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Steve V
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Inner circle
Northern California
1878 Posts

Profile of Steve V
This is a serious question. I've never been a clown nor do I know any clowns here that are not cranky so I don't speak to them. My question is this, how is it you all get your make up so perfect? Do you use a template or something? I tried making my wife up and it looked horrible. I take it there are special make up or paint or something you use. If you either tip on how you do it or refer me to a web site that would be cool. I really am just interested in how it is done out of curiosity, I'm to ugly to be a clown.
Steve V
Tom James
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Regular user
Cincinnati, Ohio
139 Posts

Profile of Tom James
Practice. I have been doing makeup( specical effects) for over a decade. I am a magician but I used to do make up when I worked for haunted houses. Just practice and you can get books and templates try a costume shop.

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Elite user
439 Posts

Profile of KenW
Go here: http://www.clownantics.com/makeupbooks.shtml
You can see me as "Kenbe the Clown" on my website (www.magicofkenwinters.com), under Special Charaters.
I would suggest that you contact Leon McBride and Earl Channey for professional help on clowning as they both are past Ringling Brother's Great Clowns!
Bernard Sim
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Inner circle
1095 Posts

Profile of Bernard Sim
How I wish I can try it on my wife Smile.
Bernard Sim
Chuck Lyons
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Loyal user
Channahon, IL
264 Posts

Profile of Chuck Lyons
Well it does take practice but you also need to get the right type of makeup and have a idea or look you are going for. Second powder after every color. then you must appy color light to dark I do white then outline in black then breaking the rule I do red as high lites and lastly I use clown pink on all remaing areas. If I can help please feel free to PM me and I will help you how ever I can. Chuck
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North Carolina
108 Posts

Profile of Pizzazz
Hi Steve,
Putting on make-up is not easy at first. When I started 12 years ago my face was a "HOT MESS!" But after MANY try's and a few classes I developed Roscoe The Clown. You also have to find the right make-up for your skin, I had a lot of trial and error before I found what works for me.
There is a very good book that is out called Strutter's Complete Guide to Clown Makeup. It has lot's of pictures of different faces and it discusses the application of them. Hope this info helps. Just remember to practice.
May all your days be "magic" days
Bill Nuvo
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Inner circle
3094 Posts or
2747 Posts

Profile of Bill Nuvo
I am a clown and don't use make-up (except for some matt beige from Clinique to cover up blemishes).
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Inner circle
Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
1579 Posts

Profile of RiffClown
The short answer to your question is practice, a steady hand and locking in your make-up scheme.


Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Skip Way
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Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
I can vouch for Pizzazz. I've known Daniel since his teen days and he has developed into one of North Carolina's finest family entertainers. His make-up is absolutely beautiful...and his personality shines. Well done, Roscoe!

Daniel did what you should do, Steve. Find a local clown who isn't so "cranky" and willing to lend a hand in tutoring you. Books and videos are great, but nothing teaches better than an experienced hand. An entirely new generation of clowns owe their beauty and charm to folks like Daniel.

Skip :o)
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
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Mike B.
85 Posts

Profile of sluggo
I would give him some advice...but I'm feeling alittle cranky today.

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Dad, magic, ventriloquism, facepainter & balloons.
A weakness for coffee (caffeine)
Scruffy the Clown
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233 Posts

Profile of Scruffy the Clown
Practice, practice, practice.....
Like doing sleight of hand it gets easier as you do it more frequently. Powdering after every color is a must (At least for me it is). Having a good eye for symmetry is a big help too.
To me it's not a secret I guess. It's just hard work.
BTW, Please don't judge my makeup skills by my avatar. It's an old picture....
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Mike B.
85 Posts

Profile of sluggo
Like Scruffy said..practice. The first couple of times I put my 'face' on it took at least an hour. Now several years later I can have the makeup on and powdered in twenty minutes.
I do it alittle differently than scruffy. I do not powder after every color. I put everything on then powder. I find this way if you make a mistake it's easier to correct.
Dad, magic, ventriloquism, facepainter & balloons.
A weakness for coffee (caffeine)
Chuck Lyons
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Channahon, IL
264 Posts

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Sluggo that is called the wet method and both ways are correct it just comes down to personal prefferance with the powdering. I wear contacts and the stuff is always betting on the lens. Oh well what we do for our art. Chuck
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Profile of Jewls
What???? Makeup? MAKEUP!?! My face doesn't just look like this!
Heck, Steve V can make anyone cranky, just ask his wife!
He, he, he,
Hi Steve V,
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Profile of piccard

After the summer season in Wildwood N.J. ended...

I headed back to the Carolinas and the family home...Not beeing someone who likes to sit on his bun ..I desided to go down to Florida again...Where to go in Florida??...Do I go down to Big Pine Key and kick back at my uncles old place, No not enough to keep me active. So I thought I’ll go back to Sarasota and [center]………….CIRCUS WORLD…..Opened : February 1974-Closed : May 1986
try and get with CoCo-Jr. and do spot dates...

Not sure that there would be a welcome mat waiting for me.

Then I just by chance pulled into a small shopping center in Orlando, Mainly to take a rest from the driving and think about really what to do..A cross- road was really where I was at...One road leads to happiness ..One road leads to pain. They all look the same (that’s from a Calvin Russell Song).

I got out of my van and there was a Magic Shop..I went in for a look there weren't many if an customers at that time...The girl behind the counter asked if she could help me, I replyed I'm a clown-magician..On my way to somewhere and no where...I saw a broucher of Circus World on the counter.. .I ask her if she knew any of the people, she told me yes some of the clowns come in from time to time...

I ask her if she knew if they were looking for clowns. To which she said didn't really know.

She told me how to get there from where I was and I headed off to the Employee entrance to the park...

I walked in and asked the security guy were do I speak to someone about an application to get a job...

He directed me to that personnel office...I went in an had a nice interview with the fellow and I'm sorry my memory for names is not as sharp as it use to be anyway the guy to my surprise had me fill out the forms and said basically YOU'RE HIRED...

We always been looking for talented people...I had a job and no idea where I would park my van to sleep for the night,,,He told me of a mobile home park about 3 miles away from CW and I went there and rented a 2 bed room trailer...

The next day I reported for work and was shown were clown alley was. At that time of the day there weren't many clowns around.

I think they were down to about 11 or so, At the same time there was NO BOSS CLOWN. He hadn’t showed up for work for several days and was by all accounts…HISTORY.

But I was told a new boss clown had been hired by Dave McMillan and would be in the alley in the next day or so...

When I arrived at Circus World the Alley was in complete dissarray the Boss Clown of before had just been fired and the clowns were on AUTO-PILOT flying the show without a leader...


That was to change soon enough.I liked Bill Hamilton's plain spokeness and within days he was asking me to come over to his place.

We bonded right away. He confided in me that this was a new challenge for him to be in the position Of Boss Clown ...

He had worked with McMillan at some theme park in N.J. before and needed all the help and advice from a seasoned performer like myself he could get..Nothing was taboo with him...

We discussed many things--Number One was the bad moral and additude situation in the alley.

My advice on how to get control of an unruley alley...

Everyone in the Alley was disagreeing with the next..No New ideas were coming in to put some spark back in the show...People were calling in sick way too much. I was always looking at Marks way of being production clown...I watched Dave Mcmillan’s flying tiger an most say of all the cat acts I've seen, his was the best...

The animals were doing something from beginning to end with no slow time in between...

His act MOVED at a great pace and with a flowing motion, a real joy for the eyes to see.I also noticed he finished by riding out of the main center ring cage on the back of a sidecar motorcycle, driven by a helper while he held the chain of a full grown siberian tiger named Nina, if I remember right. OUT of the cage and around the arena pass the crowd in the stands...and the public was just in all as he rode by them...

To the stage left exit curtain and to a well deserved standing ovation many times...

SOOOOOOOO HUMMMMMMMM??..He a place for a gag...

I had remembered Mark speaking of a thing called Tiger Chase...

I went to Bill and ask if I could make for it the show and would they give me some money to buy the things I would need do it...

NO was the answer from the head office, however If you make it and we except it. We will pay you some money. But only for the Materails. So I set about gathering the things needed...Getting something as simple a small wooden board and screws, screw drivers etc.

The basic's at CW was monumental task. As one department didn't seem to want to co-operate with another department. What should have taken only hours to accomplish. Took weeks. SOUND's LIKE the GOVERMENT we have now doesn't it?

..I went with my own money and gas and off hours time. And procured the things myself. The work shop at that time was mess...No Supplies, CW had a supply deptment with stakes of the things to work with. But they wouldn't give it up. They acted as if they were being cheated out of things, when in fact . It was supposed to be there job to give us what was needed to get the JOB DONE! Well it took every day between shows and after hours to complete the prop...

I was very proud of it...The gag was used in the every show ,everyday till the day Circus World closed it’s doors for good. The gag runs like this..Dave exits with the tiger the curtain is drawn close ..There was a short pause then. The band goes into a hot version of HOLD THAT TIGER!!!..3 clowns come out of the curtain running and screaming and one clowns has a tiger biting him on his ass...they run in front of the stands and exit out stage right...

Well management loved it..It got one of the biggest laughs for the show , and I was payed 80 dollars for my cost of supplies and told the prop was now the property of Circus World...I got to be the clown with the tiger biting his ass ..for about 3 shows, then Bill tryed it on and Loved the response from the crowds...and I very rarely got to wear it or even been the gag again....

Which was OK in many ways as THE RUN was very tiring for me as I was 33 years old at that time and still was a heavy smoker...But the way it was just taken from me. Really ****ED ME OFF at the whole deal...

If it hadn't been for guys like Irvin and Marion House..I would have lost my desire to help...out ever again...But hey they never once called me there production clown, but when they wanted something built I was asked to build it or to be part of it, if not most of it...A few months into my gig there I was at a party and a small child had a loop of film in a little toy camera thing that when you turned handle play a short movie clip of the seen from DUMBO..it was the clowns doing the firehouse routine .We had a clown fire truck that did nothing but ride thru the opening spec...

All we need was a house and to work out the gags that the clowns had done MORE OR LESS in the clip..

He we go again.... clown alley needs a wagon of some sort to build the house on top of so we could roll it in and out of the staging area...WEEKS WENT BY..and even arion whos ideas for the WORKS of it were great...He swings a mean hammer too. building the thing was becoming a monumental task as once again there NO help from the so called supply people...But by this time I had earned the respect of Mcmillan and I went to Bill and we both went to talk to McMillan…Mcmillan went to the DA’ CEO of C.W. ..The C.E.O. went to the supply building and I don’t know hat he said to them there, but brother clown alley had NO MORE PROBLEMS getting the wood and things needed. Crazy Irvin and Little John and Jamie Ryan all started to help..

It was built..now how do we make it play????

HUMMMMMMMMM...I cut a house cat and baby out of foam..One clown is the lady inside the burning house...

One clown is a mad bomber who throws a stick of dynomite into the window of the house a load bang and an electric match sparks the controlled gas burn and it looks as if the house were ablaze...

Out comes the firetruck stops and all the clowns fall off..Get up and crash into each other several times until the Fire Chief gets them to come to attention. Mean time the women is out the window holding her baby FIREMAN !!! SAVE MY CHILD!!!!...They grab the big net..She throws out the cat first ..They miss the cat buys it...they all take off there helmuts a moment of respect for the cat ..Then she drops the baby SUCCESS!!

they catch the baby shake each others hands and jump on the truck and drive off..Leaving the lady clown still in the burning house...She ducks out of sight for a oment..Another BIG BANG is heard and a dummy looking ( MYRON came up with the idea of a dummy of the lady clown attached to a LONG and I mean long Bungie cord that would cause what looked like the lady to fly high and stage right to the bleachers all to the sound of a slide whistle)......Black out end of gag.

.........JAMIE RYAN....

Or as we called him”JAME'S DOG!”...Was another of those clowns that I would say had that certain something that set him apart from the other clowns...He could be very funny or very obnoxious...

Sometimes very aggressive too...

During one of the performance's of the FIREHOUSE Routine..When we were doing the Line up and salute the captain bit..He elbowed me in the rib's,Hard I mean really Hard, I almost got the breath knocked out of me..I came back with a kidney punch on him and he turned and took a swing at me, I dodged it and hit him with a right upper cut and a quick gut buster that dropped to the ring like a bad transmission...Then I jumped on him and started pounding away..Now remember this is all going on right in the middle of the show with a strawhouse...I think now the persons viewing the show thought it was part of the the clown gag.The other clowns continued on with the gag as we rolled around the floor together, beating the crap out of each other...I don't remember to much about how we stopped only...

When the Fire truck pulled out and the house lights went to black-out ..We got up and ran off to stage left still taking swipes at each other...Back-stage(ROUND 2) we go into it again, till some of the other clowns broke it up...We were then invited to Bill Hamilton's office, and told we were to go see McMillian in his office A.S.A.P....We knew we were in deep ****...

So on the way to the office we made up a story of how we were trying out a new bit for the show ..Otherwise It would have been our JOBS...McMillian was furious!!! " I don't know I think I'll Fire both your asses..Right Now!!!..If this get's back to the head office, Your gone"...Then he sat mumbling to himself..and said " Jamie if you and Piccard were not such an important part of this Alley and this show..You'd be fired, However, Bill Hamilton stands behind both of your sorry asse's So Your suspended for 3 days of work and PAY…

Return in 3 days and we see after that, Call in Sick for the next 3 days"...

So with that we were sent home like 2 school boys to think about the error of our ways.

...After we returned Jame's dog kept his distance from me and never again tryed anymore his crap with me...I guess he knew This dog's bites back...I often wonder what happened to him after, Circus world Closed...He worked there till the end...

Left to right bottom…Jimbo, Little-John, Terry (Married each other now work at Disney World last I heard), Irene(married to Jimbo Both work at Seaworld As far as I know)—Bill Hamilton Passed away about 9 years ago)

The show and clown alley was shaping up and the gags were the best they had ever been then by March of 1982..But I was really tired of it all...So I put in my 2 week notice as I had already planned leaving to return to my freelance life as a Magician in Wildwood N.J.

Then a week into my departure ,at a party at the Holiday Inn...A phone call came in from a policeman in Orlando ...I was told I had a call, From who?

Who besides the other clowns knew I was at a party...Someone in my family had called the police and the police called CW and the security informed them of the party...

My older brother,who had barely turned 40, had Died from a brain tumor. I went to my trailer park, packed my things and headed back to Carolina to bury him…

I was sad to leave that way, not really getting to thank all the people and for all the support and backing they had given me…I was to drop in from time to time, to say Hell-o and see how things had changed.

Bill Hamilton and I remained friends up until the time he passed away too.

Circus World closed it’s doors in May 1986....TOO SEE THE PHOTOs BECAUSE OF ALL THE SIZE
LIMITATIONS AND HOW MANY YOU CAN POST..YOU will have to go to http://www.whithaydn.com/smf/

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Veteran user
Maryland, USA
319 Posts

Profile of JesterMan
Hey folks... It was in a deleted post, but when Steve V said "here", he said that he meant in his home area; he didn't mean "here". . . on the Café.
JM Smile Smile

Balloons, Magic, Mayhem & More!

"... destined to take the place of the MudShark in your mythology... " FZ
Review King
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Eternal Order
14446 Posts

Profile of Review King
Always remember what Bozo the "King OF Clowns" said about makeup.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Jeffrey C. Pennell
3 Posts

I have been a semi pro clown for ten (10) years. When I started doing make-up, I was told that everybody has a clown face. The lines in your face are the out lines for the colors. Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get.

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