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August 16, 2006

A Massage Therapist Who Clowns Around

The Culpeper Citizen profiles Barbara Legge, a licensed massage therapist, who has an interesting second job: she is a professional clown.

Her career in clowning began 13 years ago with a little help from a client in her massage business. Her position as a massage therapist often brings its share of sorrow, Mrs. Legge says, with clients treating her like a confidante when life gets tough.

One client worked as a clown, and had a different tale to tell.

"There are so many sad stories," Mrs. Legge recalled. "So when she told me about clowning and how uplifting it was, it was just perfect timing."

Not surprisingly, being a self-employed professional clown carries the same benefits/negatives as a self-employed massage therapist.

The business carries some benefits as well. Clowning is a potentially profitable business, so much so that Mrs. Legge figures she could make more money if she committed herself to it. Birthday parties provide a steady income, but more money can be found in securing steady work with day care centers and nursing homes.

Companies are charged at least $125 per hour; birthday parties run $175 to $250, depending on the services. Much of the money is eaten by the job itself; Mrs. Legge must pay her own health insurance, secure liability insurance through the World Clown Association, and assume the costs of her ongoing education. Taxes at the end of the year are a pain; companies must pay her with 1099 forms that accumulate.

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Posted by linda at August 16, 2006 11:45 PM

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