Information about Clown Tom Bolton’s Entertainment
Clown Tom Bolton offers shows, which combine many of his technical skills like juggling, unicycling, magic and balloon-modeling. He combines it all with spontaneous improvisation. The advantage of shows are that one can create a fantastic atmosphere for hundreds or even thousands of people at the same time. For festivals, multiple shows are usually desired. For other events a show will be a highlight that can be combined with walk-around entertainment.
Show length is optimally 30 minutes. But anywhere from 10 – 60 minutes is possible.
Up to 4 shows of 30 minutes a day are usually the maximum. This limit is to guarantee the highest level of quality. For engagements of a week or longer, 3 shows a day is better.
People need full attention to enjoy a show. Thus it should be done either before or after but NOT during a meal. Yes, dinner theater has become popular! But they present routines of 5 – 7 minutes between the courses and this is a different dynamic. If one wishes entertainment during the meal, long shows don’t work. It should definitely be walk-around entertainment instead.
It’s needed where the space or size of the audience is too limited for a show. As a greeting at events, Tom plays the clown-security and gets the guests in a happy mood from the start. Later between the tables Tom plays the clown-chef with offers of foods unlikely to be on the menu. Tom can roam throughout the event location improvising with every situation. Walk-around (aka strolling) is not as exhausting as shows. It can be done up to 8 hours a day with just 10 – 15 minutes break per hour.
For outdoor events like festivals, it usually makes sense to do multiple shows for an ever changing audience. For a small event, it makes less sense to repeat a show for the same audience. But then there are usually opportunities for the walk-around entertainment. For openings und open-houses especially at car dealers there is usually a constant stream of people for many hours. Yet usually there are not enough people at any one time to do a full length show. This is solved by doing walk-around entertainment combined with short show routines. Thios can include skills like juggling and unicycling where appropriate.
Aka balloon-twisting can be done separately or after a show. Tom doesn’t just push a balloon into one’s hand. He makes little jokes and gags that really make it entertaining. Balloons are usually more for the kids. But at many events for adults, someone will ask for a flower or a heart and then another will want an animal to take home to their child. Soon a third of the public is wanting a balloon.
This is another possibility that can be offered to small groups. Best is from about the age of 9 years or older. Inspired by clown and juggler Tom’s show techniques, many people like the opportunity to get his expert advice. Whether a beginner or advanced juggler, Tom can usually get people started or give some helpful tips. Learning to juggle should always be voluntary and for people with a real interest. Tom usually has most people doing the basic pattern in a mere 20 – 30 minutes.
When considering a performer for an event one should be clear about what the objectives are. Who the audience will be is nearly as important. The more Tom knows about the crowd, the better he can prepare. He can often come up with some unique gag that fits to your motto or product. Also, the number of people and space is important. It is a different atmosphere playing for 20 people than 200. To do a show, there should at least 5 square meters of free performing space. The audience should have a clear unobstructed view. Shows in restaurants, for example, need to be well planned. The tables and seating should be arranged so that the people in front feel comfortable. Giving the feeling that a juggling club is likely to land on their head is better avoided. If the space is limited, tables might have to be moved temporarily to make enough space.
If the ceiling is too low, it might mean leaving out the unicycle number. Some of the highest juggling tricks might also be unworkable. As an alternative a small unicycle can be brought along. But this needs to be known BEFOREHAND. Although spots or special lighting are not required, there should be good general lighting. The public should be able to see the show. The performer needs to see his props and audience to optimally entertain. This may mean turning up the lights above the romantic, dark setting some places prefer. If there are a lot of columns in the way, or other reasons that the audience can’t see or are distracted then they will soon lose interest in the show. This happens no matter how good it might be. Tom can bring a halogen lamp and tripod if the lighting is inadequate. But again, this needs to be arranged in advance!
For weddings and other events where both adults and kids are present, clown Tom recommends presenting a show for everyone together. Yes, as a clown, focusing the entertainment on the kids is often desired. But Tom’s clown show is just as good for adults! Plus, the bigger the audience, the better the atmosphere. The children share something to see their parents involved in the show and vice versa. Thus the kids will have more fun with the adults present. Sometime the adults just want a bit of a time-out from the kids, No problem. They can be kept busy before and/or after the show with balloon modelling or a juggling workshop. A separate room if wished and available is more than appropriate.
One sometimes hears from organizers that performers are too demanding. If they are asking for caviar and champagne, this criticism might be correct. Often they are just trying to optimize conditions to make your event a success. One point is parking. Driving around crowded or blocked-off streets while looking for a parking space during a festival is an incredible waste of time and effort. Ideal is to have to a space right at the event location. If not, it should be arranged that equipment can be dropped off and a parking space a bit farther away provided.
A fancy dressing room is not necessary. But there needs to be somewhere to change and store valuables. Getting to eat properly is another factor. Some gigs not only last for hours but take additional hours to prepare for and to drive to. Often there are no opportunities to leave the event location to search for food. In such a situation, food needs to be arranged. Tom does not eat meat or junk food, so a sausage and some French fries are not adequate. Just coffee and cake is not enough to make it through the whole day.
For a detailed and humorous report of a typical gig goes check out Performance Story
Specialty pages not in the main navigation menu:
For entertainment customized for car dealerships: clown-event.de/auto-dealer-entertainment-english/
Festival entertainment is one of Tom’s specialties: clown-event.de/festival-entertainment/
Tom’s world travels: http://clown-event.de/world-travel/
Tom’s world travels in German: http://clown-event.de/toms-weltreisen/
Clown juggler Tom Bolton’s original clown website contains addition information and photos, also in English, and includes some more private insights to his experiences on the world stage and is available at: www.clowntombolton.com