I don’t subscribe to theories of clown as mask, as play, as physical theatre, as religion, as anything except what it is: clown. Clown is very simple. At most, it is an attitude. An attitude to life, to oneself, to the world. We don’t need techniques, or methods, or psychology, or safe environments, or anything except a desire to invert our habitual fear of ridicule into pleasure in self-ridicule, and to use it to make others laugh.
I don’t like to use too many games, exercises, techniques. These are only ways of fooling us into thinking we are working hard. I prefer just to start. To relate. To look. To listen. To lead students along a path that lets them enjoy their own stupidity and exposing it to their friends.
When you really look, most things are ridiculous: our bodies, our movements, our ideas, our emotions, our words, our relationships, the universe. The only aim is to turn failure into success, fear into laughter, suffering into joy. We don’t need to change ourselves, just look at it all with another perspective. It’s a human thing to do, so anyone can do it. Although only a few will choose to dedicate their lives to it, anyone can experience the clown.
Clown Training often finds itself going in a completely different direction to orthodox concepts of what education is, such as the contemporary obsessions with aims and objectives, learning strategies and pathways, levels and units, achieving potential or acquiring skills. It’s more a kind of anti-education, blurring truth and pretence, intelligence and stupidity, knowledge and ignorance.