For more trusted health
news and information,
visit CBS DFW's
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The preferred prescription at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas is laughter and the hospital is looking for a few good clowns to help!
Children’s will soon hold auditions for those wanting to join their team of therapeutic clowns. Officially the new part-time employees would be a part of the Funnyatrics Department – seriously.
For only the second time, since the program began, Children’s will hold open auditions for clowns. On Monday, June 20, there will be auditions for one or possibly two clown positions.
Interested ‘feel gooders’ must be able to connect with sick and even dying children.
During tryouts applicants will have to dress up and show off their talents… basically ‘clowning around’. The object is to find people who have the right skills for making children happy. And don’t worry if you can’t juggle, the staff will train you if need be!
The top finalists will receive a call back for a second audition where they’ll get to go on medical rounds to see how they perform with real patients.
The benefits therapeutic clowns offer go a lot farther than the ‘funny bone’. Doctors say there’s a medicinal purpose for the clowns being there. “There’s no question that they help. Laughter is nothing more than exercise and relaxation. It reduces the stress and helps release the good things in the body and help the immune system and help the healing process,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Podeszwa explained.
Tiffany Riley, also known as Dr. Slappy, started the group in 2005 when there were only two clowns working at the hospital just one day a week. Now there are eight clowns on the team who make rounds everyday.
Children’s Medical Center won’t disclose the hourly rate for the part-time clown position, but say the wages are competitive with any professional clown organization or circus.
Children’s is asking that all applicants call first to reserve a spot. Call the Foundation for Laughter at (972) 513-0669. Auditions will take place from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on June 20 at the Dallas Ambulatory Care pavilion, 2350 Stemmons Freeway in Dallas.