DayZd and ConFewZd
Can you imagine family weekends where you put on elaborate makeup and don a costume to entertain people? That is a typical weekend for Edmond residents Sam and Debbie Drain.
Debbie started clowning in 1996 when a friend, “Sunny-Moon,” invited her to a clown meeting. Debbie was hooked. Using the name “ConFewZd,” she put on a curly yellow wig, overgrown eyelashes and an outfit with oversized pockets.
A year later, her husband Sam became “DayZd” (“Dazed”). “My wife was never home on weekends, so I figured if I wanted to spend time with her, I had to become a clown too.” Since he likes to dress nicely, he chose a three-piece white tuxedo, complete with tails and oxford shoes for his character. Sometimes DayZd wears a white cowboy hat, and at other times, a derby.
The couple works as a team. “We bounce off each other real well,” said Sam. “It’s not fun to clown by myself.” The couple performs at places like school festivals, hospitals, birthday parties, and VBS. They also perform at special events like Edmond’s 4th of July Parade, the Yukon Mayor’s Christmas Party and many other places. ConFewZd does face painting and magic tricks, while DayZd ties balloon animals.
The two clowns have done skits together for so long it appears easy. Debbie said that once they did a Ringy, Dingy Telephone skit before a group of Hispanics. The parents primarily spoke Spanish and the children primarily English. So for the skit, ConFewZd spoke in Spanish, while DayZd responded in English. Even though he doesn’t speak a word of Spanish, Sam knew what to say.
“I’m normally real reserved, but when I clown, this guy comes out and I get a little rowdy,” said Sam, when asked about his clown’s personality. He explained that his wife, ConFewZd, is simply silly.
Married for 25 years, the Edmond couple has made clowning a part of their family. Their three children have their own clown personas. Sandy Watz is “Mama C,” Kandy Gillespie is “Amused,” and Brad Drain is “Not Me.” Brad is in Iraq with the military, and recently Sam and Debbie sent him a dozen red foam noses to cheer him up.
A red nose was put on each of their six grandchildren when they were born. Their grandson, Dylan Watz, did magic tricks for his talent show at school. “Having grandchildren around is useful,” Sam said. “I do my balloon designs and then run them by my grandchildren. If they like them, I use them in the show.”
Debbie went on her first missions trip in 1998 and “clowned around” at orphanages in Russia. “The kids loved it,” she said. Then in 1999 she began going to Peru every year. “I developed close friends there. Clowning opens doors for you to go where a regular person couldn’t go.”
Debbie also knows sign language and had the opportunity to visit a deaf school in Peru. “I communicated with the children better in sign language than in Spanish, but primarily, I had a chance to spread the Word of God that I would not have had otherwise. I love missions work,” she said.
Money from clowning, excluding supplies, goes toward funding her missions trips. However, trips to Peru stopped in 2005 when Debbie was diagnosed with stage-four non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and later had back surgery. “When the ladies in Peru found out I was sick, they called me and sang and prayed for me. Sometimes it’s the little things that cheer you up.”
Debbie’s first time to clown again came after her illness. She visited a man at Southwest Integris Medical Center who had cancer.
“The room was quiet when I walked in and I got a few smiles from the family,” said Debbie. “I leaned over and my wig fell off and showed my lack of hair! They were shocked at first, then we all started laughing. My hair had not grown out after treatments. I told the man, ‘The Lord healed me and He can heal you too.’ Then the family asked me to pray for him.
“We try to spread the joy,” said Debbie. “We use clowning to glorify God.”
DayZd and ConFewZd have been entertaining children in the local area for many years and plan to continue into their retirement. It has become a vital part of their life. For entertainment of any occasion, call Sam and Debbie Drain at 405-412-2404 or e-mail them at [email protected].