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Forgive the audience

Forgive the audience for not loving you as much as they should, and love them anyways.
I’ll take you back to a workshop that I took with the wonderful Deanna Fleysher.

Time after time we would stumble on the stage.

Time after time we would, or I would, not get the laughter we/I, had hoped for or the connection that we/I craved.

And her answer, “Forgive them for not loving you as much as they should have and love them anyway. And leave. Give them time to miss you, and come back again.”

Now I’m not prescribing this as a solution for all relational/artistic/audienceperformer difficulties, but there’s something about this.

Rather than shutting down and becoming embittered, the idea of maintaining your lovability, getting honest and trying again, without taking it personally, is something that stuck. And is something that I so often forget. I crawl down into myself and look for someone to point a finger at, usually myself, and, well…that’s not so much […]

The Heart Stretch

There’s this exercise we do in theatre and clown class that is called “Wave Good-bye.” Without going into too much detail it is an imaginary exercise in which you wave goodbye to someone you love very much who is leaving on a boat. You act it out but you imagine the person and the boat etc.. Doing this exercise there is generally sadness, because this person you love is leaving you, and there is love because you really want what’s best for them. This exercise is a practice in experiencing both in equal measure viagra generique forum internet — at the same time.

My teacher always described it as a heart stretch. This is still the best way I know how to describe that feeling that comes when the heart heads in two directions simultaneously. Nothing is wrong or needs fixing, it’s just a stretch. It happens when:

I realize that someone can make mistakes that hurt me and still be […]

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    The Excruciating In-Between (or the absence of the magic button)

The Excruciating In-Between (or the absence of the magic button)

I am going to perform in May and this has me stuck in what I consider “the excruciating in-between,” or what Pema Chodron, who is more gentle than I am, calls, “the shaky tenderness.”

I am between:

excited and terrified
the possible outcome of a complete failure or a mind-blowing success
what I imagine/dream/feel I want to create and what I am actually able to create

And the thing is, this will not go away. I will perform and I will remain in the in-between. There will be no switch. I will not go from good to bad or vice versa.

This is the trip, in and out of the creative process. We imagine something, can’t figure out how to get there, and have to live in the dissonance. Listening to many famous and fantastic artists say it I begin to believe it.

Anne Patchett creates her novels (Bel Canto, etc) entirely in her head and then takes them out and “kills them.”

“I never […]

“We are not alone,” says the Clown

The levitra 10mg uk roche clown sits, hoping, or stands, hopping.

Or curls up and falls asleep under a table, or your right ribs, after years of waiting. After years of being told that “now is no time to play,” or “don’t play with that, it’s not polite,” or “you’re too old.”  She waits. He sighs. They tickle your ribs from the inside hoping that you might notice they’re alive… perhaps a little stiff, a little hesitant, maybe not quite up to snuff, but alive.

The clown delights as you make toast, arrive late again, (think you) know all the answers, are misunderstood in front of a bunch of people, lose your best friend, or wait…and wait…and wait…

The clown waits to play with the part of you that occasionally writes a heartfelt made-for-Hallmark card and the part of you that feels scared in the moment of catching your own reflection, not fitting into your clothes, or knowing the correct answer.

The clown […]


About two months ago this thing happened and I got to experience
I received a group “there’s-so-much-going-on-in-my-world” email, one of those that occasionally makes you (by you, I mean me) feel like all the coolness and greatness and friends in the world are already taken up by someone else. This is through no fault of the email, rather just an occasional tendency of mine.

I felt like I was outside the fish bowl.

I felt alone.

I felt alone all night and it felt bad.

I did one thing the night I read the email…

and I did another thing the day after.

The night I read the email I lay down on the floor, felt THE VERY cialis generique BAD PAIN in my body, and tried to imagine myself surrounded by beauty, awesomeness and people that wanted to play with me. I did this for about 5 minutes. I then met a friend for a glass of wine with the pain in […]

Be-aware of TIMM!

I love this comic print created by Joan Cornellá. His work is often dark and delightful, a realm I love within the clown/play world. It reminds me of the many masks we wear and the illusions that we fall under and can be surprised out of. It reminds me of the adaptability and changeability of “who we are” and the ways we can play with this. It reminds me of the ridiculous.

Looking at this print made me think that of all the roles that I play and masks I wear I must beware, or be-aware, of (da da da daaaaa) TIMM, the
“This is Me” Mask.
My current TIMM is solemn and monotone. It has things to do and people to see, or, worse yet, people to do (resulting in mechanical interactions) and things to see. It wakes up early and cozies up to the computer where it replies to emails. “This is me” it says, “this is how I am.” […]

  • Permalink This is one of the more jolly of the images and yet still manages to be slightly unnerving.Gallery

    Reasons we might possibly be scared of clowns (or anyone for that matter)

Reasons we might possibly be scared of clowns (or anyone for that matter)

These are some off-the-top-of-my-head-ideas as to “Why Clowns are Scary” (or, “Why Anyone is Scary” for that matter).

They are scared to listen: Clowns facilitate present time conversation. Any conversation that turns from a dialogue to a monologue loses its charm and transformational ability fairly quickly. It’s a truly terrifying experience for many of us to slow down and honestly take in and respond to the effect we are having on others. It’s confusing/ unnerving for the audience as well. (more…)

The Yay Thing vs. The Great Heavy

Me and my sister do this thing…

Let’s call it
The Yay Thing.
It arose spontaneously. It sounds ridiculous.

We do it when we arrive in The Great Heavy, that place informed by patterns and history and familiar familial undertones and overtones.

We stick our arms (begrudgingly) in the air, wave them a bit, rather half-heartedly, and say “Yay…______.” We do this for about a minute, filling in the blank as we go.

And in the beginning
it feels stupid.
it feels fake.
it feels awkward.
And it works. It gets us out of the stuck and allows us to leave the conversation breathing, with a small willingness to carry on and even, sometimes, a bit of joy.

“Yay…our lives.”

(Arms waving in the air as they might after a goal is scored, though perhaps a goal you’re only moderately excited about)

“Yay…that place in town that makes the perfect cheese cake.”


“Yay…ugly dogs.”

“Yay…#@$! situations.”

“Yay sisters.”

(Continuing to wave arms…)

“Yay skype.”

“Yay cheese.”

“Yay crying faces.”

(Still waving arms…)

“Yay donkeys.”

“Yay my new pants.”

“Yay…[the most inappropriate thing you […]

Showing your belly: the necessity of vulnerability in play

Giant polar bears who want to play first expose their bellies; they role onto their backs in an act of submission.

Surprisingly, there have been numerous reports of polar bears approaching chained-up sled dogs in this fashion. What initially looks like a search for lunch is actually a search for a playmate.

The giant, free, dominant polar bear approaching the chained-up, smaller sled dog shows restraint and submission, inviting play by putting him or herself in a vulnerable positions. From this point on a type of play emerges which requires the polar bear to consider the dogs safety, size and present chained-up situation.

In human terms, I imagine what it would take for a serious CEO, an over-worked supervisor, a very funny person, the prime minister, an employer, a teacher, or an assuredly free and expressive human to “show their belly?” to someone who initially appears less large, free or strong.

What would this type of play look like?

This leads me to […]

The Fantastic Space

David MacMurray Smith, my teacher/mentor/friend, talks in his classes about the fantastic space as the space between clown and audience member that happens when we allow ourselves to be seen while seeing at the same time. It is a space in which there is dialogue and we use our masks/roles to reveal rather than hide. The fantastic space may be created in a performance or in an everyday conversation. David Roche in this video seems to be pointing to this and I appreciate his articulation of what happens in the performances he gives and his views on imperfection, hiding, love, beauty, belonging and normality. I’m not a fan of the inspirational questions that are inserted in the film, but I like what David’s saying.

Click here for ‘The Second Glance’: David Roche

“This is me trying to look like the disfigured Marlon Brando. Please take note of my version of a sullen look, the black leather jacket, the slouch. I […]