2013 Clown of the Year
Tim "Sawdust" Laynor
Clowns of America International is pleased to introduce to some, yet announce to all, our newest member recognized for his amazing contributions over the years. As a complete surprise to Tim; many of his clown colleagues, alley members, and his wife nominated him for this once-in-a-lifetime award earlier this year. What an awesome award, especially when you clown for the sheer joy it. And then to be recognized by your peers…!
Greatness is defined by Random House Webster’s College Dictionary as first rate; significant; excellent; remarkable; distinguished; famous; noble; of extraordinary power; much in use or favor; a person who has achieved importance or distinction in a field. Let me share how great Mr. Timothy "Sawdust” Laynor is and has been.
This brown-eyed clown has been happily clownin’ around with Kolonial Klowns of Williamsburg, Virginia, which he helped co-found in 2002. He was introduced to the world of clowning a few years prior, by his then girlfriend Ann Sanders. Ann had recently lost her clown partner. As Tim and Ann’s love blossomed, so did Tim’s interest in clowning. He started out being a support person, amazing prop builder, transporter, face painter, charitable organizer then balloon artist. Tim selected the name Sawdust to highlight his woodworking hobby. Sawdust’s extraordinary ability to make stage show props and award winning parade props has brought his alley and convention attendees’ great pride over the years.
Not in a million years did this 30-year active duty Air Force airman think his enjoyment of the English comedy, "The Two Ronnies” and the actors’ great timing, would be his clown inspiration. During Tim’s world travels, he developed a love for the green outdoors/landscape and portrait photography. Over the years, this father of two tinkered with lighting effects and has even contributed a multitude of high-definition images, especially for the New Calliope’s Foto Funnies.
Tim’s natural Auguste clown face is accented by a red nose and a warm smile that has been enjoyed by thousands. Though his main character wears Spears Specialty Converse-styled sneakers along with Priscilla Mooseburger Originals now, his first, yellow overall costume was sewn by Tim personally, in a sewing class. He’s since moved to intermediate status by sewing three orange safety cones with hula hoops in the seams. I bet that was a sight to see. Some people can do anything! No matter the venue, charity, clinic, church, museum, parade, classroom, or private party, Tim’s joy radiates among the masses.
Many people rave about Sawdust’s willingness to organize, teach, and share clowning with so many of all ages. He also has a way of finding unique ways to promote clowning. His alley has a wonderfully exhausting, annual Clown Week filled with media interviews, submissions to share the word, a fun run, marketing materials for the public, worship service ministry skit with props, magnetic car magnets (designed by Tim) for the entire alley to display, and even an award luncheon too. OMG, Tim!
Sawdust is eager about training and recruiting younger, confident, entertainers to carry on this truly special profession. His computer specialist background attracts him to the big blue, social media outlet called Facebook to share this passion and Alley #357. His impact on the clowning community is vast. Tim’s enjoyment for clowning has previously earned him the COAI Excellence in Clowning Award. Confucius is quoted saying "Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” I think this is how Tim does it all.
An even bigger international number of clowns applaud his devotion to COAI. The Competition Committee, Elections Committee, and other groups in need of assistance know he will accurately and precisely get the job done and of course, always with a smile. The amount of repetitive skill, sheer number of categories, and the quantities of all the judges’ score sheets involve a truly undocumented amount of convention time that Tim has gladly completed over the past few years.
Tim has two children so he knows the feeling of heart-warming smiles. The kids at Camp Sundown in Craryville, New York as well as other fundraising charities truly love to be in his company too. He also humbly explains that no matter how you develop a skit or work on timing, "You just can’t beat cute” when a child takes over your show. When asked to summarize his favorite emotion when clowning, Sawdust’s response was joy. You know, he may indeed have a purple heart!
Tim loves that this profession takes him in front of audiences where he can shares smiles. He usually plays a silent character filled with a variety a facial expressions, shoulder shrugs, and lots of patience.
When asked about who he credits with helping him in his clowning journey Tim says, "My wife Ann Sanders, she’s the one who lit the spark and continually fanned the flames of clowning. Just like she does for COAI, she’s always in the background as inspiration and counsel. She’s also a past COTY winner. As Teresa Gretton said, we’re the first husband and wife COTY couple in COAI.”
Tim also credits Bubba Sikes and Leon McBride’s physical comedy and skit advice as a highlight of development of his clown character. Peachy Keene’s wisdom of not needing a lot of words in skits and concentrating on the action and reaction also made a difference. He mentioned the great skills of Tom King, David Bartlett, Bob and Theresa Gretton, and the list goes on. Because Tim still solicits suggestions and ways to make good ideas great, I do not think we have seen his best work thus far.
Like all of the different colors of the rainbow, Tim "Sawdust” Laynor, possesses a plethora of talents which makes him worthy of such an award. The woodworking talent, face painting expertise, professional skill set, creative mind, continual growth excitement, and good heart are definitely a variety of unique skills that he has combined in an out-of-the-box way that make him great.
His Japanese heritage and military worldliness adds to the simple joy and sharing he exudes; clowning is just the way he wishes to share it with the world. Tim minimizes his greatness, but I tell ya, he is indeed an amazing man on a mission to expose the joys of clowning, with an amazing wife and partner to share this passion, and an amazing group of red noses that are cheering him on!
So…………….Hip, Hip, Hooray: For Tim’s A Jolly Good Fellow, Which Nobody Can Deny!