Uncle Chris the Clown at one of his performances. (Submitted photo)

Clowning around safely during COVID-19

‘It’s just basically me entertaining them and giving them a break on how life is right now’

You’d think that social distancing rules have put a damper on clowning around but Uncle Chris the Clown has found a way to make it work.

Chris, who’s based out of Kamloops, is usually a staple at many South Cariboo festivals, having been seen in the past at Lone Butte Rocks and the South Cariboo Summer Festival.

“It’s either online or onlawn,” he says.

For the onlawn “parties,” he’ll set up on people’s driveway or on their lawn and the kids can watch the show from a safe distance away. He’s had to make some alterations, however, to make sure he can maintain social distancing rules.

“Normally, I have kids come up and they do the magic and all that, well they can’t come up anymore.”

Usually, he would also hand out balloon animals, colouring books or stuffies but he can’t do that anymore either.

“It’s just basically me entertaining them and giving them a break on how life is right now and it’s working out amazingly.”

The sessions last about a half-hour and are $125 but given the current situation, he’s made them pay as you can.

“If they can pay the rate, because that’s what I need to survive on too, that’s great but some are paying $40 bucks, $60 bucks $80 bucks and there’s no questions asked and it’s all good.”

Sometimes they’ve even somewhat become neighbourhood events where the families in a cul de sac will all sit on their own lawn at a safe distance away.

“It’s not just one on one, it’s groups now that are getting together to do this and everyone keeps their distance and it’s great.

For the ones a little further away, like 100 Mile House, he’s built a clown studio in his shop (although it’s still in progress).

“I’ll do the same thing. People call me through Facetime or Messenger or Zoom is what I use right now and I’ll do a little show for them through the computer.”

Since mid-March, he’s done about 40 plus social distance lawn parties and 20 online parties. Some of those online parties are from quite a long way away, including one in Iowa in the U.S. and one coming up next week in Australia. He says he’ll go further for the onlawn ones if he can line up a few things on the same day. The cost for the online ones is $25 for 15 minutes or $50 for 30 minutes.

“I’m just doing what I’m doing because, A, it’s what I do. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. And when this first happened, I got all the cancellations, birthday parties cancelled, big jobs cancelled. ‘Uh oh what am I gonna do now?’ and it wasn’t just the work part of it. Clowning makes me happy, you know, so all of a sudden I’m not out there making kids happy then I’m not happy.”

Since it all started there’s only been about two days he’s not clowned due to snowfall, he says. The turnaround meanwhile has been much faster than usual noting that he usually gets bookings well in advance but now it’s been just a few days.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Uncle Chris the Clown gets a laugh during one of his online shows. (Submitted photo)

Uncle Chris the Clown at one of his performances. (Submitted photo)

Uncle Chris the Clown at one of his performances. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Clinton RCMP seek assistance in Canoe Creek hit and run

A pedestrian was sent to hospital with serious injuries after vehicle failed to stop

Starting small a good rule of a green thumb in gardening

‘Pick easy things to do like potatoes, read the instructions and keep watering’

Gardening tons of fun for Cedar Crest crew

‘This is just excellent for them to get outside’

Pharmacy restricted number of customers in store

Customer safety during the time of COVID-19 has been paramount on all… Continue reading

South Cariboo tourism will be on a different, home-focused scale this year

‘I’m really thinking that we’re going to see a lot of local people and regional people’

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read