By the age of two, Andrew Fronczak was obsessed with clowns. While some children are afraid of them, Andrew found their jokes and tricks hilarious.
“When he was a kid he went trick-or-treating as a clown,” says Mike Fronczak, Andrew’s father. “He’s always wanted to become one.”
Now at 32, Andrew is pursuing his longtime goal of performing as a professional clown. His family regularly drives him almost two hours from their home in Franklinville, New York down to Erie, Pennsylvania to attend the ERIEsistable clown college.
Andrew receives Care Coordination from Person Centered Services. His current Care Coordinator, Laurie Bush, has gone above and beyond to make Andrew’s dream a reality.
Laurie personally set up a performance for Andrew at a Suburban Adult Services Inc. (SASI) day habilitation site in Sardinia, New York. He showed off his skills as a clown in front of an appreciative audience that featured other adults with developmental disabilities. He even provided a tutorial on how to put on clown make-up.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Laurie also helped arrange a performance at Person Centered Services’ offices in West Seneca. Andrew brought his bag of tricks and gags, impressing our Care Coordinators with his range of talents. He made balloon animals for everyone in the room, calling each person he handed a balloon to his “favorite.”
As part of his routine, Andrew likes to educate audiences about clowning and physical comedy. He explains the different types of clowns and where he fits within the longstanding tradition.
Andrew proudly performs as an auguste clown. Auguste clowns are known for their slapstick routines, over-the-top gags, and goofy humor.
Andrew’s act also includes juggling, pantomiming, plate spinning, tightrope walking, and balloon art. He uses colorful props and loves surprising audience members with the level of variety in his performances.
“He amazes me all the time with his juggling,” says Mike. “He’ll sit there juggling while we’re watching TV. He’s incredible at it.”
Andrew has a great love for comedy of all stripes. He considers Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Lou Jacobs to be his role models. He sometimes imitates them in his routines, while also showcasing his own vibrant personality.
“I make people cheerful,” says Andrew. “I work with my audience and get them involved in my acts. Clowning is a perfect fit for me.”
Laurie hopes to help Andrew share his talent with more people by connecting him to opportunities to perform at local schools next year. She is also invested in linking him to other job opportunities and vocational services.
“Andrew advocates for himself well and he’s fun to be around,” says Laurie. “People like Andrew are going to make a difference. He can be an inspiration to other people.”
Person Centered Services is committed to helping people with developmental disabilities meet the life goals that are meaningful to them. By connecting people to opportunities that will allow them to flourish, our Care Coordinators help each individual that we serve reach their potential.