A bright outfit and colorful makeup are all that it takes for 24-year-old Amanda Schutz to transform into bubbly, kid-friendly Loli Pop the Clown.
Schutz describes Loli Pop as a much more animated version of herself. She believes kids respond well to the character because of the way she treats them.
“I’m real, I’m fun and I’m funny, but I’m not goofy. The thing about me is, I treat them with respect. I talk to them like a peer and they respond well to that,” Schutz said.
A joke between her friends in New York, where she grew up, landed Schutz in the world of clowning in 2007.
She saw an ad on-line for a clown position with an entertainment company. After some encouragement from her pals, Schutz applied for the job.
“It started out as this part-time joke of a job, but they see how much I love it and what I’ve done with it,” she said.
Schutz worked the party scene for a few years on the East Coast before moving to Wisconsin in 2010.
After getting settled in Port Washington, Schutz missed performing, so she started booking Loli Pop for parties.
While she loves performing for kids of all ages, Schutz is prepared for whatever may come her way.
“You never know what type of kids you’re going to get. You could get a group of kids that are totally not into what you do and you have to work with them to figure out what they like,” she said. “Then you could get a group of kids that are totally into you.”
Armed with a variety of games to play and songs to sing, Schutz also entertains kids with balloon animals. It is a skill, she said, that took only a couple weeks to master.
“With balloon twisting it’s pretty simple. Once you learn how to make one shape, generally you can make other things,” Schutz said. “Face painting is a little more difficult.”
Whether she’s painting a rainbow on a girl’s cheek or making a balloon animal for a little boy, Schutz finds every part of her job rewarding.
“I love being with the kids. Just having fun with them, but at the same time being able to make them feel special,” she said. “Even if it’s not the birthday boy or girl. Even if it’s the kid in the corner who’s shying away from everybody. If I can make them smile, that’s wonderful.”
From a young age, Schutz loved to perform. She participated in theater workshops and did theater in high school. So it was only natural for Schutz to major in arts administration with a concentration in theater at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y.
After college, the competitive nature of the theater world didn’t interest Schutz. The flexibility of being able to perform when she wants as Loli Pop the Clown has been a much better fit.
“I’ve made this my own. I’m always in control of everything. I’m always the star, I’m always where I want to be and I’m in charge,” she said.
Now, after a year of performing as Loli Pop in the state, Schutz is gearing up for the summer season when she books more than 20 parties a month.
The success of Loli Pop the Clown has allowed her to focus strictly on the party business. When weekends are slow, Schutz said she misses putting on the costume and transforming into the fun-loving character she is proud of.
“It’s nice to say that ‘Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of performing’ and I’ve done that. I’ve made it my own,” she said. “I’m doing it and making money off of it and living the dream. I’m doing what I love to do.”
Image Information: Amanda Schutz’s alter ego Loli Pop uses Hula-Hoops and her sunny personality to entertain children.