Sir Toony as a Whiteface clown and as an Auguste Clown
Sir Toony Van Dukes, or Sir Toony for short, is a professional clown in Northern Virginia. He got his start as a clown in the summer of 2008 when he attended Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp, or Moose Camp for short, in Buffalo Minnesota. He learned a lot at Moose Camp and continues to develop his clown character.
Sir Toony is active with many different clown organizations on the local and national level. Most of Sir Toony's local clown friends belong to COAI Alley #170: Just Clowning Around of Northern Virginia (JCA). Sir Toony has been the President, Vice President, webmaster, and newsletter editor of JCA. He also has a lot of friends from COAI Alley # 6: Kapitol Klowns in Silverspring, MD. Sir Toony is their webmaster. On the regional level, Sir Toony served two terms as the Virginia State Director for Mid Atlantic Clown Association (MACA). He is also a member of Clowns of America International (COAI), World Clown Association (WCA), Red Nose Response, and Kidabra International.
In addition to clowning around, Sir Toony juggles, face paints, balloon twists, does a few magic tricks, and is learning to ride the unicycle. Sir Toony enjoys entertaining children of all ages.
Clowns need to continue to learn new skills. Sir Toony goes to several clown conventions each year. At the conventions, he is able to learn from other clowns, demonstrate his skills in the clown competitions, and buy new supplies from the dealers. He has also been learning various skills from local groups. He has been learning magic from Barry at Barry's Magic Shop. He has also taken unicycle lessons with the UniStars. When he has time, he participates in juggling session with the Fairfax Jugglers. He hosts a monthly face painting and balloon jam and has attended various clown conventions.
Sir Toony's alter ego, Mike Becvar entertains kids with balloons and face painting as Balloons By Mike. Mike has been a regular at the Moe's Southwest Grill in South Riding and at the South Riding Farmer's Market.
Sir Toony is starting to get around. Maybe you have been lucky enough to catch him at one of his recent appearances. Some of the places Sir Toony has appeared include:
Sir Toony and his friends from JCA on the 4th of July
People often ask, "How did Sir Toony get his name?" I think it is a fun little story.
When I decided to become a clown, I realized that I would need a clown name. I didn't want to go with the typical clown names such as Buttons, Dots, or Sparkles. I wanted a name that was uniquely mine. Other clowns suggested that I start making a list of names or words that I liked. I eventually came up with the name Honeydukes, the sweet shop in Hogsmeade from the Harry Potter series. Not wanting to just take that name as my own, I wrote it down and hoped I could somehow find something similar.
Sir Toony and Buddy
One day while I was walking my dog, Buddy, I saw someone had a sign on their house saying, The Van Dikes. I thought I could work with that and use Van Dukes in my name. I didn't really see myself as Honey Van Dukes, so the search continued. Several years ago, I started calling my dog Sir Bud (or Sir Bud the Wise) and said that if I started my own company, it would be called Sir Bud Productions. With a little more work, I had the name Sir Toony Van Dukes. I checked on Google and couldn't find any other clowns using anything close to that. That is how I came up with Sir Toony Van Dukes, a name that is truely unique.
Sadly, Buddy passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2009. His memory will live on.
Mike Becvar is the man behind Sir Toony Van Dukes. Mike is a senior multimedia, web and eLearning applications developer. In his free time, he likes taking pictures, acting, and clowning around. He also enjoys helping his friends with their websites.
Mike has been a background extra in a number of small films, TV shows, and movies. He is also taking acting classes. In August 2007, he attended the New York Film Academy (NYFA) One-Week Acting Workshop at their Universal Studio California location. In February 2008, he started taking acting classes at the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. He has taken classes in Improv, Actors Process, and Voice.
Mike is starting to learn how to ride the unicycle. He is taking lessons with the UniStars Unicycling Showtroupe in Fauquier County Virginia.
Mike is learning how to perform magic and is taking lessons from Barry Taylor at Barry's Magic Shop.
Halloween is Mike's favorite holiday. He has been decorating his driveway and dressing up for the neighborhood children for many years. He has twice won the Best Costume award at the South Riding Halloween Parade. His interested in Halloween and entertaining eventually led him towards becoming a clown.
Mike's driveway on Halloween
Mike is just as busy as Sir Toony. He spends time at various face painting and balloon jams where he shares ideas with other entertainers from the Northern Virginia area. He also does events as Balloons By Mike including regular visits to Moe's Southwest Grill in South Riding, VA for their Family Night.
Since June 2010, you have been able to see Mike every other Tuesday night making balloons and doing
face painting at Moe's Southwest Grill in South Riding, VA.
Kid's Night at Moe's Southwest Grill
24995 Riding Plaza
South Riding, VA
Every Other Tuesday Night
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Mike also hosts a monthly face painting and balloon jam at Cici's Pizza in Chantilly. The group typically meets on the 2nd Monday of each month from 7:00pm to closing. Contact Balloons By Mike to confirm the date and time for the next jam.
Face painting and Balloon Jam at Cici's Pizza
CiCi's Pizza Buffet
14392 Chantilly Crossing Lane
Chantilly, VA 20151
2nd Monday of each month
7:00 - Close