Words From a Clown

by Editor In Chief Marisa Kaplita

Ryan Cosgrove, also known as Wally the Clown, has added another name to the list: Santa Claus.  Ryan started dressing as Santa to entertain all the children of Branford and bring a little Christmas to the town.

Ryan started volunteering as a Clown for church events back when he was twelve, and over the years he has watched his business transform into a full time job.  Now the Branford High School Senior has a budding entertainment business – he entertains at parties and events year round making balloon animals and kids laugh.  He has even brought his talents to the children in the child development area.

“I have always been a clown at heart,” Ryan said. “And  just recently I started putting on the costume and makeup to make it a career.”

This year was his first time dressing as Santa and is planning on bringing out the costume for years to come.  Ryan liked being Santa Claus because he says, “The kids loved me when I played the role as Santa.  I’m used to kids being excited with the clown act but when I was Santa they all came swarming over to say ‘Hi!’ and tell me what they wanted [for Christmas].”

Ryan is not only a role model to the young children, but also for high school students as well.  
Ryan is proof that high school students do not need to wait until after graduation to start their lives. You can start your life whenever an opportunity comes your way. Ryan still plans to continue his education after graduation and he says “Wally will be the way I pay for college.”

Ryan is already learning valuable business skills that will set him up for whatever career he wishes to pursue.  His plans are to become a physiologist, and he has already learned skills that will help him land his dream job.  Although it may not seem like dressing up as a clown will help him become a physiologist, you need to look at the big picture.  He has learned to market himself, to work with children, and to budget his time and money.  These are all things that will put him ahead of all the other high school students looking to be physiologists.

Additional Q and A with Ryan:

Do you volunteer a lot as a Clown/Santa?
Oh yes! I volunteer quite a lot as Wally. For example in August I go to my church where the clown act all originated and I volunteer my time there and entertain the kids the whole week of the carnival.

What are the mechanics of your job? Planning and organizing?
It’s pretty laid back. The way it works is if you’re a client looking to book me for your event, you would call me book an date a month before the event takes place. You choose which package you would like to purchase. We scheduled a date to meet before the event to sign contracts and agreement forms and you pay me a $50 deposit. And then when the day of your event comes i arrive, you pay my assistant the remanding fee before I enter and then I entertain and make your event a full success!

Any interesting stories? Know anyone who is afraid of clowns?
I have many stories! If I were to write them all down I would end up writing a 500 paged novel!  One story I could share briefly is that I met my current girlfriend, who I’ve now been dating for almost three years, in my clown suit at a church carnival. And yes I do know people afraid of clowns; something every professional clown knows is how to handle that type of situation if a child is afraid of you.

Would you ever sell out to the mall as Santa?
Definitely! That’d be awesome and great for my business!

To Learn More about Ryan and his Clown business or would like to book him for a party you can check out his Wally the Clown Facebook Page by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wally-The-Clown/244954628862559


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