New Times: Did you go to clown college?
Frances the Clown: “I trained with the World of Magic. I worked with them for 12 years. I traveled to the Bay Area and belonged to the Golden Gate Clown Alley.”
New Times: How did you get involved with clowning?
Frances the Clown: “It’s a fun job. I’ve been doing it since 1992. I started out in a nursing home. I was taking care of a patient who was home-bound. Within three months she started going out clowning with me. She became my clown partner.”
New Times: What type of events do you typically do?
Frances the Clown: “Birthday parties, special family gatherings, company picnics and grand openings. I have taken my dog with me into a convalescent hospital. I’ve used my clowning and pet therapy there and it brings a lot of joy to people of any age. Laughter is so healing because it releases endorphins that reduce pain.”
New Times: What’s your best balloon animal?
Frances the Clown: “The boys like the dragon. Girls like hearts with maybe a doggie on it. The flower is the most complex.”
New Times: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a birthday party?
Frances the Clown: “They’ve been rather uneventful. I’m very low-key so I don’t attract craziness. I’m more like the Raggedy-Anne type clown. I turn down the parties that I think will be crazy.”
New Times: How often are children afraid of you?
Frances the Clown: “Not at every party but once in a while kids are shy. Sometimes they will send a request through someone else for a balloon and when they get theirs, they aren’t as afraid.”