AminoActiv gained some new fans at a recent Jeanne Robertson show in Tampa. Anne Pratt and Deb Montye are the mother-daughter clown team, Dipsy & Doodle (respectively). We asked freelance writer, Robin Merrill, to talk with them recently about AminoActiv and their clown business.
RM: Tell me about Dipsy & Doodle!
Doodle: Well, we’re family entertainers. We’ve been in the business for 20-something years. Mom has been in theater her whole life, and she went to an on-camera class, where she met a woman who was a clown. And this is just the way Mom is: she said, “If she can be a clown, I can be a clown.” And the rest is history.
Dipsy: She was a hospital clown and we’re not hospital clowns, ’cause we’d probably give the cardiac people some trouble. And the older I get, the less time I want to spend in hospitals.
Doodle: So she nagged me to death to get me to clown class, and then we started our own business. We do clowning and magic. She does lots of stuff. She’ll be 83 in March, and she’s on no medication. She runs circles around me.
RM: Wow, that’s fantastic! How did you hear about AminoActiv?
Dipsy: We were at a Jeanne Robertson show that was sponsored by AminoActiv. Mark Faulkner, the president of Vireo Systems, was there and we just got to talking. You’ve got to understand, I was on vitamins back before they could even spell the word, back before chiropractors were around, so I’m always looking for something different and new. So I was talking to Mark, and then I brought some AminoActiv samples home, and I used it, and I liked it. In fact, I just ordered some more today. Mark and I talked for a long time, but we were laughing so hard that we didn’t get much business done.
I’ve been using AminoActiv for my knee. I’m going to have a knee replacement eventually, but so far it doesn’t hurt that bad. But I’ve been using AminoActiv for that, and they also said something about varicose veins so I’m trying AminoActiv there too. I love the stuff. I use both pills and the cream.
Deb has been using it for some muscle pain. She also has some knee pain. She tore her cartilage and that’s healing. My neighbor is in pain all the time, and he couldn’t get any meds for a week and a half, so he was using some of my AminoActiv, and it helped him.
RM: A mother-daughter clown team. What’s that like?
Doodle: Well people like to have us around because we’re so high energy, and we have a good time. We’re always kidding around, but with the two of us, well, we live together and we work together, so we fight like a married couple with no perks.
People can’t believe that’s my mother. People will ask me how my mom’s doing, and I’ll say, “Oh she’s pretty good at nagging me to death so she must be okay.” We have our moments. You know, like mother like daughter—that’s the problem, I’m just like my mother.
RM: What were you doing before you started clowning?
Doodle: It was 1993. I was the manager of a Fashion Bug working 50–60 hour weeks. I would get home tired, and there was no way I felt like clowning, but Mom wanted me to go with her. So I met her after work and it was just the best thing.
Now we do 300 birthday parties a year and we teach workshops. We do lots of face painting. We do a lot of corporate events. Our magic is for age 3 to 103. Sunday we’re going to a country club for customer appreciation, which we’ve been doing for about 10 years.
RM: Tell me about your act.
Dipsy: When Harry Potter first came around, we did a lot of Harry Potter things. I would say, “I’m been to see my favorite magician, and he’s showed me lots of stuff—his name is Larry Potty.” And Deb would say, “Who’s Larry Potty?” And the kids would shout, “No! It’s Harry Potter!”
We teach magic, which helps kids in school. We’ve gotten a lot of letters from kids who now know how to stand up and say something. We had the shyest kids who were too shy to do anything, but by the end of the class, were leading the class.
And you’re always supposed to stay in character. That’s one of the things they drill into you. It would be like doing a dramatic monologue on Broadway and stopping in the middle to yell at someone. You’re supposed to stay in character. But I don’t. When the kids are obnoxious, I reprimand them. We did a party once at a small home. And the one-year-old birthday girl is all dressed up in finery, bouncing on her mother’s lap, and the adults are sitting in chairs in a semicircle around the room. And right down front there are three boys, probably aged 8–10. I was wearing these big clown shoes, and they were fiddling with my shoelaces, and I’m thinking to myself, I’m going fall because of these three wonderful little boys. So in the middle of the show, I stop and say, “Listen. Stop fiddling with my shoes. You’ve got two choices. You can either go to the back of the room or go outside. This is not your birthday party and I don’t want to fall.” So they got up and went outside. Then all the parents stood up and gave me a standing ovation. I said to Deb, what is wrong with this picture?
Another time, we had one of our students with us. His name was Snoozer. He’s 25 now and is a movie director, but back then he was 10, and we were doing a show, and he was helping us, and there was this kid who was heckling the birthday boy. He had glasses, and I didn’t remember his name so out of the blue I said, “Listen Mr. Glasses! This is his birthday party so you be quiet and sit down!” And I heard Snoozer say under his breath, “We’re not getting paid for this one.” Ha! So on the way out, oh, and we did get paid, but on the way out, I apologized to the birthday boy’s mother. I said, “I’m really sorry I reprimanded that young man but he was really very annoying!” And the mother said that was the birthday boy’s brother!
Doodle: (laughing) I knew it was his brother, and I’m listening to my mom say this and I couldn’t believe it. I wanted a big hole to crawl into. But she is a pistol. She was 20 years ahead of her time. Growing up, she had hot pink pants with go-go boots. So she certainly has been one heck of a role model. She is a free spirit, and she tells it like it is.
So anything we promote, we promote big. Like the AminoActiv, I swear by it. I groom dogs, and I am tying to get my friend who helps me to try it. He’s got a bad back. He’s been grooming dogs for 27 years. And it’s not easy getting those big dogs into the tub. That’s how I hurt myself. I had muscle pain in my side and pain in the side of my neck. I have to pick up dogs and put them in the tub, and I was doing it at an angle, and I think I threw myself out. I was taking six ibuprofens every 5-6 hours. Now I take two AminoActiv capsules in the morning and two in the afternoon.
We thank Dipsy and Doodle for the laughs and for supporting AminoActiv. Learn more about Dipsy & Doodle by visiting their website, www.dipndoo.com