Nov 13 – Release the clowns!
Wow. It has been almost a week since I posted. There goes my plan to write something everyday, or at least every other day. I wills ay in my defense that I have had a pretty busy week.
Stage combat class is chugging along. It’s fun, but doing it only once a week for three hours is hard. I would rather twice a week at 1 ½ hours. I pick thing up pretty quickly, but I think doing them more than once a week would help get them in the brain better. It’s hard to practice at home without a partner, not to mention a rapier.
Clown is going along. Last Wednesday’s class was a bit of a turning point. We finished off the clown naming ceremonies for those who hadn’t done it yet. The collective clown names are Vergie Marathon, Samsonite, Nyquil, Looster, Stinks, Skoofus, Smarly, Special Roe-mo, Frank and Johnson.
Then we moved onto clown introductions. Two clowns would come out and be surprised by each other, then they would introduce themselves with their new names, and then somehow that would play into some sort of quirky exchange that would trundle along until it ran its course and the clowns left the stage.
We also did a clown relay race. We had two teams of five, and clown had to do 5 activities and then run back and tag the next clown in their line. The first team to finish won (or so we thought).
The trick was that we had to be in character. You couldn’t just run the relay to win; you had to react as your clown would. So if you were a ditzy clown, you might just have to forget what it was you were supposed to do. If you were an emotional clown, you might have to spend time crying when you messed something up.
The five activities were spin on your butt on the ground seven times, without using your hands. Jump up and down on one foot while patting your head and rubbing your tummy. Jump like a frog 10 times and yell “Gribbit.” Do 15 jumping jacks while reciting a line from a Shakespeare play over and over, and sing a bit of opera. The last two by the way couldn’t have been done by anyone else, and George hung out listening to make sure we didn’t repeat.
Anyway, to make a long story short, my team won. The losers were to bow before us and say something like, “Oh, magnificent winners, we bow before you and your greatness.” My team made fun of the losers, laughing at them etc. They of course didn’t want to bow down and in their best clown manner foot dragged the whole way.
But then a clown from my team touched a clown from the other team. George declared that a violation and then my team became the losers, and had to bow down, which of course we didn’t want to do. Now we were being mocked and we were doing the foot dragging. Think kindergarteners not wanting to lay down for their nap.
At some point in the clown mayhem, we started to laugh at one clown on the other team. I am not even sure why, someone else started it, but we all joined in. Then clowns from that clowns team started laughing. Finally George stopped us and ended the exercise.
The point of this? The first part of the relay was to explore being our clowns in different situations, and the ending part, was to learn to “follow the thread” and play off the situation as it develops. We thought we were the winners, then we became the losers, then we just went off to crazy land.