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ClownBlog: Review: “The Art of Clowning”, by Eli Simon

Best regards, Jon Davison www. With your statement “delighted to be relieved of the responsibility of actually being funny, and will fool themselves into believing that their uninteresting and formless work is full of truth” you are assuming and implying that people are not capable of finding natural humor by being clowh to their clowns.

But you also say that this truth resides in the circumstances of the scene, the objectives, and so on.

One of the best routines I have seen and I have been studying and observing for some time was of a raw social message, a little scary and uncomfortable, but struck me in a way that non-clowns would not be able to pull off the same.

In other words, it may contribute to the continued lowering of standards in clowning today. It’s a sad day when people who are so clueless about clowning are actually publishing books telling us how to do it, such as this from Eli Simon’s “The Art of Clowning”New York: Each of the clowns develops it’s own personality, and most of our work in rehearsal comes from diving deep into that personality and coming up with, for lack of a better term, a unique point of view for each clown.

That is the clown mode. Doing mime, putting on red noses and doing silly improv games is nothing to be ashamed of! Also, is clowning only about being funny?

But then it is easy to then ostensibly follow the path of personal truth but avoid the duty to appear ridiculous be funny.


Jesús Jara (Author of El Clown, un navegante de las emociones)

Do we want to watch a clown, or someone pretending to clown, not being true to their inner clown, but hoping to get a laugh, looking for response over their experience in front of people. What you say holds true for an actor who navegatne called upon to be convincing within a set of fictional circumstances.

So, I hope I have gone some way to backing up here what was originally a short critical review.

A little tip- before you blatantly announce that someone is “clueless about clowning” make sure you yourself are not. Is the sole goal of the clown, according to your vision, to make an audience laugh? I taught Actor Training, Clown and Techniques of Improvisation, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona state-run drama school from It’s not likely people will want ls watch a performance of raw “showing” instead of “being”.

As Philippe Gaulier says: At the very least, they are decent theatrical works that generally engender a good response from our audiences in my completely biased, artist-seeking-validation opinion. Existing in the moment and being honest all have their part to play, but without the desire lae stage ridiculousness defined as what is laughable about any individual clown there can be no clown.

Which comment did you mean, yours or the one about clowns not having to be funny? We follow the basic rules set out by Simon’s book and work within those restrictions to create clown characters.

What makes us true clowns or fake clowns? Otherwise, what would be the basis of clowns? Hi Jon, I just stumbled across your blog through a very fortuitous google search and based on the post above I’m already chomping at the bit to dive into more. I have seen countless students of clown get hooked on the initial discovery of clown: Hardly a case of “you will be deeply connected to truths rather than just gags” p.

I wonder because you ridicule Simon’s quote: On that issue of having to be funny or not, I understand the point you are making, but ultimately the aim and, in my opinion, the definition of a clown resides in making clonw laugh in a particular way, as there are many different ways of making people laugh.


I am not saying they are not good as performers, just that I think they have distanced themselves from clowning which is what annoys me about the book, in that it criticises and demeans other clowns.

I believe Your option is not based on expirence. Do you want to watch a forced fake-it-till-you-make-it? I get it, you’re “edgy”. The audience feeds a clown, it’s true, but it is okay for a clown to fail, to learn clowh works and doesn’t, and it is okay to receive other reactions besides laughter.

My confusion, and my question, rest at the intersection of “Clowns don’t have to be funny. All of those things that some claim to put in place of, or in addition to, lxs funny, such as poetry, emotions, and so on, are only possible in clown’s case if the relationship with the audience, and the whole world, is based on a perception that all is ridiculous, which means laughable.

That humor cannot come organically, dl must be searched for and forced.

What are we missing? I don’t mean cry from laughing so much, I mean crying from living a journey with the clown, from being moved. Of course, this happens all the time in clown training, but the eventual aim should be to find how one fails, admits it and that the natural response of an audience to this is laughter.

So from my point of view, the comments which I cited in my review, such as: Newer Post Older Post Home.