How to Hire a Clown

If you're planning a kids' party and don't have time to plan for activities for 60-90 minutes, you should consider hiring a clown.


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    Create a list of local clowns. You may find listings in the phone book or from booking firms or agents, or you may have to locate them yourself by scanning advertisements and asking friends.
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    Gather recommendations. Ask other friends who have hired a clown about how their performance was, and if the clown acted appropriately and was reasonably entertaining.
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    Call up clowns that meet your kids' area of interest. Ask them about the typical age-group of the audience, length of the show and what a typical entertainment routine looks like.
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    Perform a background check on all of the performers you are planning on hiring. If the clown works through a bonded agency and has good references, this step may not be needed.
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    Schedule an interview with this performer. You can do this over the phone or in person. However, talking in person will give you a chance to observe his behavior and manner of speaking. If anything about his demeanor makes you uncomfortable, or if you're not impressed by how he describes his performance, don't hire him. An entertainer should, after all, be entertaining. Also, since you're having this performer in your house, you need to feel safe. If you find anything about the call or interview off-putting, move on and hire a different clown.
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    Contact his references. Find out if he puts on a good show! Ask detailed questions about his demeanor and performance.
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    Find out what his rates are. Negotiate if necessary and come to an agreement about payment.
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    Book early. Popular entertainers are booked at least a month in advance - late summer and fall are the busiest.
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    Ensure that you have a contract. Be clear about your expectations and make sure you examine what promises the performer makes. Consider whether there are any extra fees, whether he is bringing all his own supplies, and what his cancellation policy is.
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    Follow up. After the event, provide feedback so other parents don't have to do the same legwork again. If it was a good show, offer to be a reference for the clown. If not, consider putting a detailed review on whatever sites he uses to advertise and gather customer feedback.


  • Entertainers aren't as busy during March and April, so you may get one closer to your event than usual.
  • Ask about their specialty. For example, some entertainers specialize in magic and clowning - and may not do face-painting.
  • Some entertainers provide party favors too, which means additional savings for you.


  • Ask about cancellation policy. Most entertainers will allow you to reschedule the event within a year, but may not give you a refund if you wish to cancel.
  • Ask what happens if the entertainer cannot make it to the performance. Will they put in a good-faith effort to send a replacement entertainer who's just as good?

Article Info

Categories: Parties for Children