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*Classes are subject to change
What is a Main Course?
 
Every morning we break up into different courses. This allows you to dive deep into a topic you want to focus on. You will stay in the same course each morning - all week.
Wow, 9 hours of intense education you will get to build on each day.
Don’t worry; the afternoon is filled with workshops on a wide variety of clown arts topics.
Only your course needs to be decided before you come to camp. Tricia can help you decide what is best for you during your PEP talk. Afternoon workshops can be decided on the fly.    

 

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Main Course Options

Caring Clowning – Karen Hoyer

 

What better place for a clown than a nursing home – a place where joy and laughter can ease pain, and clown hi jinx can help erase loneliness. This work is challenging but truly rewarding. Karen brings over 20 years of experience performing in nursing homes and senior centers, working solo and with a partner. Here you can learn how to create material and work with a partner; explore music and skills that entertain, distract and redirect; discover how to “read the room” and make the right choices; and, above all, experience the joy of connecting with an open heart. We will also explore how to approach facilities, how to build a partnership with them, and how to present a professional proposal for an on-going program. This course includes a visit with residents in a local care facility, with Karen supervising visits. It creates the perfect safe and supportive environment to reach out as a clown who truly cares.

Note: It is recommended that you have the basics of clown make-up and character in place before launching into this specialized field.  Please bring any skills you want to share: musical instruments, puppets, juggling, magic tricks, poems, songs, and jokes.

Clowning 101* – Brittany Allen, Annette Darragh and Julia Swanson,

  

Learn the funny art of clowning from the ground up. Brittany, Annette and Julia will gently introduce you to make-up, costuming, character development, and performance skills. Their holistic approach will seamlessly interweave the skills that will start you on the road toward being a great clown. Their sharing-and-caring style will teach you volumes in a short time! When you leave Moose Camp, you will have all the basics you need to begin your new life as a clown. If you have never put on make-up before, then Clowning 101 is the right course for you!

* There is a $40 fee to buy the recommended make-up kit. In past years we simply had make-up at the table for everyone to use communally, but the risk of cross-contamination has now become an issue. For the health of our campers we can no longer offer it that way. The kit will contain all the necessary items to create both Auguste and Whiteface clown characters. There will be mirrors and containers of Q-tips and wet-wipes available for your use at the make-up table. Please know that we tried our best to put only the bare essentials in the kit and to keep it at wholesale cost. The kit we put together for you will be much cheaper than buying the same make-up separately in the Dealers Room.

The Clown Character – Angel Ocasio

“A clown is an extension of who you are.” In this 9-hour Course we will learn how to develop and understand the comedic character, “the fool.” We will work through clown routines, learning to keep the role of the fool simple, animated, and honest. It’s not the gag that makes the clown, it’s what the clown does, or discovers, while doing the gag that makes the audience connect with the clown. I will bring some clown gags to work on, but if you have a routine you are working on, or an idea, bring it. 

Exploring Clown Skills* – Iman Lizarazu and Christopher Hudert

Ready for an exploration of some skills that will enhance your current clowning? Iman and Christopher will work with you to lay a foundation in clown movement, juggling, balancing, and mask work. You will get the first building blocks of these skills and learn how to use and apply them in your clown adventure. Each skill will be explored through a series of exercises and scenarios that emphasize play and comedy. As we move forward we will incorporate how these skills can impact your character, movement, identity, voice, presence, solo and partner work, relationships with the audience, and, most importantly, performance.

*Course Requirement: This is NOT a beginner course. You should have a firm foundation in clowning and be open to being pushed in new directions to take this course. 

Home Town Clowning – Mike Fixer

You’ve explored the basics of clown make-up, character development, and costuming. Now, you’re ready to take the next step. But, how do you pull it all together into a performance? Where do you go? What do you do? Join Mike to explore the next steps to becoming a successful Clown. Learn how to create your own comic props and routines, whether performing solo, with a partner, or with a group. Gain an understanding of various types of walk-around props and where you can find items you can use to develop your own personal gags and routines. Spend some time with Mike to acquire information about some of the places and types of events where you can put your clown training and skills to use. Top all of this off with the data you need to help you successfully book your performances and you’re on your way to successful, fun-filled entertainment experiences for both you and your audiences.

It's Showtime! Sean Carlock and Jane Kinney

Compile, Create and Construct: Building a show with the tools you have! Is it on your clown bucket list to Compile, Create and Construct your very own clown show?  Well here is your opportunity! Sean Carlock and his sidekick Jane Kinney, who have done literally thousands of shows in a wide variety of venues, will teach you how to: COMPILE a list of your clown skills, CREATE ideas to accompany those skills and learn some new bits as you CONSTRUCT an amazing and dazzling Clown Show to take home to rehearse and do!  Please bring along what kind of show and theme you would like to work on, any ideas that you have already collected and be ready to Compile, Create and Construct: Let’s build a show with the tools you have! 

 

Magic Reduex – Fred Baisch

Do you ever feel like you have more invested in your magic tricks than the GDP of a small country? You don’t want to buy another one, but you don’t want to present the same ol’ thing again. In this course Fred will use several different standard tricks and explore various ways of performing them using different plots and patter to create different ways of presenting the same trick and making it look different and/or specially made for the occasion or holiday.  

 
Afternoon Workshops – Alphabetically by Staff Name

Brittany Allen

Beginning Balloons – Part 1: How to Blow Up, Tie, & Twist Balloons   

For beginners only! Learn the basics to get you started on this fun and lucrative hobby. We’ll start with choosing the right balloon, how to inflate it, and be providing the hands-on help you need to learn all the twists you need create simple balloon creations. Brittany will show you her favorite twists and simple designs for newbies. If you have balloons and a pump, bring them.

Beginning Balloons – Part 2:  Creating My Favorite Simple Balloons    

        

You don’t have to have gone to the Part 1 workshop, but you do have to know how to inflate and tie a balloon as well as some basic twists. We will build on that basic knowledge to create some of my favorite balloon sculptures that are simple but impressive for newbies and that will work for line work! If you have a pump and balloons, bring them. 

Caring Clowns: How To    

Learn the art of being a Caring Clown. We’ll discuss what you can and cannot do when you visit a hospital, nursing home, children’s shelter, or similar venues.  Brittany will share what’s in her bag of goodies, for ideas and tips on ways to make your visit fun and memorable. 

Easy Marketing for Clowns

                  

From your first impression, to your final thank-you card (you DO send thank-you cards, right?), I’ll share basic, yet critical tips for marketing yourself and your clowning business. We’ll talk about what’s important and developing a marketing strategy that will help your business shine.

Marketing Tips: Pro & Volunteer (with Dennis Burkholder)   

These two clowns know a thing or two about marketing and social media. Brittany and Dennis will share a few of their BEST TIPS for improving your marketing and social media game.

Fred Baisch

Change Bags – It’s All in the Bag           

             

Paddles, twist handle, and tote bags are three types of change bags that you will frequently see used for magic tricks. But why are some bags better for certain tricks than others? Is a three-sided bag really necessary? Come learn the correct bag to use, and when, and how to use and display it without exposing the trick. Then you can successfully use it with ropes, silk, and any number of other objects and patters.

 

Do That Magic Trick Again – Only Different

Fred will highlight one aspect of his Magic Redeux course and show how a single trick (or two) can be tweaked and/or re-worked to be presented in a variety of ways and venues. This workshop will also explore various ways of performing them using different plots and patter to create different ways of presenting the same trick.

Fun Stuff for Up Close

 

A clown workshop by Fred that doesn’t have any (well, much) magic in it. Learn how to engage a small group, entertain a line, or table hop with a variety of easy to learn routines and props. From the classic napkin rose, to dollar bill folding, to jumping paper clips, and more, this workshop will equip you with the skill to entertain almost anywhere with a variety of everyday objects. 

 

Meet & Greet Coaching

                      

The core of Meet & Greet and Walk Around work is often interaction. Bring your favorite Meet & Greet and/or Walk Around props for some one-on-one coaching so that you can get more out of the props you are using. Don’t have a prop? That’s okay. Come and observe, or better yet, see how you can interact effectively as a clown with no props at all!

 

 

Dennis Burkholder - Guest Instructor

 

Making the Most of Media

Looking to upgrade your social media pages? Don’t understand social media? Web Site challenged? Whether you understand social media or are just beginning to find your feet, this class will help you understand how to apply concepts and best practices to run effective social media campaigns that yield ROI and meet your objectives. You will learn the pillars of digital marketing such as content marketing, SEO, paid advertising, video and data analytics. For each student that does not have a business profile on social media, we will help you setup your account for you.  

Marketing Tips: Pro & Volunteer (with Dennis Burkholder)   

These two clowns know a thing or two about marketing and social media. Brittany and Dennis will share a few of their BEST TIPS for improving your marketing and social media game.
 

Sean Carlock

Character Development Through Improv

Sean will show you how improvisation can be used in your clowning, not just to entertain but as a tool to strengthen your interactions with your clients and your audience and to build and develop a character. It is said the best improvisation is well rehearsed.

It’s Magic! Fun Stuff for Stage & Strolling

Sean will present an exciting array of tricks that you can do on stage or on the go. Then, he will break the ‘magician’s code’ and show you how it’s done. Mind reading, prediction, ropes, sponge balls, cards, classic illusions, tear/cut and restore paper, penetration, levitation, and more! The only way to find out what he is revealing is to come to the workshop! Sean’s not a dealer so he’s not going to sell you anything, but if you’re lucky he might have some handouts for free. He also says that a lot of these things can be purchased in the dealers room, even though he isn’t getting a kickback.

Super Science Show for Under $100

You don’t have to break the bank to do a super science show. There lots of cool, fun, Science related things you can do (in or out of clown) to put together a show or program. We’ll look at 4 – 6 different ‘tricks’ that involve real world magic (aka Science) and various ways to present them. Come see how some of the simplest things, presented well, can really have a big pay off.

The Art of Working With Soap

Watch as Sean turns ordinary bar soaps into the best clown cream pies you've ever seen! He will show you the ideal soap, tools, and supplies to use for whipping up the frothiest soap. Learn ways of incorporating soap into your clown skits large and small.

Annette Darragh

The Adaptable Clown (with Karen Hoyer)

Is your clown ready for their close up? If you plan to perform for children in a classroom or for elders in a nursing home, you should consider adjustments to your make up and costume AND to your movement and gestures.  What works for a parade or an auditorium might need to be adapted when you work one-on-one, up close. Annette and Karen will help you keep the essence of your clown character while adapting it for different situations.

Advanced Face Painting: Masks, Bling, & Zing!

       

So you’ve been painting for a while, and want to know what’s new. How about adding eye masks, bling, and embellishments to your skills? Annette will give you all the tips and tricks you need to add the zing to simple designs to make it something spectacular and take your face paining to the next level! Note: NOT for beginners!

Beginning Face Painting

             

This workshop is set up to allow you access to the paints, try them out, and get some hands-on experience. It is a perfect way for you to find out if you like face painting. Annette will introduce you to the products and process and guide you through the basic brush techniques necessary to make your artwork pop.

Caring Clown Performances

             

Annette will teach the ins and outs of hospital clown performances, sharing her tips on how what to do (and what not to do). From rules and regulations to hospital humor, you will get an inside look at the difficult yet rewarding field of performing in hospitals, nursing homes, children’s shelters, and other facilities.

Makeup 911 (with Tricia)

                 

The All Star Clown Show is tomorrow and your makeup is just not coming together as fast as you’d like. Don’t panic! Come to the Makeup Lab for a bit of last minute help. Annette and Tricia will be there to help you cure those jitters and hiccups to get a nice, clean, look for the show.

 

Brian Fason - Guest Instructor

BINGO! How to do a Program in Hospitals & Nursing Homes

Brian (Fazo the clown) has a successful Bingo program running in an Alabama hospital! Learn how to set one up at your local hospital or nursing home! It's fun and it's doable with Fazo's ‘how to’ list! Let's keep the clowns in our health facilities! The Bingo Show is a great idea for you and your clown club. With Fazo’s method, you too can be a Bingo Show star!

Mike Fixer

Brainstorming: Creating Your Comic Ideas

 

Do you think you lack creativity?  Do you feel your creativity has dried up?  Does it take a long time to come up with new ideas for props and routines?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone.  Most of us go through creative dry spells.  Learn how to use brainstorming to break out of those dry spells to begin creating new props and routines for your clown character, clown alley, or that special event you just booked.

Fill Your Pockets and Walk-Around

      

You just booked your first picnic!  What will you do?  Or, maybe it’s a walk-around party gig.  What can you do?  It could be that close-up show that is running a little fast and you’re running a little short on material.  What to do?  Pocket gags may be just the thing!  Get ideas for filling your pockets and having fun with your audience.

Meet & Greet Coaching

              

The core of Meet & Greet and Walk Around work is often interaction. Bring your favorite Meet & Greet and/or Walk Around props for some one-on-one coaching so that you can get more out of the props you are using. Don’t have a prop? That’s okay. Come and observe, or better yet, see how you can interact effectively as a clown with no props at all!

Parade Performance with Props - Do’s & Don’ts

         

Looking for a great parade experience? There are many types of props that can be used in parades. This workshop will set the stage for having a great time entertaining parade audiences and working with your parade props. Join the discussion and learn about the important considerations when booking, preparing for, and performing in parades.

The Prop Shop - Make It & Take It Walk-Around Props – See Open Lab Times 

Looking for a new walk-around prop? Need a walk-around prop to entertain the audience pre/post show or during intermission at the Mooseburger All Star Clown Show? Visit the prop tent during scheduled prop making hours to make your own parade board or other walk-around prop to use as part of the show and to create your very own kazoo instrument for the Clown Band. Take your new prop home and add it to your future performances. There will be a limited number of each prop, so availability will be on a first come basis. A small materials fee will be charged for each prop made.

Wardrobe As Props

                 

Is your clown wardrobe just a costume; or is it something that becomes a part of who you are and what you do?  Your wardrobe must not only look good but must also be functional.  Your ability to use parts of your wardrobe as props will enhance your performance.  Explore how to use your wardrobe as something more than just a costume and entertain your audience in the process.

 

Karen Hoyer

 

The Adaptable Clown (with Annette Darragh)

         

Is your clown ready for their close up? If you plan to perform for children in a classroom or for elders in a nursing home, you should consider adjustments to your make up and costume AND to your movement and gestures.  What works for a parade or an auditorium might need to be adapted when you work one-on-one, up close. Annette and Karen will help you keep the essence of your clown character while adapting it for different situations.

Caring Clown Field Trip - Friday 2:00pm   

Clown Dance

          

Try out a few crazy dance steps and then learn a simple dance routine. Will you dance a little solo, do duo dance with comic interruptions, or can we improvise our own dance steps and string them into a group routine?  Come and have fun with a dance teacher who doesn't know which one is her right foot!

Your Performance Critique

Are you ready to take the next step in your solo work? You’ve created a routine, you’ve been performing it for a while, but now you’d like to go a little further? Bring in your best three minutes and get a friendly but honest response to the script, the movement, the vocal variety, and the skills used. Meanwhile, as you watch your classmate’s routines, learn how to watch, how to verbalize suggestions, and what techniques to use to make it a critique and not a criticism. NOTE: Be ready to perform a prepared 3 minute routine (NOT an improv). Class is limited to three routines (solo or duo) per session. Additional people are welcome to attend and observe the process.

 

Christopher Hudert

Meet & Greet Coaching

                 

The core of Meet & Greet and Walk Around work is often interaction. Bring your favorite Meet & Greet and/or Walk Around props for some one-on-one coaching so that you can get more out of the props you are using. Don’t have a prop? That’s okay. Come and observe, or better yet, see how you can interact effectively as a clown with no props at all!

Puppets Alive!

           

While the ‘breath’ of the puppet is important that, alone, is little more than life support. If you want your puppets to LIVE, you’ve got to give them CPR: Character, Presence, and Relationship. Come explore the simple, little things that help determine who/what the puppet is as a character, what makes it present and real, and how it relates to you and the audience. Together, these elements will bring your puppet pal (and performance) to life. If you have a puppet, bring it, but you can come alone too!

Staging and Rehearsing Your Routine

  

Learn how to stage your routine, gag, or show for best audience appeal. We'll cover the basic things in staging and presentation that are often overlooked and tricks to make that old routine sparkle. Once you know your part and your blocking, you (and anyone else in the skit) need to rehearse to get it down pat. Bring a routine, gag or bit of business and we'll work some specific ideas for improvement.

New Life for Old Routines

  

Are you doing a routine that’s lost its sparkle and appeal for both you and the audience? Do you have a favorite routine that is outdated or so over-done you’re afraid to present it? Maybe your body doesn’t work like it used to, or you’ve lost your performing partner. How do you overcome those obstacles and still present your material? Come see how you can revisit, renew, redo, rework, and most importantly revive old material for fresh appeal. 

Surviving Physical Comedy (for the Not So Physical!)

Physical Comedy doesn't just mean falling down or getting beat up, especially as the body ages or otherwise gets less limber. Learn how to move and use your body within your physical limitations for the best comic results. Walks, takes, pacing, postures, gestures, timing, shifts, reactions, levels, and so on, can all add to your performance without injury. We'll examine facial, body, and vocal expressiveness, pacing, energy, and physical levels, and how movement makes our actions speak louder than words.

Sandy Kephart

Clowning in the Classroom

         

In a classroom you have a captive audience, but how do you keep them captivated? Sandy will share with you some of her tips and techniques to keep a young, restless, audience engaged. She will also talk about what sort of show to do in a classroom, and how to incorporate a message (like reading or safety) into your show.

Iman Lizarazu 

Comic Juggling

         

So you have the basic skill mastered, but you have no idea how to use your clown character while juggling, right? Come learn some simple moves, bits, and shtick to add the fun and the funny to your juggling routine and get more mileage out of this great skill! If you have juggling supplies, bring them.

Introduction to Mask

         

While clowning is a removal of life’s external masks, the use of Comedia masks can inform and infuse your clown character with an inner life. Iman’s extensive training and experience will give you rich insights into using masks to reveal the physical comedy that will bring new life to your character. Be prepared to explore movement that will shed a whole new light on your clowning!

Heather McFall - Guest Instructor

Overcoming Stage Fright & Fear of  Criticism

If you have ever “had your feelings hurt” or declined performing due to fear, this is the workshop for you. This one hour intensive workshop will teach mind tools and techniques to reduce stage fright and take feedback without diminishing your confidence. Heather will reveal the difference between useful and un-useful feedback and how both can be beneficial! This will be a fast paced and focused hour you don’t want to miss.

 

Tricia Manuel

 

Lite Makeup & Costumes for RNR & Caring Clowns

     

RNR and Caring Clowns get up close and personal. It’s the time to tone down the ‘over the top’ costume and makeup to something that works in a small setting and in subtle ways say ‘clown’ without screaming it through a bullhorn. Come let Tricia and Stacey guide you through the process of finding what works in these more personal and rewarding avenues of clowning.

Makeup 911 (with Annette Daragh)

            

The All Star Clown Show is tomorrow and your makeup is just not coming together as fast as you’d like. It’s time to come to the Makeup Lab for a bit of last minute help. Annette and Tricia will be there to help you cure those jitters and hiccups to get a nice, clean, look for the show.

Red Nose Reader Program

            

The Red Nose Reader program was launched at Mooseburger Camp in 2019 as a ready-made program to take home! It’s important message, aimed at small children and teachers alike and delivered through a quality reading program, has taken off. If you are not in the RNR Course, come get an introduction to the program and see how you can share the fun and help turn the focus back to the joy of clowning.

Angel Ocasio

Partners in Comedy

Whether you work as a solo act or with a partner, this workshop will teach you simple techniques to bring out the best in your partnership with another clown or an audience member volunteer.

Comedy With Music

Do you play the ukulele, the trumpet, a Kazoo or another musical instrument? Learn to incorporate it into your comedy routine.

Physical & Slapstick Comedy

Physical comedy will help to animate your character and engage your audience. Whether you do subtle physical movements or comedy slapstick, learn to do it safely, effectively, and believably. 

Silent Clowning

In this workshop you will learn how to use body gestures, facial expressions, and emotions (no words, but some use of sounds) to communicate and entertain your audience.

Strolling Entertainment

Use a hat, an umbrella, stickers, and other various props to entertain people while strolling at fairs, festivals and other events.

Neal Skoy

Pathos, Poetics, and Vulnerability

The secret to the best clowning lives in the heart. Inspired by Russian and theatrical clowning, here we will explore a new depth and angle of clown that few dare to dabble in. We will get to the CORE of your clown character and play with sweet moments that add depth to your character and performance as a whole. Prepare to look past the “waka-waka” and consider how to make clowning an ARTFORM once again.

Writing Comedy

The elusive art of writing funny things… How do you take a situation, or a skill, or a prop and make it hilarious? We will discuss how to write comedy, how to compose material, and how to write a full out comedy act. Be ready to take notes, and brainstorm in the funniest think tank at Moosecamp!

Julia Swanson

Basic Sign Language Phrases for Clowns

Have you ever met a deaf child or family while at an event? They are all around us and love to laugh just like everyone else. Come in to get some handouts with pictures and you'll leave with some greetings and phrases you can use in your clowning! It may be a start, but it can mean the world to someone that you took the time to learn a few words to communicate with them.

Developing Unconventional Clown Characters

Clowning is undergoing an evolution and clowns can be found in all sorts of unexpected places. People are beginning to accept clowns in hospitals, nursing homes, and care facilities, but what other places are they found today? What about the theater, Ren Fairs, etc.? Do they even look like clowns? Sometimes they don the red nose, sometimes not. How do you develop a clown character that works outside of the circus or birthday party? Julia will help you explore new layers and looks to develop your unconventional clown character.

 

Meet & Greet Coaching

The core of Meet & Greet and Walk Around work is often interaction. Bring your favorite Meet & Greet and/or Walk Around props for some one-on-one coaching so that you can get more out of the props you are using. Don’t have a prop? That’s okay. Come and observe, or better yet, see how you can interact effectively as a clown with no props at all!

 

Modern Make-Up for Today’s Clown

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. Times are changing and makeup is too! There are so many more brands and types of makeup to use as well as new ways to use what we already have. This class will be all about how to make your makeup more current. BUT just because modern clowns are sometimes using a minimal makeup doesn’t mean that’s the only way. This class is all about knowing what your options are, and hopefully giving you some new ones as well!

Silly Songs and Fun with the Ukelele

This class is for anyone thinking “I learned a few chords! Now what?” We will learn some basic songs you can use anywhere in your clowning. These could be used in hospitals, birthday parties, shows, parades, and any sing along. This class is open to all levels of ukulele knowledge because no matter where you are at, you will have a new song to take home!

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