Chapter 2 Typecast

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There are three types of clowns the whiteface, auguste, and the hobo clown. I mentioned them briefly in my last chapter. Each of the clown types has a distinct personality.

The whiteface is the most intelligent and the leader of the clowns. They are usually very skilled and do something like play a musical instrument well. They are considered the straight man of the clowns. They wear the most elegant costume. They are the only clown type that gets to wear a bedazzled costume and sparkly makeup. The whiteface should be all covered up. No skin should show.

There are three subtypes: the European, neat and grotesque.

The European white face traditionally uses their own hair or wears a tall white conical hat. They paint their ears red.

The neat whiteface usually wears a white skullcap and has features that are less exaggerated.

The grotesque or comedic whiteface usually has the boldest features of all the whiteface clowns. They usually wear a bulbous fake nose. Some say that the whiteface clowns are only allowed to wear red, orange or yellow wigs because they most resemble natural human hair colors. I personally think that it is fine to wear other colors of wigs like pink and green.

Some people consider the whiteface to be the scariest. They say the white makeup makes the face look like a death mask.

The auguste is dumber than the whiteface. They are not as skillful. They are seen as the buffoon.

It is pronounced oh-gooh-st. It is spelled A-U-G-U-S-T-E not "August". I don't know how many times I've seen people describe their clowns as "August".

There is also the contra-auguste who is higher in status than the regular auguste, but lower than a whiteface.

The auguste clown usually wears an ill fitting costume either too baggy or too small. The lady auguste clowns usually wear dresses that are very similar to the ones the whiteface lady clowns wear, but less glitzy. This type of clown can get away with wearing short sleeved shirts. Many clowns who are whiteface like to become auguste clowns in the summer only because it is cooler and they don't have to be all covered up.

The hobo clown is the lowest in the chain of clowns. There are a few types of hobos; happy tramp, down on his luck, and the bag lady. The bag lady is the woman version of this character clown.

The hobo has features that are not as sharp as the other two types. There is a special color of makeup that is sold that is in the shade of stubble. The bag lady will have a more weathered or sunburnt look since most ladies don't usually have stubble.

It is not recommended to have facial hair like a beard or mustache as a clown. It is usually seen as unprofessional. Some clowns color their facial hair with colored chalk or makeup. A hobo clown or other character clown could possibly get away with it.

Try not to stray from the personality type associated with your makeup nobody wants to see an uptight auguste or a hobo straight man.

There are also character clowns which sometimes can be lumped in with the hobos. For this chapter I'm making character clowns their own category. Character clowns are clowns that dress as a character like a nurse or a chef. Although there can be overlap like an auguste princess clown. Many clowns who also dress as character clowns keep the face and change the costume.

There are a lot of very important things to learn about clown makeup. For example there should be no angular shapes on the face. It makes for a scary Halloween face or so they say. The bottom lip is the only part of the lip that should be painted a different color; usually in red or black. Only because the upper lip has no movement although mouth pips are allowed. It makes the clown look like they are always smiling. Some lady clowns can get away with the painted upper and lower kissy lips. A blobby sausage shape or watermelon shape mouth is seen as old, scary, and outdated. Blue is a color that is recommended to be used on the face sparingly. Some people like to use it for an eye shadow color and that is seen as acceptable. The colors purple and pink should be used sparingly as well. Green and yellow should not be used. It makes the clown look sickly. The four colors for a clown face besides the base makeup are usually blue, black, red and white.

Remember those make up rules were made for a reason, and that's why they should be followed. Please do yourself a favor and get the book Strutter's Complete Guide to Clown Makeup. It will help you make a professional looking clown face.

 It will help you make a professional looking clown face

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