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About the Artist

Mary Thaxton is a North Carolina native and was a professional performer and voice-over artist in the
Raleigh/Durham radio and television market in her teens and twentys. Along with working as an on-air talent, she appeared in presentations for IBM, Old Salem and commercials for such clients as Hardee's, Audio Buys and Holly Hill Hospital. Mary was often cast as a child behind the microphone because of her youthful voice. Even after graduating from ECU with a degree in Broadcasting/Communications, Mary continued to perform on stage, on camera or behind the mic as a voice talent. But...as with all fields, sometimes you have to wait tables to get that first big break.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Work This Morning…   In 1989, O'Brian's Restaurant in Raleigh requested that all floor employees be in a costume of some sort - preferably as a famous movie character.   Mary went to a local magic store to finish a Mae West outfit but a sales clerk suggested she try being a clown instead. Merging the two fields (radio & stage) and combining her natural enthusiasm and her life-long love of children seemed, well...normal.

What's in a Name & the Early Years   A few days later, a novice clown/waitress wandered out of the O'Brian's staff doorway to wait tables. A dark-haired child approached her and asked for her name. "I don't have a name! What's yours?" asked the clown. "Molly," said the youngster. "That's a pretty name," said the clown, "may I borrow it?" They smiled and the little girl hugged her neck. Anne seemed like a natural tag and was added a couple of conversations later. So the name is Molly - which, coincidentally, is the Irish name for Mary. Luckily, she was a better clown than a waitress!  Mary took classes in clowning, attended conventions and camps across the country and competed and won awards on an international level in her craft.  She has honed her skills over the years in improvisation, circus performance, makeup, costume design, props and continuity.

The Purpose of the Clown House

Molly Anne's Clown House is devoted to the promotion of the traditional art and history of American Clowning and focuses on performance and strong character development - not just the "arts and crafts" of today's clowns. Over the years, Mary has transitioned from student to educator; sharing her unique expertise in restaurant clowning, character development and performing for children four years and younger. Mary sees her work as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people by encouraging creativity and the magic of community, sharing and learning.

What makes a great clown? Energy, a GREAT sense of humor, a penchant for showmanship that shows in a twinkle in the eyes and carries over in everything they do. You can see experience in the quality of the clown's makeup & costuming but, most of all, you should be able to hear that performer's laughter - even in a picture. The Clown House is ready to help you make your event unforgettable!

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