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The Electric City Clowns

Questions & Answers
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I join the Electric City Clown Alley?

A. If you are eight years old or older and have a sincere interest in the performing art of clowning, all you have to do is to attend an alley meeting, fill out an membership application, supply any requested proof of age credentials, offer proof of COAI membership and pay your alley dues. Alley dues are $15.00 per year.  Dues are due in March of each year.

Q. Do I need to be a member of COAI to join the alley?

A. Yes. If you are not already a member of COAI, we will be glad to help you fill out the COAI membership application, collect the COAI dues check, and mail it all in for you. We will even supply the stamp!

Q. When do you meet?

A. The Electric City Clowns typically meet the fourth Wednesday of the month.  In November and December we sometimes meet on the thrid Wednesday of the month to avoid stepping on members' holiday plans.  Meetings start at 7:00 PM.

Q.  Where do you meet?

A.  ECCA usually meets at the Carman United Methodist Church Hall, 2350 Hamburgh Street in Schenectady.  Our newsletter, The Red Nose News, always has the details on our next meeting.

Q. I would like to attend clown school. Where do I go to learn what is available?

A. Locally, there are options available. Call us and we will discuss them with you. You can also check our web site and the web sites of the major clown organizations.  We all do a great job of staying abreast of introductory clown arts training programs.

Q. I have been a clown for a while now. I’d like to get some advanced training. Can you help me with that?

A. If you join us, you will receive the Red Nose News on a monthly basis. It covers all of the area’s clown arts education opportunities.

Q. I would like to have some of the clowns from your alley appear at our community event next month. How do I make those arrangements?

A.  Requests for ECCA's involvement in community events are considered on a first come, first served, event by event basis. We like to have at least 60 days notice so we can promote the event to our membership and assure a suitable showing. Events with 60 or more days of notice are adminstered by our alley events coordinator. We usually assign a Boss Clown to each event we participate in and that person will be in contact with you to finalize the arrangements for our appearance. Events with shorter notice are listed in our news letter and distributed to our members by e-mail. Alley members who can work the event in to their personal schedules, will contact you for details.

Q. Can you help us with our fund-raiser?

A. ECCA has its favorite charity groups and will appear when they call. Other community fund raisers are considered on an event by event basis by our event coordinator and the alley leadership.

Q. We’d like to hire the Electric City Clowns to appear at our event. What are your rates?

A.  As an alley, we take on certain fundraisers through the course of the year to support our educational endeavors.  The cost for our services is based on a number of factors to include travel time, the number of clowns desired, the services requested, the duration of the event, as well as, our ability to meet your expectations.  Let's talk.

Q. My daughter is having a birthday and I would like to hire a clown. Can I hire a member of your alley?

A. The Electric City Clowns is a membership organization. Our focus is membership support and education. We are not agents, nor do we serve as agents for our members. We think they are all great and would recommend each and everyone for your daughter's party. We’d suggest that you look through your local Yellow Pages to find a clown. Many area clowns who perform at birthday parties are listed there.

Q. A few years ago my son came home from school with a coloring book of local clowns. Was that you? Can I get another book for my daughter?

A. We have done a couple of coloring book projects over the years. We do not have a current coloring book. However, we have put the pages from our last project on our web site. You are welcome to make copies of your favorite clown.

Q.  Is it true that President Nixon declared August 1 - 7 National Clown Week?

A.  Yes, it is.  Here is his proclamaion:

A Proclamation

Whoever has heard the laughter of a child or seen sudden delight on the face of a lonely old man has understood in those brief moments mysteries deeper than love.

All men are indebted to those who bring such moments of quiet splendor-who redeem sickness and pain with joy. All across America good men in putty noses and baggy trousers following a tradition as old as man's need to touch gently the lives of his fellowman, go into orphanages and children's hospitals, homes for the elderly and for the retarded, and give a part of themselves. Today, as always, clowns and the spirit they represent are as vital to the maintenance of our humanity as the builders and the growers and the governors.

In the folklore of the world is the persistent claim that the heart of a clown is sad, and that all the gladness he provokes is simply a facade for the pain he cannot reveal to the world. In the myth is the kernel of reason: the clown leaves happiness where he goes, and takes misery away with him.

Yet we cannot suppose there is real truth in the myth. For surely the laugh-makers are blessed: they heal the heart of the world.

To call public attention to the charitable activities of clowns and the wholesome entertainment they provide for all our citizens, the Congress by a joint resolution approved October 8, 1970 (Public Law 91-433), has requested the President to designate the week of August 1 through August 7, 1971, as National Clown Week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of August 1 through August 7, 1971, as National Clown Week. I invite the Governors of the States and the appropriate officials of other areas under the United States flag to issue similar proclamations.

I urge the people of the United States recognize the contributions made by clowns in their entertainment at children's hospitals, charitable institutions, for the mentally retarded, and generally helping to lift the spirits and boost the morale of our people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-sixth.