How much does a clon charge? what is a reasonable price for 3 hours?
Asking how much a clown costs is kind of like asking how much a lawyer costs... some lawyers charge $40 bucks an hour, and some charge $1000 bucks an hour. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't specifically tell you whether or not the ones who charge $1000 are more highly skilled than the ones who charge $40. But, I do have my suspicions.
However, I am a clown, so I have a little more first-hand knowledge of the clowning industry.
Prices for clowns will vary greatly. Unfortunately, again like lawyers, unless you've seen them at work you don't really know if you are getting someone talented until you see them perform their skills in person. I've met clowns who charged $1000 for a one-afternoon performance and were well worth that price. I've also met "clowns" who charged $75 for a one hour birthday party who were horribly overpriced.
In most major cities, you can probably find a talented clown performer who is skilled at juggling, physical comedy, circus skills, and improvisational audience interaction. Such a person is not likely to be hired for less than $100 PER HOUR (minimum), and may be much more. But again, if you want a good show, be prepared to pay for it. Good skills don't just happen, they take years-and dollars- to master, and the people doing it aren't going to just give it away.
To make sure you get someone good, ask for references, and then be sure to ask the references what the clown did and what they looked like. Appearance counts: rainbow wigs and amateurish makeup doesn't cut it. Some clowns don't wear much makeup or any makeup at all, and their character projects their "inner clown". Some clowns do wear makeup, and if they do, it should look neatly applied, and designed well. Good clown makeup should look friendly and appealing, not scary or grotesque. The job of the makeup is not to hide the face, but to open up the face, and through that, the personality of, the clown. Costumes should look professional and not like they came off the Halloween rack or from the bargain bin at the Goodwill Thrift Store.
If you hire someone and expect a show, you're going to be very disappointed if they show up and start twisting balloon animals. It's also an unfortunate fact that many balloon-twisting and face-painting hobbyist clowns with no real performance skills have begun calling themselves "professional clowns" and been raising their prices over the last few years to appear to be on the same quality level as the real performing clowns. They are not. This is a ploy to get your money.
To find a good performer in your area, contact local juggling clubs or performance art groups. Avoid local clown clubs (also called "clown alleys") as these are usually populated with senior citizens and weekend-hobby clowns who are in it mainly for balloon twisting and face painting for kids, but don't have any real performance skills to offer. Don't get me wrong, amateur clowns are great for giving away balloon animals at charity functions and stuff, but if a performance is what you want, then hire someone who has the skills to give you what you expect.
I don't know where "j" gets his information from, but I can tell you for sure that if you hire someone who charges fifteen dollars an hour, you will be very sadly disappointed. No one with any performance skills would work for such an insulting amount. I know of instances where people have hired a teenager or college student and offered them a few bucks to put on a cheap clown costume and stand out by the street to wave at traffic or hold up advertising signs, but this is different than hiring a real clown for entertainment purposes. Perhaps this is what "j" was talking about.
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The only way to regulate this subject is financially. Anything that is unhealthy should have a tax penalty, then people will eat healthier because it will be cheaper. When someone can buy a ready-meal and microwave it in 5 minutes, with a cost of a few pounds, are they really going to spend time buying different ingredients, preparing them and spending 20 minutes to cook it unless there is a financial incentive? I am pretty certain that if a family meal of burger and chips was £20 it would soon become a thing of the past. Why have Government telling us what we should and shouldn't eat, why not have our diet and well being controlled by our budget. Government doesn't prevent us smoking and drinking ourselves to death, because it is a massive revenue stream. Why not just add unhealthy food to the list then no one can say it is unfair.
Depends on what you want the clown to do.
But a reasonable price would be something around 12-15 dollars an hour, and giving tips is always nice.