Clowns Jester Slapstick

    entertainer
    clown tom bolton

The show that's fun for everyone!
clowns parties festivals
fan page (faq)
...So, what´s the clown Tom Bolton show all about?...

Well, like I advertise “fun for everyone” which means it's a clown show that entertains people of all ages from kids and adults to the grandparents. It's fun on an intelligent level that either a room full of kids or a bunch of executive business people can appreciate.

I try to make the people feel involved without just embarrassing them. Getting an 80 year old German here in Stuttgart to play along and "shake their booty" or do something weird is really what clowning is all about for me. I've recently improved my costumes which look nice, a bit silly but subtle.

Although I like to use my technical skills of juggling, unicycling, magic, pantomime, improvisation and balloon modelling, my emphasis is on fun rather than technique. A well timed appearance of a rubber snake or even just a funny face can be more entertaining than juggling 5 clubs behind the back. I love improvising and making my show interactive with the audience. My background as a street performer trained me to adapt to nearly any situation. Although I especially like to play at festivals, even when I play on a stage, I try to integrate the audience into the show.

The stereotype of the painted clown with the guady cloths and bigs shoes using old boring cliches for gags are not what clowning is about for me. Kids love the show without me playing the pathetic "kiddy clown". Actually, nothing scares a 2-3 year old more than a painted face and a big red nose and the older kids are thinking of Stephen King's or Ted Bundy's version.

...number one question I GET ASKED...

how did you get started in all of this, did ya´grow up in a circus family or what?

Not exactly, although having 9 brothers and sisters it seemed like a zoo at times. I got a degree in finance and economics at the University of Dayton where I started juggling and unicycling as a hobby. Having added some magic, balloon-modeling and improvisation, by the end of my studies, street shows were putting food on the table. Rather do a normal 9 to 5 job, I decided to travel and see the world and gave it a shot to make my way by performing.

I currently live in Stuttgart in the southwestern part of Germany called Baden-Württemberg. Since 1983, I've based myself in Europe, making most of my money in the warmer months and when I have the time and money, traveling in winter somewhere in Asia, Latin America or Africa. In third world countries I often make spontaneous shows for the people just for fun, often by using fruits in the market places to juggle with or workshops at any circus school projects I locate. It establishes a nice contact with the locals, who I've often photographed. I've exhibited my photos but never pursued this on a professional level. I have a seperate website with stories and photos from my world travels at www.world-traveler.eu

It has been a special pleasure for me to have met many fellow jugglers and performers throughout the world. Especially in Latin America, I've been inspired by the efforts of performers who not only teach circus skills to children but through their performances, help to educate people about human rights and dignity and to inspire many to see beyond their experiences of poverty, war and violence. I've published stories about my ideas on juggling, clowning and performing, including tales of my travels in both Kaskade (a European juggling magazine) and 2-Ply Press (a defunct US juggling publication).

...Second most asked question...
Can you live from this? 

Well, I'm still alive and have earned my money exclusively from performing since attending University but I'm not rich and doubt I ever will be. Are there any rich clowns? Unfortunately, it seems to be getting tougher to make it as a performer. People do not realize that for every hour one is actually making a show, there is at least 5 hours office work, training and designing promo material, costumes or new material.

Recently many promoters have been organizing events as a competition. Professionals should compete like beginners and be judged under arbitrary criteria to see who actually gets paid something. Worse yet, some organizers neither pay nor give a prize. Participating performers should beg with our hats while the organizers pocket all the profits. Some festivals bring in literally tens of millions of dollars to the local economy and yet the performers are hardly paid. I refuse to support this shameful mistreatment of artists. If a city festival's budget for rental-toilets is more than the budget for the performers, then there is something wrong. Which, by the way, means increase the money for the artists - not just decrease the budget for the toilets as one brilliant organizer suggested! Please support fair treatment of the entertainers who bring a little joy into peoples lives! 

Another thing I find sad is that although people in Germany claim to love their children, they won't budget money for quality entertainment for them. A good magician is provided for the adults, he does a 40 minute show and gets a few thousand euros but the clown should play all day long in a corner somewhere, often without being given a dressing room, place to rest or food and he should be happy with a couple hundred euros. When I say my prices, I often hear "what! but it's for kids!" as if it is self evident that what is good for kids cannot have much value. Many people refuse to pay a couple hundred Euros for a kid's birthday party although taking them to an amusement park or the cinema and getting them popcorn would probably cost more - and these are people who have a Porsche. If you don't support quality entertainemnt then the only thing left available will be junk and there is more than we need of that.

Why did you end up in Germany?

Good question. Wish I had a good answer. I considered it like missionary work to bring humor to the Germans but truthfully every culture and person has a funny bone; that's the challenge for a good clown, to find out what it is and give it a good tweak. Actually, I would travel throughout Europe from Scandinavia to Italy, from Spain to Austria and Germany just happens to be in the middle, the economy is in fair shape (compared to say Albania anyway) and neither your person nor your vehicle gets robbed often. I mean there are worse places to be! (aren't there?)

What`s your most interesting performing experience?

Gosh, guess I'd have to mention a few. I did an impromptu show once in Papua New Guinea where people freaked out when I magically vanished a hankerchief. Sorcery is assumed to be behind most negative occurances and I was obviously a dude to be reckonend with. Then, I casually said I would return to the market place in a couple of hours, when I arrived there were about 2000 people waiting for me. I also had someone dive off the top of a department store just around the corner from where I was performing. Either the guy didn't like my show much or else he just got a little too close to the edge trying to check out the action.

The coolest thing has to be when the wife of an American GI based in Stuttgart went into labor from laughing so hard at my show. The GI told me he thinks of me every time he sees his daughter. So, take this as a disclaimer, my show may not be suitable for pregnant women (or men) with an overly excitable sense of humor. Otherwise, my show is healthy for providing 100% of the daily recommended dosage of laughter.

Clowns Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg Clowns Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg

...What`s the future?...

If I knew that, I would have stuck to finance and made zillions picking stocks. As a clown and performer, I hope to establish myself a little better so I can have more 1 week festivals in Copenhagen and 2 weeks in Singapore rather than the 1 day bratwurst and sauerkraut fests and Sunday openings for auto dealerships. I always give 100% and do well at these small events but let´s face it, the Leinfelden-Echterdingen Krautfest is not the pinnacle of an aspiring career.

Here you can see photos and read more about
Toms world travels
- page 1

Here you can see yet more about
Toms world travels
- page 2
 
  Go to: Christmas entertainment page
  Go to German Christmas page: Weihnachtsfeier Unterhaltung


copyright
© 2001, 2006 Tom Bolton

jugglers entertainers comedy














Clowns Kleinkünstler Walkact

Firmenfeiern Kleinkünstler

External links: |

Google+ Profil

Interne Links: Clown Stuttgart Intro-Seite | Weihnachtsfeier-Unterhaltung | christmas entertaiment | walk-around entertainment | Animation Walkact | auto dealer events | Autohaus Events | Messe Unterhaltung | convention entertainment | balloon modeling | juggling, clown workshops | festival, street performance | Workshops: Jonglage, Clownerie, Gaukler | Luftballonmodellieren | Strassenkünstler Gaukler | Clown Bodensee |