Spending a day at Kings Dominion is sure to put a smile on your face, but what about a pep in your step? This is where our long-standing Clown Band comes in! A Kings Dominion tradition, you can catch these performers strolling throughout the park, playing tunes that will make you burst out in dance and song at any given moment. You’ve seen these talented musicians bust a groove, but have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a member of The Clown Band?
Long-time member Olivia Slagle is hard to miss within the group, as her bursting personality and love for music shows with each performance. We were lucky enough to catch up with Olivia to give you the inside scoop on a typical day in the life of a Clown Band member and what her position here at Kings Dominion means to her.
What got you interested in becoming an entertainer? I would say that I have always been an entertainer, but then someone gave me a trumpet in middle school and that became just another way to entertain people and myself.
How did you find your position with Kings Dominion? I actually started off as a Dino Guide during the first year that Dinosaurs Alive! was open. Because that position was a part of Entertainment, I had my ear to the ground for any instrumental performance opportunities. Luckily, they brought back The Clown Band in 2014 and there began the greatest journey life has given me.
What do you enjoy most about your job? It’s hard to only pick one thing. I love the clowns. They are some of my very best friends in the world and it’s so fun to entertain guests with great music and even better dance moves.
Favorite memory on the job? Again, too many to count. I’ll go with one time we were playing for guests in the water park, by the wave pool, and we all just decided to get in the water. We were completely submerged and still playing music and dancing. Do I get job protection during this interview??
How much training went into your position here at Kings Dominion? I have played and been practicing trumpet since 2003. I went to VCU for Music so a lot of time has been put into learning the trumpet. As far as clowning goes, my teachers throughout my life might tell you I was born for this job. We do spend a couple of weeks before opening practicing new tunes and choreography.
What is your long-term career plan and how has your job at Kings Dominion helped with that? I guess my “real” job is that I am a middle school Band teacher in Chesterfield. I’ve been doing that for three years now. Being a part of The Clown Band has prepared me to improvise and find the best of every situation.
6:30am - wake up, brush teeth, floss
7:00am - run for about 40 mins
8:00am - prepare and eat a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, coffee, and lots of water
9:00 AM - leave for Kings Dominion
9:55 AM - clock in and warm-up on trumpet
10:15 AM - group physical warm-ups (jumping jacks, dance offs, stretching…)
11:00 AM - 1st performance
11:20 AM - Music Rehearsal (learning a new tune)
12:30 PM - 2nd walk
12:50 PM - Notes (discuss the good, bad, and the ugly of what we’ve done so far that day)
2:00 PM - 3rd walk
2:20 PM - clock out for break/eat lunch (I bring my own food from home)
4:00 PM – 4th walk
4:20 PM - cleaning duties: vacuum the Clown Band room, empty trash, sweep common area
4:30 PM - go home
Kings Dominion provides the framework for a successful career path, no matter what area you’re interested in. If you’d like to join our entertainment team, or browse other available positions, head over to our website and fill out an application! We’d love to have you join our team.