Clowning didn’t come to us on silver platter. It was out of necessity that our mother-daughter team was formed. Waiting in food stamp lines didn’t seem right to me after moving to Colorado. I made flyers for the Longmont Dairy so we could get free milk, eggs and cheese. I also joined “WIC” so my daughter could have cereal and juice. Times were really rough. I was a Certified Teacher in Texas, but I had to wait to take the PLACE EXAM before becoming certified in Colorado. Before obtaining a decent teaching job, we starved.
But then, I came up with a fairly brilliant idea. My daughter was talented, a performer and loved the spot-light! Her 4-H instructor asked if she and I would like to dress up for clowns for the annual 4-H party at her home.She became adept at making balloon animals and doing magic tricks. She also could do 3 hula-hoops at once, and a 40 foot hula we made from PVC pipe! I sang all of the Disney songs and did face-painting. Down the road, we bought a very expensive cotton candy machine!
That’s where it all started. We became the very famous “Sugar ‘N Spice Clowns for Kids” in Boulder County. We began getting call after call to do public events and children’s parties. Then, channel 54 in Boulder approached us to do our own comedy show for cable T.V. I was flown to NYC to interview with a children’s national show! Things were certainly looking up!
In 1994, our mother-daughter clown team came about. Together, we have done over 500 parties. It was a noble profession that we could do together and make money to buy necessary items. My daughter learned a lot in those years. Heck, so did I. When no one came to a young boy’s party, because the Mom had it on the 4th of July, Spice entertained the child and made him feel special. We left him with a BIG smile and warm heart! The mother stood in the corner crying the whole time we were there.
There was a party in Boulder where the Dad had a black Jaguar, and the birthday kid had a jumping castle, pony rides, sword fighting and a magician at his home. All of the guests ran from each performer, not knowing what to do. We figured they spent over 10K on their child’s 7th birthday. I wonder where you go from there? Maybe he received a trip to Paris on his 8th.
At one child’s party, his teenage brothers thought they’d throw eggs at us from the second story balcony, the dry-cleaning bill for the ruffly, clown suits cost over 75.00!
We expanded to do street performing on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. We made friends with Bongo the balloon guy who stands in front of Peppercorn. We became the clowns to come see on the Pearl Street Mall every summer. It wasn’t unusual that there was a line waiting for balloons!
Being a clown was a highlight of my life, and being able to perform for children with my own daughter was not only a blessing but a lot of fun. Of course, at times it was pretty difficult to do 3 parties in one day. We often came out of weekends pretty tired. I occasionally do parties for fundraisers now, and my daughter lives in NYC. Our last party together was over 8 years ago. At times, it’s an area of our lives we’d rather not re-visit, but all in all, who could ever say they were a famous clown who made thousands of children laugh?