUPPOSED to be a professional presentation of circus arts by circus professionals...from when the opening whistle blows till the last note is heard in finale, the show has to have professionals.
It is that simple, but why is it so hard to apply/enforce in reality?

Pat Cashin said...


He's got a lot of enthusiasm and that's really great to see.

But if I offered to help out at his day job by volunteering to do his job for free would he, his boss or their customers really benefit?

Would his boss be able to keep his customers if he still charged them full price for my well-intentioned but nowhere near professional level volunteer services?

Give the circus audience what they are paying for and the audience for circus will grow in America.

Give them amateur night and circus will continue to be viewed as the poor, unwanted relation to the "real" entertainment industry.

Anonymous said...

Hey he stole my nephews bed sheets and my goofy slippers.This is making me sick to my stomach and to top it off he blocks that poor lady in a wheelchair.Please remove this video wait I have to throw up

Anonymous said...

Hello 2 all,
my name is Matt butenz the clown Salgado and i am a shrine clown in El Paso (Pat we have talked over myspace)

look i understand and i agree one hundred percent with you all! i know as a circus fan i would love to see say George Carden Circus hire a Pro clown. I try my DAMN HARDEST to look as Professional as i can
I want to get all our shrine Clowns here at EL Maida to meet every Saturday and start giving Classes, yet how can i do that if i don't know what to teach,and i feel that i don't know how to apply the make correctly and well most of our shrine clown don't know how to Correctly apply make either and no Pros live here in El Paso

so what do we do?
P S Pat if you could check out my pic and maybe give me some hints and correct my face

Pat Cashin said...


There are several pros and former pro circus clowns living in Texas.

Former Clown College Director Dick Monday and his wife Tiffany live, work and teach in Dallas.

Look around. There are PLENTY of people to learn from.

And don't ASK George Carden to bring you pro clowns, DEMAND George Carden bring in pro clowns! You are the Shrine! You sign his check! Tell him what you want and make sure that he does it!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pat

Peppo the Clown said...

Hello Matt: learning from professional clowns is always the best way to learn, of course, but the fact is that there are a few books out there that will help new clowns to avoid gross mistakes. "Creative Clowning" is the best one, and it covers a wide area; make up, costuming, juggling, magic, comedy writing, etcetera. Even though it's a basic book, it could help a lot when a clown is just starting. Magic stores have other books on clowning, but just by reading the one I mentioned, I can assure you that no clown will embarrass himself in front of an audience. Again; books are no better than professional instructors, but they are a very good start; I suggest you try your local public library.

24-HOUR-MAN said...

I have seen countless numbers of Shrine Clowns come "mugging" in Trudy's face, her calm reply is always,"You can't make me laugh, my father is a Professional Clown,,,,and because of you he is not working this week .

Anonymous said...

Ok Im sorry about the bed sheet comment and other quotes never judge a book by its cover and hes doing it for a great cause and most likely loving every minute of it mike you surely changed my mind after I read the last blog,we all have to start somewhere

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Gacy did come-in!

-Neal Skoy

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way as Mike, and always announced the Shrine clown unit as just that..."Your local Shrine clown unit".

One thing that I would like to point out, is that on almost all of the Shrine dates that I worked had professional circus clowns working the show also. They did their turns in the show, and the Shrine Clowns had their spots.

On the few dates that did not have circus clowns, the producer always had a good comedy act.

I think that everyone also needs to keep in mind that the Shrine clowns working in the show is usually something that is requested (more often required) by the Shrine Temple when signing their contract with the producer.

And as mentioned in some of the other posts about the quality of some of the Shriners...I have met, and worked with, some pretty good Shrine clowns over the years.

-Dan McCallum

Anonymous said...

I don't like clowns like that, I want to punch them. it really makes clown who try really hard, look very bad.....

and this is why children now are scared of clowns.

Wes said...

I hate that... I have always threatend to Punch horible clowns, they give all good clowns a bad name.

This is why Children ask me If i'm a real clown... because there are fake ones.

Anonymous said...

leave the poor guy alone and hes doing it for free true hes giving a bad name for us but we should not just blame him we had a clown in our circus that wore bed slippers and bad makeup and hit on every arialist in the show and boy was he lude we had to kick him out of our alley and the director had him escorted by security thats how bad he was but in general we have to be fair to all first of mays never the less even bad ones I guess we even have some b-day clowns in our circus and they love talking skits and us circus clowns hate it clowns dont always have to talk unless its halftime or pre show theres a big difference between those two types of clowning anyway be nice to your fellow clowns Rob...

Pat Cashin said...

Why do so many people seem to have the impression that this MUST be this guy's first time in makeup???

It's certainly possible but nothing here states that.

WI have seen many VERY professional looking and skilled Shrine clowns BUT I have also seen just as many who look as bad after 20 years of performing it as the person in this video.

If he has been at it awhile, shame on him. In the age of the internet, with the wealth of information available to him, he looks absolutely terrible.

If this truly is video of his very first time in makeup, shame on the Shrine for allowing him on the floor like that.

There is NO excuse for this. If he needs to learn makeup, costuming and performance LEARN IT BEFORE SHOW DAY!

No one is saying that this man is a bad person, but I think that we can all agree that he's doing himself, the Shrine and the clowning community (pro AND amateur alike) a great disservice with appearance and performance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely, Pat.

The fact that he looks/behaves like this is indicative not of his experience or his intentions, but of his lack of respect to the profession. He hasn't even tried to learn.

I wouldn't attempt to fix a small appliance without a copy of Electrical Work For Dummies at my side. What this guy is doing is the equivalent of just going ahead and sticking a fork into the toaster. Which I would not be opposed to him doing.

Anonymous said...

Hey you know, they have warning statements on cigarette packs, liquor, plastic bags, etc, etc ad nauseum. So why not a warning before a (Shrine) Circus...Warning! Some/all of the "clowns" you are about to see are not REAL, Professional "clowns"
the management is NOT responsible for.........
I think you get the idea, and, at the same time, one would hope that an "intelligent" public would know the difference.

I'm anonymous because I know a lot of Shriners.

Anonymous said...

I read this thread because I thought I recognized the clown in this video. As it turns out, he's a one-post wonder on a clowning forum I belong to.

He also posted a link to his website, and I thought you all should see it. According to it, he's a serious Shriner who's been clowning for about a year. I don't mean to offend anyone by posting this, but there seems to be very little known about who this guy is, so I'm hoping to help answer these questions.

Anonymous said...

Ok I have read all of the blogs about the clown in the goofy shoes and what some of you call a bed sheet...I have been going to the shrine circus since i was a child and im 43 now,I NEVER miss the circus when it comes to knoxville tn. The clown you are reffering to you should know a little about...He is the father of 2 and a wonderful husband and brother in law!!!!!! He works hard everyday and takes great pride in being a shrine clown. He loves to make those kids and adults alike smile and laugh. He helps anyone at any time with no reguards to his physical feelings at the time. In my oppinion ISME the clown (that is his clown name for those of you who dont know) Is THE BEST EVER!!!!! You couldnt meet a nicer person or have a better friend. Sometimes I think he lives just to make a child smile and he does everytime!!! And as far as the makeup goes...His wife spends hours perfecting his makeup and his suits are all hand made with children in mind. She takes pain staking time and effort making these funny cute costumes and I think she should be appriciated for that not put down. And just so everyone knows...I dont think it looks like bedsheets as a matter of fact you cant buy a costume like his anywhere,,,they are totally unique and that makes ISME who he is. KUDO'S to Lady Beth (Ismes wife) and to ISME his self for doing what most of us only wish we could...We love to watch you and hope you will continue to bring us all the joy that you have in the past!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you about this clown that you know nothing about. He is in it for the children and they all love him. He even had a 17 year old girl come ask for a hug and to get a picture with him and she was terrified of clowns. When kids see him out the scream his name and come running up to him. He is very blessed man that has the special gift of love in his heart. You make fun of his costume, well, last year our poster child begged for a pair of shoes just like his. He went out and bought her a pair and put the biggest smile on her face. That was a blessing that I can only pray you may have the honor of recieving at some point in your life. He does this to put a smile on a childs face not to be "a professional" that will not even take time to play with the children. The next time you want to judge someone..just go look in the mirror and judge the person you see. This man is greatest clown I have ever known because he is in it for all the right reasons and he puts the clown back in clowning. It is a great honor to have him as a Shrine Clown. I pray that God will put love and compassion in your hearts and take away all the hate and jealousy that you have. I pray that you too can feel the love and joy when you clown as this man feels every time he puts on his make up and goes out the door.
God Bless