Saturday, April 27, 2013


Humility, ease, and letting go. Are a thing. So much a thing.
If I learn anything in this life. In this journey. I hope that it is, with every step, with every moment.
I let go. I ease into the moment. I humbly submit.
To this moment. To what is before me.

The exploration of clown requires this.
My heart requires this.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Paradox of the Clown

I have been studying clown for one month now with a clown master Ronlin Foreman. The journey has been amazing. Next week we embark upon production week to put up a clown show that will run Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I anticipate this week is going to be just as chalk full of wonder and despair as the past four weeks. The journey of discovering one's clown is the journey of discovering one's self. They are not only parallell tracks, one may argue, they are one and the same track, weaving in and out from time to time, colliding smack dab into each other as well. Ronlin said the other week that the paradox of the clown is that clown is in conflict with herself/himself. So true for the human being as well.

One major theme that I have been exploring is that there is a stillness required in all movement and a movement required in all stillness. The clown exists in the world between utter tension and total relaxation. This middle ground is not one of half-hearted easiness, it requires a heightened level of attention and balance. Performing clown demands the same level of attention and precision as tight rope walking with no net below. The stakes have to be that "high." No pun intended, er, maybe a little.

I am exploring a character named Sgt. Pepper. She is an evocateur. She demands attention at all time and talks incessantly. She does not ever apologize and says whatever may be on her mind. She wants to rule the world but not until the world has reached its perfect state of chaos and anarchy. She speaks not from mind but from emotion. She swears a lot, but tries not to. And fails miserably. She chastises her fellow clowns and works to deconstruct every assumption possible. She works to create joy through chaos. She is a delight and total pain in the ass. I love her.

As an ensemble member, working with this character Pepper is throwing all the biggest lessons of the year into my face. She is not a very good listener and always wants to be the boss. Learning how to navigate both energizing these qualities in my clown and releasing these qualities as an ensemble member is a TRICKY process. One that I approach with great humility and humor.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Listening and letting go

I've been listening to a good deal of Dharma talks lately among the study of clown and continue to be in awe of the connections between my spiritual journey and my journey as a clown. The parallels are countless really. They are arguably one and the same path. Two teachings that I find in both of these worlds are the teachings of "letting go" and the teachings of "listening". 

At first analysis, these two teachings seem to be in contradiction. How does one listen deeply while at the same time constantly let go of that which is incoming? The reconciliation seems to be when I see myself as a receiver, which was a thing Ronlin asked us to do last week. It requires a deep letting go of the idea that the mind has any deep analysis role to play. A receiver listens and brings in the data and then immediately, with no ego or analysis, lets it go. This process of constant streaming is the state of mind for a clown as well as for a human being living a life of peace. 

Listening and letting go, and listening and letting go, until we get to a point where the channel is a perpetual stream. The more release, the more energy to receive. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Be Funny

We're one week deep in clown territory. I'm learning a lot. UGH LOT. Ahem ahew. Hooooeeee. Blach. Long days. Lots of emotions. Both laughter and weeping. Amazing territory here. Kind of too tired to digest too much. But I do want to share a film of our performance lab on Friday.

Every week we are given an assignment on Monday and tasked to perform it on Friday, working in the evenings on it. This particular assignment was to have a vaudeville act through clown-like characters. This is a great clip to showcase the spirit of Dell'Arte.

Our teacher Ronlin is super hard on us and this is very evident in the clip. But it is good stuff and I am learning so much every day. Ronlin is the man in the background that stops us in the middle of our song. Everything after he stopped us was improv.