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Why Children's Entertainers Should Use a Spring Animal

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 146

I have been performing as a professional clown and children's entertainer for the last 15 years. In that time, I've used a variety of props -- but hands down, the most popular with younger children has been my skunk spring animal puppet, which I named Mr. Kitty. A joke that I often use (primarily for parents,,and grandparents), is that I couldn't call him Ms. Kittty since I don't want to get arrested by Marshall Dillon. (For those too young to get the reference, there was a long-running TV western named Gunsmoke, where the main character, Marshall Dillon, had a crush on Ms. Kitty who ran the local saloon). One quick point: everyone wants to be entertained, not just the children.

I can say without exaggeration that at virtually every birthday party, and every daycare show, all of the little girls, most of the little boys, and in some cases the female adults have wanted to pet Mr. Kitty. He's a big hit with the boys as well, but for some reason the females simply love him. More than once I've had a young girl sneak by and try to "borrow" Mr. Kitty to take home with her. Why? What's the attraction?

For one thing, he's safe; I make a point of telling the children that he can't bite (since he has no teeth) and can't scratch since he has no paws. Also, his fur is soft, and his face is cute. But part of it is that I treat Mr. Kitty as though he were alive -- a person in his own right. In my case, Mr. Kitty tends to pick on me when I'm performing, shaking his head negatively when I tell the children that I'm a great magician, hiding his face at different moments, etc. By treating him as alive and real, the children tend to think of him that way.

Of course, the question always comes up, "Is he real?" to which I always answer, "He's a real puppet, and real fun. Do you want to pet him?"

One of the advantages of using a spring animal like Mr. Kitty is that, since I often perform solo, he gives me someone to play off of, even playing the role of "straight man." If you perform for children, I strongly recommend adding a spring animal to your repertoire. As the saying goes, he packs small and plays big.

Tom Raymond, aka. Raynbow the Clown, is a professional clown with over 15 years of experience, and runs the Comedy Magic Shop ( ) where you can get your own spring animal.

Source: EzineArticles
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