Employment Prospects


Clowns most frequently are employed by circuses and children's entertainment companies. They also are found in New York City and Las Vegas, performing on streets and in stage shows. Clowns also work for theme parks and rodeos. Many clowns work independently as well, performing at children's parties and other private functions.

Starting Out

Meeting and talking with experienced clowns is a good way to learn what it takes to become one yourself. They might be able to recommend employers and help you perfect your routines. Clowning clubs, often known as "clown alleys," hold regular meetings and may provide networking opportunities or a job bank for its members. There are over 30 circuses and 100 smaller traveling shows in the United States today that hold auditions for new clowns. Visit for a list of touring circuses.

Beginning clowns need to develop a following. Many clowns start by working at birthday parties, picnics, and church events. Later they may audition for carnivals, business promotions, television commercials, and circuses. Some clowns, similar to other performers, hire agents to help them find jobs.

Some entertainment companies offer on-the-job training in exchange for a work commitment and reliable transportation. Clown positions are advertised on the Internet. Checking the requirements of these jobs is a great way to determine which skills are necessary.

Advancement Prospects

Very few clowns achieve worldwide recognition. A clown can become the major attraction at a circus, but it is rare. A few clowns become local celebrities and are in great demand in their own cities. Some clowns go on to appear on television. One famous television clown, now off the air, was Bozo the Clown. Many people have portrayed Bozo over the years.

Tips for Entry

Take classes in dance, acting (especially improvisation), mime, and gymnastics. You may find a studio or gym in your area that offers classes in juggling, trampoline, acrobatics, magic, or other skills useful for clowns.

Volunteer to perform as a clown for hospitals, parades, or charitable events.

Talk to clowns about their career. Ask them for advice on how to break into the field.

Participate in competitions offered by the World Clown Association and Clowns of America, International to raise your professional profile.