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BJs Party House (Klown Kapers Inc.) was founded by BJ the Clown in 1983. After she obtained her select BFA degree in Theatre (FSU School of Theatre) and Secondary Level Florida Teachers Certification in 1978 (FSU school of Education), BJ the Clown Recognized the need for street performer and stage performance artistry in a more accessible fashion in North Florida. In addition to increasing the availability of such performances, it became necessary to establish a training program and workshop space to facilitate the sustainability and expansion of such a project. After receiving a grant to work as an Artist in Residence in the neighboring Monticello school system for one year (sponsored by the State of Florida Cultural Resources Commission), BJ became encouraged to take out a small business loan and establish a corporation by and for professional artists in North Florida. The location of BJS Party House was established in the heart of Tallahassee on Lake Ella and over the years the performance troupe grew from 3 entertainers to the current 25.
BJ was inspired in her youth by the Greatest Show on Earth and the amazing performances of the Barnum and Bailey clown troupes of the 1950s and 60s. BJ was mesmerized by the performances of the Great Emmett Kelly and his entourage of talented Clowns. Emmet Kellys empathy and pathos, laced within his slapstick routines and introspective Mime performances set to music tugged at her heartstrings and tickled her funny bone. Other great artists of this genre and time period included Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Red Skelton, Charlie Chaplin, and Marcel Marceau. These were the greats of their time. Who will be the greats of our time?
An innovative legacy that draws upon the knowledge and experience of the past, with a new twist that pushes the boundaries of the present, is where the art of clowning and street performance is going today.
Our job is to "Keep em Smilin" and to lift the everyday man (and woman) out of the chains of everyday life into a world of imagination, laughter, and possibility. If we cant look at ourselves and laugh, then where is the joy of living?