Great Clown Portraits Are Just The Beginning!!!!

Posts tagged ‘Clown College’

Introducing Ron Maslanka AKA Sam the clown


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Today we have the pleasure of meeting Clown #16 from my Watercolor Clown Series, Ron Maslanka AKA SAM THE CLOWN.  Ron lives in Howell, New Jersey so if you’re looking for a clown for your events be sure to check him out.

I will have a follow-up post which will  show the creation of his watercolor painting.  Please take the time to check it out.  Prints are available from “me” the artist or from many of the print on demand sites.  Ron also benefits from any sale of one of his prints.

sam the clown copyHow long have you been a clown?

I’ve been a clown since the day I was born…just didn’t realize it till I got a summer job performing at Great Adventure in 1975!

Who inspired you to become a clown?

Steve Gerber’s Man-Thing comic book issues 5 & 6

Who do you give credit to in helping you advance your art in clowning?

So, so many….from the very beginning Karen “Prunes” & David Shore who helped me find my first face and costume, Mike Mochen and Penn Gilette who taught me to juggle and ride unicycle, to all the wonderful teachers at Clown College, including Lou Jacobs and Frost Little and Barry Lubin, and Dean of Clown College Bill Ballentine, and his son Toby, who I clowned with years later, my Ringling Boss Clown, Steve LaPorte and my Producing Clown, the amazing Mark Anthony, to my longtime clown partner Mark “Happy Jack” Clark and, of course my daughter, Little Samy herself, Emily Season, who continues to challenge me..

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 Where did you receive training & where did you get your first big break?

1st break- Great Adventure gig-training began there, then Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey-Circus Clown College, Blue Show, and every days since….

 Are you still Clowning?

Since 1975, Yes!

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Are you involved with any clown organizations?

I’m Ringling Alumni, but no formal associations other than my own production company Aardvark Entertainment and Emily Season’s Dragonfly Productions.

What kind of clown are you?

I’m an auguste.

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Tell us about your particular clown image and how you decided on that look?

Sam is me…

Have you ever worked in a Circus and if so which ones? 

Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus

sam 1

What kind of functions are you hired for example: conventions, parties…

Promotional events mostly, some school shows and corporate and private functions.

Do you have bits that are standard in the clown world or do you create your own acts?

I LOVE the classic clown gags and I perform Dead and Alive and Washer Women and all those whenever I can, but most of my stuff is original.

Do you use props?  If so do you make them yourself?

Yes, props…  mostly made by me.

If you are in a parade  do you ride anything? Bike, Unicycle, Clown car?

I’ve ridden parades on a unicycle and walked parades on stilts.

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Is there video we can watch of you on the web acting as a clown for us to enjoy?

View Video of Sam the Clown on the Dragonfly Productions Web Page

 Sam The Clowns Web page

The Magic Aardvark on Facebook

Dinosauron On Facebook

 Do you have any clown wisdom to pass on to fellow younger clowns who are starting out in the business?

A Clown is a “collector of moments…”

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If you can say one word that summed up all your years of clowning – what would it be?   

…”Shazam”

10516804_10154316983700263_6520794443979204985_n What are you long term goals in clowning?

Long term: keep doing this as long as I still love it…Shorter term: next big project: Dinosaur Circus!

CONTACT INFORMATION

Ron Maslanka “SAM the Clown”

PO Box 274

Howell, NJ 07731

(732) 367-7336

Dragonfly Productions

http://www.dragonflyproductions.net

Party and Event Entertainment

Ron Maslanka


Sell Art Online

 I hope you have enjoyed this post about another wonderful clown.

Until next time. Happy Clowning!

Thanks to Ron for all his help in creating this blog.  I hope this was an accurate portrayal of this amazing clown.

Patty Sue O’Hair –Vicknair Clown Artist

psovart@gmail.com

Follow my clown art on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/pages/PS-OV-ART-Patty-Sue-OHair-Vicknair-Artist/120774855204

Please like this blog and share among your clown friends.  All comments are welcome!

The next post will be the painting progression. Check it out!

clown art canvas prints

American Clown Academy


If  you looking for affordable clown training in a great location check this out!

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The American Clown Academy came to life in 2012. Since then it has had a unique and honored place in the halls of Education in the Clowning Arts.

The Academy started as a partnership between two friends: Jeffrey Potts and Mike Wesley. They wanted to create the very best value and opportunity for clowns and other performers to polish their skills. The numbers say that they have succeeded.

Jeffery Potts began his entertaining career 30 years ago, entertaining kids and adults all over the Canton Ohio area. He moved on to teaching and sharing his appreciation for the arts 15 years ago. In that time he has helped many people to hone their skills and become better entertainers and clowns. His very strong connections to the clown teaching community make it possible for the Academy to continue to attract the finest instructors who wish to help others to achieve their goals of becoming the best entertainers that they can possibly be.

Mike Wesley started clowning 25 years ago, when he founded a weekend clown convention called ClownTown in Newark Ohio. The desire to create a learning environment has continued from those early ClownTown days right up to the present with the American Clown Academy. His organizational skills make sure that the Academy has all the facilities that it needs to continue its mission.

The co-directors of the Academy, Jeff Potts and Mike Wesley, met in the early years of the ClownTown experience. They formed a friendship that has continued to the present day. They had a series of conversations in 2011 where they discussed what would the perfect clown education experience look like. They knew that the best education would occur when students could meet the best instructors in the very smallest class sizes, so that skills could be passed along in a one-on-one type of situation. (Oh, and it should be affordable so that as many people could benefit as possible.)

The Academy is the result of those discussions. Here, the instructors are all the very best in their particular fields. They are given great latitude in their teaching assignments so that they are able to teach what they feel is most important, in the way that is the most beneficial. Their dedication to passing along their knowledge is a cornerstone in the Academy experience. The class sizes are kept as low as possible so that the individual learning experiences can occur. The ratio of students to teachers is approximately  3 to 1.

Another key to making the Academy experience work is the setting. The Academy happens in a small Midwestern town called Newark, in central Ohio. The facilities are a kid’s summer camp, named Camp O’Bannon. This camp has been providing a free summer camping experience to hundreds of kids a year for the past 90 years. And during one week in August, it is the home of the Academy. Due to space limitations at the camp, there will never be more than 50 students. Thus, our goal is not a greater quantity of students, but rather a better quality experience for those students.

The camp experience starts with possibilities for daily exercise. Then it moves on to a full breakfast in the dining room. Lectures fill up the rest of the morning, leading into a camp lunch for everyone. There is an opportunity every day for campers to practice their entertaining skills before an audience of their peers and instructors. This provides a means of getting feedback on what they are doing, and how to improve it. Then there is the afternoon lecture, followed by a catered dinner each day. One more lecture in the evening rounds out the day. All the time after that is open, to allow for a chance to socialize and chat with friends, and to collaborate with others.

The American Clown Academy has pioneered giving students the best individualized education at the lowest possible cost. We take our pioneering status very seriously, and we will keep striving to make the Academy experience the very best in the clowning and entertaining arts.

American Clown Academy Web Page

American Clown Academy on Facebook

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The Amazing Herky The Clown


Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a great clown Mr. Dale Smith A.K.A . Herky the Clown.   He resides in Massillon Ohio and is very well known they even have a Herky Day.   Herky happens to be one of the clowns that has granted permission for me to paint his image.  He is Watercolor Clown #9  Dale “Herky” Smith.  I really enjoyed working with him  and I am sure you will like him to.

So let’s get to know him better.

Herky and Nina  reunited

Herky and Nina Reunited

1. How long have you been a clown?

I have been a clown all of my life.  I was voted class clown in high school, but professionally trained since 1987. 

Young Herky

Young Herky

2. Who inspired you to become a clown?

I don’t know that I was inspired from the beginning. But I always loved Dick Van Dyke as a child.   When I was 3 I was in the hospital for a few days and my parents brought me a stuffed clown. Still have it.  Maybe that planted a seed?  

3. Where did you receive training?  & 4.  What people do you give credit to in helping you advance your art in clowning? 

I had always been intrigued by magic.  In the 10th grade we had a child development class and each one of us students had to do a lesson plan.  For the entertainment, I wanted to do magic.  Mrs. Marshall, the teacher, agreed that maybe a clown character would be fun for the preschool kids that were going to be brought in.  It was pretty scary.  I had no idea what I was doing.   

The make-up was horrible.  I used white shoe polish. (See pic)  I began to read books and talk to people in theater.  We didn’t have the internet like we do today.

The whole program went fairly well even though I was a scary looking clown.  Before long some of the elementary classes were asking me to come and perform for them.  Over the next two years I was doing shows pretty regularly.

By the time I was a senior in high school, the guidance counselor Miss Umbs informed me about Clown College.  Amazingly enough I was accepted for the 1987 session.  And it’s been a lifelong passion ever since.

For some reason Lou and Frosty (instructors at the Clown College) thought it always got a huge laugh when I big fella was playing the "Ma" in a gag

For some reason Lou and Frosty (instructors at the Clown College) thought it always got a huge laugh when I big fella was playing the “Ma” in a gag

5. Are you involved with any clown organizations?

  I belong to several organizations.  Some local, some on a national level.   

6. How do you feel your clown has evolved over time? How did you settle on the particular style and design of your clown or the personality you try to project as a clown?

Original Photo

Herky the Clown

My character has aged in place.  Herky was bald, older looking clown by most counts.  I had actually started out as a white face clown.  But after training and character development, the inner self comes oozing out through your pores.  

Projecting Herky is just self-promotion.  Inside I am that fun loving; help anyone I can, practical joker that is Herky.  Herky and Dale are pretty much inseparable.

7. I have learned a little more about clowns and I know there are different types of clowns, What kind of clown are you and what do you feel is your clowns most interesting characteristic?

  I am definitely an Auguste style clown.  Herky is very patriotic; he loves his country and his fellow countrymen. 

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8. Have you ever worked in a Circus and if so which ones?

I have had the privilege of touring with the Kelly Miller Circus when it was 3 rings under a big top.  I’ve worked many shrine circus dates for the late George Hubler of the International Circus of the same name.  I’ve done some local TV spots; the class of 1987 was featured with Dick Van Dyke on a TV special all about Clown College.

In the 1987 Dick Van Dyke Show this was the amazing set we got to perform on.  trap doors, hidden panels, it was great

In the 1987 Dick Van Dyke Show this was the amazing set we got to perform on. trap doors, hidden panels, it was great

1987 Herky and Dick Van Dyke

1987 Herky and Dick Van Dyke

Kelly Miller Burglars the safe cracker gag

Kelly Miller Burglars the safe cracker gag

Kelly Miller 3 ring ticket wagon

Kelly Miller 3 ring ticket wagon

9. What kind of functions are you hired for example: conventions, parties…

  I still do public functions.  Corporate events, school assemblies.  Just about anything I am asked to be at.  I have also mixed a lot of the clown and magic into ministry work.  It’s a neat “medium” if you will to teach bible stories in an interesting manner.

10. Do you have bits that are standard in the clown world or do you create your own acts?  

There are some standard bits in the world of clowndom, but I usually have to put my own spin on things.  I have attended lectures, watched other performers, and although the material they were teaching was stellar, it didn’t always work for my character.

Ahhhh yes the old skeleton chase.....

Ahhhh yes the old skeleton chase…..

11. Do you use props? 

Props are a necessary item in any show.  I usually stick to the basics though.  I met a clown once who just kept pulling prop after prop after prop out of an oversized gym bag.  After 3 minutes the kids were all bored and out of control.  

Learning how to sew with the seamstresses so I can make outfits and props

Learning how to sew with the seamstresses so I can make outfits and props

11A. If so did you make them yourself?  

Some props are handmade, many are off the shelf, and I have some really talented friends who are able to help with custom stuff.

12. If you are in a parade do you ride anything? Bike, Unicycle, Clown car?

Parades are great.  I usually like to ride on some kind of vehicle.  I was in an accident YEARS ago and often makes it difficult to walk long distances.   Fire trucks are awesome.  We have a HERKY day in Massillon Ohio every year at Meadow Wind Health Care center.  It’s always a fun guess for the kids to figure out how I will arrive.  Once by ambulance, motorcycle, horseback, antique car. Right now we are working on a miniature fire truck that will be used in parades as well as fire education at local schools and fire departments.

Herkys parade fire truck

Herkys parade fire truck

13. Is there video we can watch of you on the web acting as a clown for us to enjoy?

  There are several videos on you tube if you type in Herky the Clown Ohio they will come up.   Right now I am on face book, and our web page is down for updates. We will be doing lectures in both clowning and magic and selling our products via the web.   I’m always willing to help others any way I can. 

Here are Dale “Herky” Smith web contact information

Dale Smith (Herky) on Facebook

Dales Facebook page

Photography Prints

If you happen to be in the Ohio area and you need a great clown – call Herky!

I hope you have enjoyed this post about another wonderful clown.

Until next time. Happy Clowning!

Thanks to Dale for all his help in creating this blog.

Patty Sue O’Hair – Vicknair Clown artist to the world

psovart@gmail.com

Follow my art on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/pages/PS-OV-ART-Patty-Sue-OHair-Vicknair-Artist/120774855204

Please like this blog and share among your clown friends.  All comments are welcome!

Watercolor Clown # 9

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