Yips on How to Hire a Clown
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So you are planning a birthday party or celebration and you want to hire a clown for the event, but where do you start. Well hiring a clown may sound easy however this is your party and you deserve the best. We have compiled a list of steps that can help you find the right clown for your birthday party or celebration.

How to Hire a Clown Checklist.

1. We Like Clowns Right? 
Make sure the birthday boy, birthday girl or guest of honor likes clowns. It might seem like an odd question, but you don’t want the guest of honor hiding in their room do you?

2. Plan Ahead & Book Your Clown Early
Good Clowns can be booked at least a month in advance. Often a busy Clown is a good Clown and that is what you want for your party.

3. Clown Referrals 
Ask friends and family members who have hired clowns in the past for recommendations and if they have any feedback.
Ask them about the clowns: Attitude, Promptness, Age Appropriate Humor, Were they Good, Fair, Great or Amazing and the last question: Who You Hire Them Again?

4. Conducting Your Own Clown Search & Important Clown Questions
If friends and family have no recommendations, consider asking your daycare provider and/or community center for suggestions. Other options talent agencies, yellow pages, or check online for Clowns for Hire and review which clowns appear to fit your audience. Here are some possible Birthday Party Clowns / Clowns for Hire

Questions to ask Clowns
– What age group do they target?
– How long have they been a clown?
– How long they perform (15 minute show and leave or 15 minutes show and they stay around and entertain for an hour during the party) and what is their rate?
– Do they have video examples of their work online? If Yes, view it.
– Do they have references?
– If you have pets – Are they pet friendly? Do they have pet allergies?
– Clarify the services they do – balloon animals, silly stunts or tricks, magic tricks, face painting, juggling, puppet show, a planned show or do they wander around the party doing simple gags for small groups, also ask how they personalize the show to the birthday boy or girl.

Once you narrow your choices down, it is time to look at safety and security.

5. Background Checks & Meeting
– If they are from an agency – Do they do back ground checks? If not you need the clowns real name so a proper check can be completed.
– If they are an independent clown then ask for a photo id, full name and we suggest meeting in person.

We always suggest meeting the entertainer in person at a public place, during this meeting evaluate the following:
– Did you like them?
– Did they make you nervous or uneasy?
– Eye contact good or did they avoid it?
– Seems odd but if you have a limited history on them or if they are “new” to your city check to make sure they have fingerprints. I am always weary when someone says, I just recently moved here. So just visual note the fingertips if you are concerned, if smooth be concerned.

If you are note able to meet in person:
– Google them and check reviews or blog posts about their services. In most cases, if there is a problem with the Clown there are likely to be several negative posts about them.

Last if anything about the Clown bothers you or you just don’t feel right, then thank them for their time and end the meeting.

6. Complete Reference Checks
Once you have decided on your top 1 or 2 clowns, contact their references and ask them about their history, last time they worked together, any legal issues and how they have handled a screaming children. FYI – This should be a 3 – 8 minute call. Pleased with the results then proceed.

7. Finalize Rates and Payment
Once you have finalized your selection you need to negotiate the rate for the Clown, expected services and method of payment.

If an Independent Clown, pay the deposit and plan to pay the balance after services are rendered.
When possible pay by Credit Card or Paypal this when if things go wrong you can take action.

8. Sign the Contract
Your Contract should include clown rates, expected services, who brings or provides props (balloons, face paint, etc…) date, location, time of event and any specific extras that are unique to your event. The Clown Contract does not need to be long, but include the basics.

9. Call and Confirm Your Clown
The Party is day’s away so take a few minutes 1 or 2 days out to call and confirm date, time and your address with your Clown.

10. Tipping the Clown & After the Event
If your Clown provides good and excellent service then tip him or her properly, your tip may range from $10 – $25 or more depending on whether your performer went above and beyond your expectations.

If you receive poor service, the Clown asks to cut out early or the Clown enjoys the snack table more than providing entertainment than, I would not tip. I know people might argue with me, but if you pay for a service and it is not provided then you might be requesting a refund.

After the Event:
Review your Clown, many sites allow you to rate your experience and sometimes the Clown will even send you a link so you can rate him. This is normally a sign of a good performer or one that is always looking to improve their performance and show.