What is a Clown Alley? It's a group, a chapter, a gang, a troupe, a crowd... I think you get the picture. If you belong to a bunch of clowns that meet regularly, we either have you in our directory or we want you there!
The term 'Clown Alley'
has two possible originations.
In the circus, clowns were given their own section in the dressing tent because powdering their make-up could be messy. This section was typically nearest to the side of the tent so the clowns could easily duck underneath the canvas to powder their make-up outside.
Because this section was the farthest from the opening to the main tent, it was also the darkest. The darkness outside and the tent wall down one side made it seem like an alley, so it came to be called "clown alley."
During the show, if there were problems with the rigging or someone got injured, the clowns would fill in until the show was ready to resume. It is said that the traditional method to signal an acrobat to go on to begin his act was to yell “Allez Oop” (pronounced Alley Oop). When the clowns were needed, the director would yell, “Clowns Allez” meaning “Clowns Go”.
After a while, the group of clowns became known as the “Clown Alley” and the area where they waited between acts also adopted this name.
Today’s clowns use RV’s and motor homes to dress and apply make-up, so the historical dressing area no longer exists. Hence the term is used for any organized group of clowns, whether or not they are affiliated with a circus or carnival.
Find out more about clown alleys here.
Joining an Alley
will provide many benefits to your clowning future:
the credibility (and referrals) that come from association with other clowns, opportunities to learn more about your craft and increase your skill level, and the joy of networking with other clowns!
For more information contact: