Portrait of Grandma

by Jim Gerrish and The Wiz Kids

I should explain that we teach the Wiz Kids how to make one clown face and fit into one clown character, whose name is always Boppo, no matter which Wiz Kid is playing the role. As they graduate from the Wiz Kids and are ready to create their own clown faces and personalities to go with it, they also choose their own clown names. They will also take with them the skills they have learned in the Wiz Kids, and among those skills is how to make your own clown magic props from stuff you can find at a flea-market, second-hand store, or Dollar store. The idea is to make them self-sufficient entertainers. If all else fails for them in life, they can always go back to being a clown.

One of the more advanced props made by our clowns is the Portrait of Grandma, but it is only considered advanced because the complex version requires some basic woodworking skills. The simple version can be made by a Kid with a bottle of glue and a pair of scissors.


The clown enters carrying a picture, and looks around for a place to put it. "This is a portrait of my Grandma," he tells everyone. "I always carry it with me everywhere I go. I don't like to show it to anyone else, because people always laugh at my Grandma. I don't know why. She looks perfectly normal to me. I would show you her portrait, but you might laugh. You would have to promise that you won't laugh if I show you Grandma's portrait. Do you promise? OK, I'll show you. This is my Grandma."

The clown turns the picture around, and of course, Grandma is also a clown, so all the kids laugh. "You laughed! She is pretty funny looking, though, isn't she? You can tell it's a really old picture because it's all black and white. Just like all the old movies are in black and white. They didn't have any colors back in those days. Maybe we could use some clown magic to put some color in Grandma's portrait. (To the kids) Would you like that? (To the picture)Would you like that, Grandma? (The clown makes the portrait nod its head.) Grandma says Yes! Let's do it!"

I'm sure you can predict the rest of the routine as the clown goes through all the ways of having the kids help him color the portrait of Grandma. They are pretty much the same as the ones used for most Coloring Book routines these days, including the new ones I show you how to make HERE. In this article, I show you how to make the Portrait with both the simple method and the complex method explained. Because you are making it yourself, you are not limited to a clown theme, but can make a Santa Claus version, Frosty the Snowman, the Easter Bunny (help him color all those eggs!), and so on.

Here's a video of Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki giving a very simple performance of Portrait of Grandma.

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