Who are you when you're not being Twisty?
Why do you want to be a clown?
I have a host of names beginning with Sara Lou Manning. I'm also a
wife, mom (3 sons), MeMe (11 grandchildren), daughter, sister, teacher
(church), friend, and many people call me their hairdresser. I've been
owner and stylist of Hairlines, and I still design hair 3 days a week, teach 5-year olds at Grace
Point Church, and teach cosmetology at Career Academy of hair design one
day a week. I specialize in hair additions and hair replacement with wigs
and hairpieces and travel with my husband whenever we can.
This is my answer to children when they ask if I'm a "real" clown:
"When I was a little girl about your age, I was just your size. When
I grew up I found sometimes it was more fun to be a kid, so I decided
to be a clown so I could do fun stuff and have lots of fun with friends
like you. I go to clown school, I play with clown toys, and I sing
happy, fun clown songs. When I get tired I go back to my little clown
house on the edge of the forest."
What kinds of things do you do at a party?
I do face painting, silly songs, games, magic, and balloon creations.
We can put together a party from your needs and my abilities that fits
your time, space, and budget.
Do you ever do charity work as a clown?
Yes. Each year I pick 3 charities I want to support and I do all I can
to make the event or fun raiser as successful as possible. I also
discount my price to several events each year. In order to donate to
some there are still expenses I must meet so I need to charge at least
a discounted fee in order to keep the professional quality needed and
How do you learn to become a clown?
There are two main clown organizations I'm a part of. Clowns of
America International and World Clowns. I have been active and held
every office in our local COAI Clown Alley #229 for almost 20 years. We
have monthly educational and fun meetings. There is also a bi-monthly
magazine from these two organizations with lots of training as well as
yearly conventions held in different cities across the states.
What is your passion or determination about being a clown?
Clowns of America International (COAI) -- 20 year member
Local monthly meetings, training publications and conventions
World Clown -- publications/workshops/conventions
LaCrosse Wisconsin: 3 years
Mooseburger Clown Camp: 2 years
Great American Clown Adventures: 1 year
Show Me Clowns for Jesus: 10 years
What are some of your favorite memories of your clown events?
- I love children
- If we use fun, games, music, art, etc. to teach our children,
they learn faster and have fun doing it.
- My underlying message each time I clown is to teach children to
be safe, don't go away with strangers -- even someone dressed like a
- God loves the child in all of us.
- I want to provide good, clean, simple, and quality family fun.
What do you do when someone is scared of clowns?
- Several times the birthday child has been quiet and drawn back. I
don't force myself on anyone, but after awhile the child finds I'm
safe and is ready to play. Sometimes, I even get a big hug afterwards.
- A senior adult lady having a 90th birthday celebration while in
the nursing home. She had been unresponsive for months but when I did a
simple magic trick that produced old nursery rhymes she started singing
along. We sang, "Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle," "Humpty
Dumpty," Jack and Jill," and more. As the mom and I sang nursery
rhymes, the daughter and staff sang along and cried. There have been
many special events.
I stand back, gently wave, then start playing with the other children.
I've never had a child not warm up to me eventually. Some adults are
scared of clowns but several movies have portrayed clowns in a bad way.
I just get more hugs than tears. I really do not like it when people
shove their kids to me and tell them, "Stop crying; that clown won't
hurt you!" I step back and ask the parent to let the child accept me
Where have you had your most experience?
I've been part of
every Main Street Rogers festival for 20 years. I've done 100's of birthday parties
for children young and old. I've been involved with many company events
from company picnics, roasting the president of the company, open
houses, Christmas parties, etc. I helped with church worship and
Do you ever do other characters?
Yes. Auntie Clause is my newest adventure. She is Santa's favorite
aunt. With song, stores, puppets, and magic, she entertains children in
many different venues. Silly Sara can be entertaining for children too
young to understand the antics of a clown.
Facial painter / Balloon artist. Some events call for these special
skills without the craziness of a clown character.