Angels can Fly - A Modern Clown User Guide
Angels can Fly includes a mix of fiction which follows the adventures of ten clown characters, personal clown anecdotes from clowns from around the world, a total of 50 practical clown exercises, and some theory on the nature of modern clown. The book is available on order through bookshops and online stores in New Zealand, Australia, America and England.
And You can get a free eBook copy of the book to read on your computer at: www.alanclay.com/ebook_list.htm
On this page you will find excerpts from the book. Check back often for new excerpts from Angels can Fly.
And while you are here, why not check out Alan Clay's short clown film, , staring Annette Devick from Canada and Mark Hudson from Australia which was shot in New Zealand in October 2006.
And also the new comming of age romantic comedy, Courting Chaos, shot in Los Angeles in 2013, in which a Beverly Hills girl falls for a Venice Beach street clown named Chaos and she must overcome her inhibitions and become a clown herself for the relationship to survive.Chapter 23. Exercise: Attracting a CrowdINDIVIDUAL / PAIR / WORKSHOP
In this street exercise, the first step is to find a good outdoor space to work. There should be a good flow of pedestrians, with enough space so some of them can stop and watch without interrupting the flow of the other participants, and yet not too much space so there is no focus or gathering of energy.
It is best if participants can gather somewhere just out of the space so they don't influence the audience reactions. A nearby outdoor cafe would be excellent for this purpose, if there is a clear view of the performing space.
One at a time participants experiment with playing physically and vocally with the objects and people they find, all the while being aware of the ebb and flow of attention from passers-by, without feeling the need to stop and hold people. Some things will naturally attract people, and this is different for each of us, so we find what works for us through exploration.
It is helpful if we don't feel the need to stop and hold people, because if we do feel this need, we almost certainly won't be able to do it. Because this need is sensed by the audience, it makes them suspicious of our motives.
Likewise if we are afraid of people looking at us, they won't, because we are broadcasting our fear to them, and to help us they hurry by without looking.
If necessary this exercise can be varied slightly to plant some participants as the initial audience members, because once some people are watching, it makes it easier for others to stop and watch. It's like the choice between a busy cafe and an empty cafe, you always go to the busy one, because the patrons, by their presence, are recommending it.
Despite what you might imagine, it is actually very hard to get people out of their personal reality long enough so they even notice you in the street, let alone get them to give up their precious time to stop and watch what you are doing. Obviously some places, and some audience mixes, are better than others, and this is why we find street-theatre pitches in particular places.
This exercise is indeed what each street-theatre artist does at the start of each show. Once we have a few people watching, all we need to hold these people and gather more until we have sufficient for a street-theatre show, is a consistent build of energy and a sense that the experience is going somewhere, without the sense the 'show has started'.
Angels can Fly is available on order through bookshops and online stores in New Zealand, Australia, America and England. Order your copy today. Find it on Amazon by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/9nrwj
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Last updated 01 November 2013