Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
- TITLE: Life Lessons Learned from Clowning
By Raelene Purtill
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The dictionary defines a fool as
1 a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person: I felt a bit of a fool.
2 historical a jester or clown, especially one retained in a royal or noble household.
I have spent time as a clown and interacting with people while dressed in my big colourful costume, has taught me some valuable life lessons.
Always wear make up.
The white face is neutral, clean. From it I build a new character. We all wear masks - this is the function of the white face and make up of a clown - and many of us hide behind them. Masks have their purpose: they are for our emotional safety. In my clown costume, I have held a python and interacted with people I would otherwise avoid when just being myself. My costume makes me brave.
Wear colourful shoes.
People notice shoes more than you may realise so make them note worthy! But remember, in clowning and in life, shoes must be comfortable.
You are unique, but...
It is what makes a clown stand out that causes others to cringe. While we encourage people to be unique and different individuals, we don't want them to do it around us.
Undersized hats, large props, tiny props, oversized shoes, all work to effect for the clown but in life we would rather folks blend in. This a clown cannot and will not do.
Know your boundaries.
A clown may behave in a foolish looking way, falling over, tumbling, rolling or playing at being vulnerable or teasing others, but he is always in control. Those acrobatic movements and mimes are all well rehearsed. If you must act the fool, know your boundaries.
Keep your balls in the air.
Some of my clowning friends are jugglers.
In life we juggle many things - work, home life, interests, sport. If your juggling routine is becoming shabby, perhaps it is time to let some of those balls go.
Not only a Scout motto, but essential for every clown who must always have her pockets full of giveaways, a ready smile or be prepared to perform a random act of kindness, as in life.
On a more creative note, the Clown Psalm below is based on Psalm 23.
The Lord is my clowning friend,
I shall not tumble.
He helps me to play in public places.
He restores my make up
and anoints my head with a bright wig and a silly hat.
When I am in the halls of the hospital, I shall have just the right giveaways.
I shall walk in large colourful shoes.
He provides my props and prepares my routine before me.
Friends with names like Sunshine, Little Star, Sparkles, Gerry and Hallelujah will be with me all my clowning days,
And I will mime and dance and play
in the presence of the Lord forever.
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