I sat on the couch one day and interviewed myself.
What is the poetry of nonsense?
'Humour is a poetry', I heard artist Michael Leunig once quote in a podcast. The poetry of nonsense for me is to be stupid (from the Latin stupere 'to be amazed or stunned’); to be your heart on stage, whether that be the stage of life or a theatre; it is to be a child wandering through the world without any defence - it is to be completely vulnerable. This just may be the spirit of the clown, and it may just be living inside us waiting to be gently or rudely coaxed out. It is like peeling open a banana and revealing who's inside.
Tell us about this philosophy that you speak of?
The philosophy is principally based on discovering (or for some, rediscovering) the poetry of your inner ridiculousness. It is a philosophy embedded in practice and the dedication of our bodies and imagination to the art & science of contemporary clowning. I am interested in the clown's humanity... the pure clown.
The pure clown?
Yeah. The clown is you, a celebration of beautiful imperfection. Improvised contemporary clown training can help us get one step closer to understanding the human condition. We laugh at the clown, we laugh at ourselves - because in my experience the clown seeks the truth and is ultimately a reflection of who we all are, universally. We (the audience) crave an authentic conversation.
What does this look like?
In a workshop scenario I like to encourage making BIG poops on stage (metaphorically speaking). This is a GOOD thing. It's about observing the poop, see if the poop is beautiful, poke around at it, make the poop dance, ask it to sing a song.. we basically want to get to know what's so special about your poop?
Umm.. please explain poop?
What I mean is that through a series of beautifool experiments we'll learn to access our sense of play, wonder and imagination and invite you to share your fears, fantasies and true desires with an audience. This sharing comes with an element of 'being seen' and sometimes we make a poop (or flop) as a result. We dig in and search for your clown.
Is contemporary clown training for me?
The coaching and workshops are designed to allow you to discover your own clown at your own pace and reach a pleasure and freedom of being on stage. The teaching is active and reflective-driven encouraging everyone to take on the dual student-spectator role. I also prefer to work with the red nose, the teeny tiny little mask. Sometimes we don't use it, but we know it's there just in case. Ultimately we wear the mask so we don't have to. The best way to know if it's for you is to try it.
What is a clown?
This is a difficult question to answer. I'm not talking circus oversized shoes and flower water squirters. It's about sophisticated approaches to reflecting reality. Sacha Baron Cohen, Lucille Ball, Slava Polunin, Woody Allen, Jacques Tati, Angela Castro, Chris Lilley...and so on.
Discovering clown and its ability to give performers and civilians the freedom to be ridiculous meant only one thing for me; to build a community of more beautifool idiots & share the delightful mess of improvised clown theatre performance. Whether you're an actor or a civilian. Say hi.