International Competition Chairman
The Director of Conventions will appoint an International
Competition Chairman to serve as the Chief Judge at Clowns of America International
(COAI) annual conventions.
The Competition Chairman will be responsible for maintaining
current competition rules, criteria for selection of judges, and criteria for
judging of categories by means of a standing competition committee. He/she will
conduct a judges’ seminar prior to the start of competition.
The Competition Chairman is the chief advisor to the
convention host alley regarding requirements and procedures for conducting the
competition. He/she will maintain a Manual for Hosting a COAI Annual
Convention Competition. The Competition Chairman will also coordinate
procuring competition awards.
If the Competition Chairman is unable to attend the
convention, the Director of Conventions will appoint a qualified COAI member to
act as the Competition Chairman/Chief Judge for that convention.
First, Second and Third Place awards for categories listed
in these rules will be presented by COAI. In the event of a tie for any award,
a duplicate award will be mailed to the winner(s), not receiving an award at
the awards ceremony, as soon as possible by COAI.
Each person entering competition will receive a Certificate
of Participation from COAI.
Each person placing in the TOP TEN, within a competition
category, will receive a TOP TEN Certificate. First time TOP TEN winners will receive a TOP TEN patch and
current year date strip. Subsequent TOP TEN winners will receive a date strip
only. Winners of multiple
categories, within the same convention, will receive only one date strip.
A minimum of one (1) clown must be registered to allow
competition in any category.
When there are six (6) or more competitors in a category, placement
is determined by high score. TOP TEN placements will
When there are five (5) or less competitors in a category,
the first place winner must earn a minimum of 90 percent on their average score.
The second place winner must have earned a minimum of 83 percent on their
average score. The third place winner must have a minimum of 75 percent on
their average score.
The COAI Competition Chairman will select all judges.
A minimum of five (5) judges will be utilized for all
One (1) judge will be a qualified COAI officer and remainder
selected from qualified members at large.
All judges must be COAI members in good standing and must
have been certified as a COAI judge by the COAI Competition Chairman. To qualify
as a COAI judge, a member must:
Have been a clown for at least five (5) consecutive years
prior to the convention.
Have extensive experience in clowning through public
performances, education, teaching the art of clowning or competition.
Competition experience should include placing within the top three (3) in
regional and/or international competitions, not necessarily COAI competitions.
Have judging experience in local and/or regional conventions/seminars.
Attended a judging seminar conducted at a COAI annual
convention, an International Shrine Clown Association (ISCA) judging seminar or
any other judging seminar certified by the COAI Competition Director on or
after May 1990.
Unless excused by the COAI Competition Chairman, all judges
must attend a meeting each year to judge that year.
At least six (6) months prior to a convention, members
desiring to be certified as a COAI judge must send a résumé to the COAI Competition
Judging will be in designated areas, which will be announced
by the hosting alley.
Each judge will print his/her name and sign the appropriate
score sheet. The score sheets will be returned to the contestant prior to the
end of the convention.
The decision of the judges will be final.
The Chief Judge has the right to disqualify participants in
any category for infractions of any competition rule or the Clown Code of
Ethics. The panel of
judges can disqualify a contestant(s) if they do not meet the established criteria
for a specific category.
Each panel of judges will appoint a head judge. Contestants may not speak to any judge
unless in response to a question from a head judge.
Judges may not talk to other judges during the competition.
Unresolved questions regarding rules and procedures will be
directed to the Chief Judge.
COMPETITION CATEGORIES AND SPECIFIC RULES
At all times, each clown is expected to conduct him/herself
according to the COAI Code of Ethics and The Eight Clown Commandments.
It is the responsibility of each contestant to read,
understand and adhere to the competition rules and procedures.
Any clown, in competition, whose conduct is deemed
inappropriate or unfavorable may be disqualified by the Chief Judge and/or the
panel of judges.
All clowns in good standing with COAI are eligible to participate in the
competition, except for members and associate members of the host alley. However,
the host alley may ask the COAI Board of Directors for a waiver, allowing them
All contestants must be fully registered with the
Contestants must show their current COAI membership card at
competition registration. For
membership verification purposes, a current membership list will be at the
competition registration desk. If a contestant joins COAI for the first time at
the convention, he/she must have a certificate from a COAI officer or COAI
Business Office Manager indicating he/she is a new member.
Contestants may only register for competition at the times posted. Registration for all categories will be
open twice prior to the date/time of the first competition category of the
The host alley will assign convention registration numbers; which will also
be used as the competitor’s contestant number. Contestants must list their full
name, COAI number, and contestant number on the competition sign up sheet.
If a contestant cannot arrive at the convention by the first competition
registration, and wishes to compete the next day, they must e-mail their name,
convention registration number, COAI number, and each competition category to
the COAI Competition Chairman and Assistant Competition Chairman no later than
24 hours prior to the start of competition.
Prior to midnight, the day registration closes for specific
categories; a computer-generated number will be assigned to each
contestant/group, which will be their order of performance. This list will be
posted at or near the competition registration area.
At the time of competition registration, contestant(s) will
be given written information regarding the stage facilities, sound and lighting
facilities and available props. The host alley may decide to hold a meeting to
provide this information.
Seven (7) types of clowns will be judged in makeup/costume
competition: Classic Whiteface, Comedy Whiteface, Auguste, Lite Auguste,
Tramp/Hobo/Bag Lady, Character and Seniors Division.
Members who are 55 years and older may compete separately in
the Seniors Division. Seniors may
compete as Classic Whiteface, Comedy Whiteface, Auguste, Lite Auguste,
Tramp/Hobo/Bag Lady or Character and will be judged accordingly.
Clowns classed as Novelty clowns cannot compete in
makeup/costume competition. A Novelty clown is one whose costume is primarily
designed for a parade or as a sight gag.
A contestant may enter only one makeup category.
Contestants must register for their appropriate category
during the competition registration times as posted. (See III. COMPETITION CATEGORIES AND SPECIFIC RULES, B.
Eligibility, 3. Competition Registration)
A First Place winner is prohibited from entering that
category for three (3) consecutive years but, using a different make up and
costume, may enter any other makeup category. For example, a person winning in Auguste, cannot enter
Seniors the with the same make up and costume.
Contestants must apply their own makeup. Assistance with application is grounds
All identification tags, badges, or patches that give the
contestant¹s name, clown name, and/or alley/club must be removed or concealed.
Failure to do so will result in a five (5) point penalty per judge, with a maximum
25 point penalty.
A contestant may carry a prop if it is part of his/her
character (i.e.: what the public normally sees with the clown), but the prop
may not be demonstrated in any manner during the judging of the contestant.
Failure to comply will result in a five (5) point penalty per judge, with a
maximum 25 point penalty.
At a time and location designated by the host alley,
contestants must assemble and line up in assigned order. Any contestant that
arrives after the designated time will be disqualified.
All contestants in a makeup category will be paraded in
front of the judges and then judged individually.
Each contestant will be called to a judging area in front of
the judges. They will be
instructed to turn slowly and then asked to strike a pose.
At no time will a judge touch a contestant, but the
contestant may be asked questions.
After judging, the contestant will be excused from the
If a contestant leaves the holding area after the parade and
does not return when his/her number is called for the individual judging, that
contestant will be disqualified.
During the time contestants are in the holding area,
individual judging area, or in the audience, they must conduct themselves in an
orderly manner or risk disqualification. Performing in these areas is
Contestants will be judged on the following (maximum score 100
points per judge):
Costume accessories (i.e.: shoes, gloves, ties, hats,
Wig (when applicable)
Skit competition is divided into two (2) categories: Single
Skit (limited to one person on stage) and Group Skit (two or more persons on
stage). If a member or members of the audience are needed for the skit, the
skit will be considered a group skit.
Contestants must register during the competition registration
times as posted.
Contestants may register in both Single and Group categories but can
only register for one skit per category. (See III. COMPETITION CATEGORIES AND
SPECIFIC RULES, B. Eligibility, 3. Competition Registration)
All identification, tags, badges, or patches which give the
contestant’s name and/or alley/club name must be removed or concealed. Failure
to do so will result in a two (2) point penalty per judge, with a maximum 10
Skits must be suitable for all ages and in keeping with the
spirit of clowning. They must be kept clean and decent in both word and suggestion.
Skits should not cause injury to any person, performer, or member of the audience.
Violation of these principles will result in disqualification.
It is up to the contestant to determine the allowed use of
smoke and/or pyrotechnics with the host alley prior to the convention.
Contestants will have up to one (1) minute to set up
props/scenery on stage, and one (1) minute to remove all props/scenery from the
stage after their performance. It is the contestant’s responsibility to set up
the skit; however stagehands will be available to assist. Any skit set-up time
or breakdown time, exceeding this limit, will automatically be penalized five (5)
points for every 15 seconds over the time limit.
Contestants in single skit competition will have a maximum
of three (3) minutes to perform their skit. Contestants in group competition
will have a maximum of five (5) minutes to perform their skit. Any skit that
exceeds the limit will automatically be penalized one (1) point per judge per
Contestants using pies, water, confetti, etc., must clean up the stage
during the one (1) minute break down time. If something falls or is thrown from
the stage and lands on the floor and/or into the audience, it is the
contestant’s responsibility to clean it up. The time will continue to run until cleanup is completed to
the Competition Chairman’s or Assistant Competition Chairman satisfaction. Failure to do so will result in a ten
(10) point penalty, plus the time penalty. If a contestant does not clean
up, he or she may NOT compete for the next five years.
Official timing starts from the completion of the Master of
Ceremony’s introduction of the skit and a contestant¹s entrance onto the stage,
or the start of background music and/or sound effect, which ever comes first. Official timing ends when the
contestant(s) leave the stage.
A member of the Competition Committee will serve as the
official time keeper.
If the competition cannot be held in a theater setting, a
portable stage 12’x18’x3’ should be made available by the host alley. Specific
sizes may vary based on local facilities.
Contestants must supply their music and/or sound effects on
cassette or compact disk properly cued. The host alley will provide an
adequate sound system and operator. The operator, however, will not be allowed
to start, stop, re-start the tape or compact disk. Once the tape or compact
disk is started, no other cuing will be allowed. The host alley must provide a sound system of
at least 150 watts output with compact and cassette capabilities. The compact disk player must be able to
play all formats (CR, R+, RW- and RW+) compact disks, as well as MP3 and MP4
Stagehands will be available to help contestants with props and
scenery. However, it is the responsibility of the contestant to ensure it is
done within the allotted time. While it is the responsibility of the contestant
to provide all necessary props and equipment, the host alley may provide tables
and chairs for use by contestants.
Skits will be performed in the sequential order established
after close of registration. Contestants and all members of groups are
responsible to be in the holding area at least 15 minutes before their
performance. Contestants will be disqualified if not in the holding area when
prior contestant(s) take the stage.
A Master of Ceremonies will introduce the skit in accordance
with directions given by the contestant/group. The emcee should not make any remarks, during the
competition, which may influence the judges.
A contestant in Single Skit competition may not have any
assistance from anyone off stage during the skit, other than a sound technician
starting music/sound effects.
A member or members of a group skit may leave and reenter
the stage as long as there is at least one (1) clown on stage at all times.
A contestant(s), having won First Place with a particular skit, may not
reuse that skit or part of that skit for three (3) consecutive years but may
enter a new skit the next year.
Contestants/groups will be judged on the following (maximum
score of 100 points per judge):
Definite beginning, middle, and end
Pace and timing
Characterizations and clown character involvement
Quality and use of props
Facial and body movements
Professional behavior on stage
Overall effectiveness of presentation
Paradeability competition is designed to judge a clown’s or
a group’s ability to perform, entertain or bring laughter during a parade.
Contestants may use a sight gag, an object or prop, using signs or vocal
expression. Parade gimmicks may be carried, pushed, pulled or driven, and do
not require a setup or teardown time. Objects used are those that can be
"reloaded" on the move.
Clowns wearing novelty type costumes must participate in
this competition instead of makeup/costume competition.
All identification tags, badges, or patches, that give the
contestant’s name and/or alley/club name, must be removed or concealed. Failure
to do so will result in a five (5) point penalty per judge, with a maximum 25
Contestant(s) must register for paradeability competition at
the times posted. (See III. COMPETITION CATEGORIES AND SPECIFIC RULES, B.
Eligibility, 3. Competition Registration)
Two (2) separate categories, individual and group, will be
judged. A contestant can register in only one (1) category.
A contestant that wins First Place, with a particular parade
sight gag, may not reuse that gag or any part of it for the next three (3) consecutive
years but may use a new gag the next year.
A simulated, roped-off parade route will be provided, at
least 13 parking spaces or approximately117 feet in length; appropriate parade
music may play.
At a time designated by the host alley, contestants must assemble
and line up in numerical order in designated assembly area.
A member of the Competition Committee will serve as the
official time keeper.
One by one, each contestant/group will travel down the
"parade route" and must demonstrate their parade prop or entertain
the spectators at least three (3) times
within a one (1) minute time frame. A one (1) point
penalty per second per judge will be levied for failure to cross the finish
line within the one (1) minute time frame.
Competition will normally be held outside rain or shine. However, in the event of inclement
weather, the competition may be moved inside for safety.
c. Judges will be placed along the
"parade route" and will judge on the following (maximum score of 100
points per judge):
and/or prop appropriate to type of crowd
Balloon Sculpture Competition
There are three (3) categories in the Balloon Sculpture
Competition: Single, Multiple, and Arrangement.
Single Balloon Sculpture: A sculpture using only one (1) 160, 260, 350, 360 or
single shape balloon or similar
balloon, without the use of an adhesive.
sculpture shall be one (1) continuous balloon with the exception of pop twist. Details may be added using a
marker(s). No stickers or other
embellishment are allowed.
Multiple Balloon Sculpture: A sculpture using any
combination of balloons, the same or varying sizes or shape, without the aid of
an adhesive. Details may be
added using a marker(s). No
stickers or other embellishments are allowed.
Balloon Arrangement: A sculpture and/or arrangement using a combination of
balloons, the same or varying sizes or shapes, with any other non-balloon
object(s). A non-balloon object(s) must be incorporated in to the Balloon
Arrangement. Adhesives may be used. Details may be added using a marker(s). Stickers and other embellishments are allowed. Arrangements
must be transportable. Bases, such as trays, may be used. During the transfer
to the judging area, if a component from the arrangement falls off, it cannot be
must register for balloon competition at the times posted. (See III.
COMPETITION CATEGORIES AND SPECIFIC RULES, B. Eligibility, 3. Competition
may enter all three (3) categories but must register for each category.
Contestants must be in the competition area when competition
begins. Contestants entering after the posted time will be disqualified.
Contestants must furnish their own supplies.
Balloons may not be inflated, cut or marked before
competition begins. Prior to each
competition, a person designated by the Competition Director, will inspect the
competition area to ensure each contestant is incompliance with this rule.
No photographs, diagrams or written instructions, printed or
electronic, may be use during competition. All
electronic devices must be turned off prior to entering the competition area.
Contestants may use inflating devices, hand or battery
No pump, using an 110AC power motor, can be used in any balloon competition (i.e.: no
electricity will be supplied).
Only one (1) entry may be submitted for judging per
Contestants will be allotted ten (10) minutes in the Single,
15 minutes in the Multiple and 20 minutes in the Arrangement categories.
A member of the Competition Committee will serve as the
official time keeper.
Sculptures that win First Place may not be reentered by that
contestant for three (3) consecutive years but the contestant may use a
different sculpture(s) the next year.
Judges will not enter the competition area until all contestants have
completed their sculptures and have departed the area or began working in
another category. Depending on space availability, COAI members may watch the
contestants build their sculptures. There will be no
interaction between the audience and the competitors.
Sculptures will be judged on the following criteria (maximum
score of 100 points per judge):
Use of type of balloon
Use of color
There are two (2) categories in the Face Painting Competition: Cheek Art and Full Face Art.
Cheek Art: The design should be small enough
to fit on the cheek. The design must fit into either face quadrant three (3) or
four (4) but not both; the design cannot extend beyond the selected quadrant.*
Cheek Art will have a five (5) minute time
Full Face Art: The design needs to have paint
in at least three (3) of the
four (4) quadrants, but may use all four (4); the design cannot extend beyond
the selected quadrants.*
Full Face will have a 15-minute time limit.
A member of the Competition Committee will
serve as the official time keeper.
Contestants must register for face painting
competition at the times posted.
(See III. COMPETITION CATEGORIES AND SPECIFIC RULES, B. Eligibility, 3.
Contestants may enter both categories but
must register for each category.
Contestants must be in the competition area when competition begins.
Contestants entering late (after the posted time) will be disqualified.
Contestants must furnish their own supplies and must use
paints and supporting products that are manufactured using only ingredients fully
compliant with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cosmetic regulations
and are non-toxic.
Competitors must provide their own live (human canvas)
model(s). They must provide a
separate model for each category in which they are competing. Both models must
be there at the beginning of the first competition if the contestant is going
to compete in both categories.
Only one (1) design may be submitted
for judging per category.
No photographs, diagrams or written instructions, printed or electronic,
may be use during competition. All electronic devices must be turned off
prior to entering the competition area.
Metallic, neon, Lumiere and Interfernz paint will be allowed
Prior to the competition, a person designated
by the Competition Director, will inspect the painting materials to ensure the products are manufactured in
accordance with FDA guidelines. This person will not be a judge at the face
CONTESTANTS USING TRADEMARKED DESIGNS WILL RESULT
Painting will be by paintbrush and /or sponge
only. All painting will be free hand.
The use of stamps, stencils and airbrush is prohibited.
Designs cannot include jewels, glitter, gold
leaf, feathers, ribbons or any other non-paint form of embellishment. Models
hair, clothing, or theatrical contact
lens may not be used to enhance design(s).
Depending on space availability, face
painting may be done in front of a live audience. There will be no interaction between
the audience and the competitors.
Judges will not enter the competition area.
Once a category has ended, the models will leave the competition area, parade
in front of the judging panel and then must remain in the holding area until
they have been judged.
A contestant having won First Place with a design
may not compete with the winning design for three (3) consecutive years but may use a
new design(s) the next year.
Designs will be judged on the following
criteria (maximum score of 100 points per judge):
* Using a diagram, from the COAI Clowning 101
manual, the face into four (4) quadrants, using one (1) line vertically down
the center of the face and another line horizontally across the face going from
the middle of the ear across the corner of the eye, across the bridge of the
nose to the other side. The imaginary
lines create four (4) separate quadrants.
Quadrants 1 and 2 start from the bridge of the nose, corner of the eye up to
the forehead hairline. Quadrants 3
and 4 will be from the bridge, center of the nose, corner of the eye middle of
the ear and follow the jawbone line to the tip of the chin. Exceeding any of the quadrants will
result in automatic disqualification.
Best in Clown Award
Contestants are required to indicate, on the competition registration
form, their intent to complete in the Convention Best in Clown.
Contestants have to compete in: Makeup (any category), Single Skit and
In addition, a contestant
must compete in two (2) of the following five (5) competitions: Face
Painting Cheek Art, Face Painting Full Face Art, Single Balloon, Multiple
Balloon, Balloon Arrangement.
If a contestant enters more than just two (2) of the five competitions
(Face Painting Cheek Art, Face
Painting Full Face Art, Single Balloon, Multiple Balloon, or Balloon
Arrangement), the highest two (2) scores
of those five (5) competitions will be used.
If less than five (5) contestants enter the Convention Best in Clown
competition, the winner must earn a minimum of 90
percent on their average scores.
In the event of a tie, the tie breaker will be the highest score in the
The winner of the Convention Best in Clown Award will receive an
engraved medallion, certificate, and a feature to include picture(s) and
interview in The New Calliope and bragging rights for one (1) year.
7. A competitor can compete in Convention Best in Clown if they have previously won this award beginning in 2016, If they win a second time they will be awarded The Convention Clown of Excellence Award
The following are the criteria COAI judges will use when
judging makeup and costumes in COAI competition. The makeup and costume
competition categories are: Classic Whiteface, Comedy Whiteface, Auguste, Lite
Auguste, Tramp/Hobo, Character, and Seniors Division. The overall appearance of
the clown, not just the color of the face alone, establishes the appropriate
Character: Commonly called
the Pierrot Clown, an elegant clown, artistic, colorful, bright and cheery. Its
performance is highly artistic and skillful, but done with a comedic or
Makeup: All exposed flesh
will be covered with white makeup. Minimal lining color(s) and/or glitter will
be used to express the features of the eyes, nose, and mouth. A white skullcap
would be worn in lieu of a colored wig. The European Whiteface generally does
not wear a comedy nose, false eyelashes, or large ears.
Costume: Considered the
"most beautiful" of all clowns, it would be outfitted with the
traditional one or two-piece jumpsuit of white or colored material to fit the
character of the Classic Pierrot. The styles may vary, but are generally roomy
and well fitted and may have a detachable collar. The tunic or blouse can be
straight, flared, short, medium or long with the long sleeves. Buttons,
pompons, piping and ruffles should be of a contrasting color. The pants can be
straight, flared, ruffled or pantaloon. A clown hat should fit the clown¹s
character/personality (i.e.: short or tall cone hat, short cup or flat hat, or
the typical Pagliacci hat). Gloves should cover the hands and wrists and should
be white or colored to fit the wardrobe. Ballet or dancing slippers would be
worn in lieu of large comedy shoes.
The aristocrat of all clowns. An elegant clown, artistic, colorful,
bright and cheery. In a setting with other clowns, the Straight
Whiteface would be in charge. Its performance is highly artistic and
skillful, but done with a comedic or dramatic flair. When performing
with the Auguste and/or Tramp, this clown will remain in charge, setting
up the routine, throwing rather than taking the pie, slap or kick.
Although more comical than the European Whiteface, this clown is a bit
more reserved than the impish and gregarious Auguste.
All exposed flesh will be covered with white makeup. Minimal lining
color(s) and/or glitter will be used to express the features of the
eyes, nose and mouth. Varying styles and colors of clown wigs are used
in lieu of only the skullcap. The color of the wig is generally chosen
to accent another color in the costume.
The costume will fit well. Satins, sequins, rhinestones and theatrical
fabrics (i.e.: shiny, flash, beaded, etc.) can be used. A one or two-piece
jumper worn with a ruffled collar is the most common Whiteface costume.
However, a two-piece suit or tuxedo style is also acceptable. The
costume, including the accessories, should be color coordinated. Shoes
can be large or small but should be simple. Gloves would always be worn.
Character: As the Straight Whiteface is the more traditional
clown, the Grotesque Whiteface, also known as the Comedy Whiteface, is today
the most common Whiteface clown. When performing with the Auguste and/or Tramp,
this clown will usually take charge, setting up the routine, throwing rather
than taking the pie, slap, or kick. Although more comical than the Straight
Whiteface, this clown is usually a bit more reserved than the impish and
Makeup: As in the Straight Whiteface, all exposed flesh of
the face, neck and ears will be covered in white makeup. The coloring and
design of the facial features are what differentiate it from the Classic
design. Whereas the Straight design is purposely kept simple, the (Comedy)
Grotesque Whiteface design may include large false eyelashes, a larger mouth
design, a clown nose and other features on the face. Some of these features may
be outlined in black; glitter and sparkles are also common. Varying styles and
colors of clown wigs are used in lieu of only the skullcap. The color of the
wig is generally chosen to accent another color in the costume.
Although the traditional jump suit can be worn, the (Comedy)
Grotesque Whiteface is equally acceptable in brightly colored shirts and pants,
suits and large comedy shoes that complement the costume. Costumes will be
glitzier and more color coordinated than the Auguste costume. White or colored
gloves should be worn. The female clown costuming does not vary much between
the Auguste and the Whiteface; the tradition of color coordination, sparkles,
glitter, ruffles and ribbon remain. Even when using cotton fabrics, the total
look will be pretty and elegant.
The most comical of all clowns. He/she is impish, gregarious and thrives on
slapstick. His/her actions are big, clumsy and awkward. He/she does not have
much in common with the Whiteface except for the makeup and costume. His/her
personality is that of a rabble-rouser. When appearing with a Whiteface, the
Auguste is the brunt of the joke. However, with the Tramp he becomes the
instigator in control of the situation.
2. Makeup: The
Auguste has a highly colorful makeup with a base color of flesh tone (pink,
tan, reddish brown) on the face and neck. The eye and muzzle areas are usually
covered in white to produce a wide-eyed expression and to accentuate the mouth
design. Designs in and around the eye area and mouth design are generally black
or red, but other lining colors, in moderation, are acceptable. A red shadowing
around the muzzle area is generally outlined in black (or occasionally red).
This clown will normally wear a large comedy nose appropriate to the size of
the clown’s face. The Auguste will always wear a wig, but can choose from the
many varied styles and colors that will accentuate the costume and flesh tones
of the Auguste.
The Auguste clown has the widest variety of costume designs to choose from,
except it would not wear the "traditional" jumpsuit of the Whiteface
clown. The Auguste clown could wear a jacket or coat, short, medium or long,
with or without tails, or go without. The pants could be short, long or
oversize. It can choose from a wide selection of colorful plaids, stripes,
polka dots, and checks, as well as solid colors. Commonly called "the
tailor’s nightmare," the colors and patterns should complement the overall
clown¹s appearance, whether or not they are coordinated or matched. Theatrical
fabrics or sequins are inappropriate on the Auguste costume. He/she is usually
a notorious prankster and may need a lot of pockets to carry gags and tricks.
The costume can be complemented with outlandish accessories like large or small
ties, vests, colorful socks, large or comical collars, suspenders and many
styles and colors of comedy clown shoes. These and one of the many hat
possibilities, like skimmers, Irish derbies, bowlers, top hats, stovepipes, mad
hatters and crushable in various bright colors, will enhance the Auguste clown
character. White or colored gloves are also worn. Although the classic European
Auguste is used in skits, it is not appropriate for COAI competitions.
Costuming does not vary much between the Auguste and the Whiteface female clown
regarding style, but the Whiteface tradition of color coordination, sparkles,
glitter, ruffles and ribbon remain. Even when using cotton fabrics, the total
look would be pretty and elegant. The Auguste female clown may wear mismatched
colors and be totally uncoordinated, but may also prefer to be a pretty clown.
This is acceptable. However, the female Auguste must never wear sequins and
glitter or use theatrical fabrics. These belong only to the Whiteface beauties.
Large comedy shoes should be worn. The female Auguste may choose to be a
bumbling, stumbling or slapstick personality, much the same as the male Auguste
- Many clowns in the United States of America
have altered the look of the traditional Auguste clown.
COAI has embraced the new look and defined it as Lite Auguste. This category
isn't just a lite face design in a traditional clown costume. It is a
Make-up: The design of Lite Auguste makeup is much smaller and not designed for working in an
arena or in front of a large audience. It is designed for working in a more
intimate setting such as one-on-one at a birthday party, in a hospital, on the
street, etc. The design incorporates an eye accent, mouth, eyebrow, nose
(artificial or painted on) and lite cheek accent. Makeup does not cover
entire face, ears and/or neck. The use of a base makeup is optional. If a
base is applied, it does not have to reach all areas of the face and neck. A
muzzle is optional, but, if used, should be small in size. NO COLOR WIG IS USED. Natural hair or lack
there of is preferred. If a wig is used because of lack of hair, it should look
like natural hair. The design/style
of your human hair or lack thereof will be judged in support of the overall
makeup design. No glitter or highlights of any type shall be incorporated
in the lite clown makeup design.
Costume: The supporting costume
will be more pedestrian/human like (i.e.:
people clothes). Washable fabrics would be
used. Costume design will incorporate more secondary colors, such as
green, orange and violet as well as browns and sands. The use of primary colors
will be minimized. Pants, dresses, shirts, skirts, vests, ties,
accent pieces will be more human like. They can be baggy or tight. No large
embellishments are needed. Gloves are optional. NO CLOWN JACKETS WOULD BE
WORN. Costume pattern can be plaid, checks, and solid color and emphasizes the
secondary and/or earth tone colors. Neither shiny satin fabric nor
glitter would be incorporated in the costume, such as sequin ties, vests or
hats. Clown shoes are optional. Shoe design would have to work with and
support the costume. Hats are optional. If a hat is worn, it must be more
pedestrian. Ties and collars would be small in size and more
pedestrian. Socks will match the design of the costume.
Red Skelton in his Freddie the Freeloader character, portrayed this type of
character, character portrayed this type of character. Considered the only true
American clown, some believe that this character developed from the days of the
depression in the 30¹s when men "rode the rails" looking for work.
Other historical references indicate the Tramp makeup goes back to vaudeville
and minstrel shows of the 1800¹s and early 1900¹s. Regardless of the type of
Tramp/Hobo, he/she is the one who is the brunt of the joke and will be on the
receiving end of the pie, slap or kick from the Whiteface or Auguste. Both
variations tramps and Tamp There are some variations in this clown category.
The classic Tramp epitomized by Emmett Kelly and Otto Griebing of circus fame
is the forlorn and downtrodden character who has nothing and knows he will
never have anything. By nature he probably will be a loner, who is reflected in
his determination to be silent, generally not talking to anyone but his peers.
His downcast mannerisms and shuffling, burdensome movements reflect his hard
Makeup: Male is black or a shade of dark gray to reflect the soot and beard,
feathered into the upper cheeks and down under the chin. A ruddy nose is used.
A little red shading in the cheeks can help create the sunburned look. The
eyebrows and mouth should be turn down to reflect sadness tones.
Costume: These should be well tatted
and held together with rags or other materials, with uneven stitching or held
together with whatever available. A dark, battered hat, tattered shoes and
socks, worn shirt and tie will exaggerate the character. Gloves are generally
old and worn. In keeping with the unemployed status of the Tramp, this
character would not wear expensive watches, rings, or new belt, shoes or socks.
4. Hobo: The vagabond, elegant or happy Tramp
is the businessman, scholar or playboy who, being fed up with his life, walked
out of society for the wanderlust of travel He will work when he must. He is
the king of the road, happy with what he has, and does not expect much. His
character may take on some of the characteristics of the Auguste. Red Skelton
in his Freddie the Freeloader character portrayed this type of character. It is
considered to be the only true American clown.
Makeup: Male is black or a shade of
dark gray to reflect the beard, feathered into the upper cheeks and down under
the chin. A ruddy nose is used. A little red shading in the cheeks can help
create the sunburned look. The shape of the eyebrows and mouth should turn up
to reflect carefree attitude.
Costume: Usually a dark suit, tuxedo, tails or just shirt and pants made to
look old and worn for the male and an old worn-out dress and/or coat for the
bag lady. Should be well patched with rags or other materials, with uneven
stitching or held together with whatever available. A dark, battered hat,
tattered shoes and socks, worn shirt and tie will exaggerate the character.
Gloves are generally old and worn. In keeping with the unemployed status of
this character he/she would not wear expensive watches, rings, or new belt,
shoes or socks.
Lady Makeup: Bag Lady makeup is similar to the Tramp or Hobo – minus the beard,
of course! Makeup should be a base color of flesh tone. A little red shading in
the cheeks can help create the sunburned look adding some brown or gray makeup
highlights to reflect the image of living on the streets with a little White
above the eye.
Lady Costume: She usually wears layers of clothing – a frumpy dress or skirt
and blouse, perhaps a sweater and jacket over top. Add a scarf around the neck
and some type of headwear. Bag ladies often wear worn sneakers or boots with
droopy socks, perhaps a piece of cheap costume jewelry and, of course, carry a
tattered bag or push-cart for their worldly possessions.
A Character clown is one who portrays an identifiable
character and/or occupation (i.e.: fireman, nurse, doctor, cowboy, hockey
player, policeman, sailor, small child, etc.). Contestants must remember that
this is a clown competition; therefore, realistic impersonations or clown
impersonations of famous personalities (i.e.: Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields,
Col. Sanders, etc.), are not considered "clowns." Representations of
animals or cartoon characters (i.e.: dogs, cats, Smurfs, etc.), are also not
considered Character clowns. Rules regarding costumes mentioned above would not
necessarily be used in judging this category. The judges will grade the
contestant on how well the costume helps to identify the character. When
judging this category, judges will evaluate the contestant’s makeup according
to the appropriate makeup guidelines.
Contestants who are 55 years of age or
older may elect to be judged in the Seniors Division rather than other makeup
and costume categories. All types of clowns will be judged in this category,
using the criteria set for the various types of clowns. A senior may enter only
A Novelty clown is one whose costume is
primarily designed for a parade as a sight gag. Members who want to compete
with these types of costumes must enter the Paradeability competition.