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 new clown film, Moontan, which was shot in October 2006 in Wanganui, New Zealand, staring Annette Devick from Canada and Mark Hudson from Australia.Chapter 34. Exercise: Nonviolence
This chapter we have an exercise which you don't want to seek out, but if it occurs in the street, you need to know how to respond.Some people are violent. It's their way of being. When you engage with people like this, they want to play by attacking you. But it is not a game you want to encourage.
In a workshop situation, the interaction can be acted out, revealing our subconscious reactions, and we can see how, surprisingly, almost always we want to buy into the fight.
To keep everyone safe therefore, we impose a rule of 'no touching'.
One person acts casually as if on a street waiting for something, and another plays the part of a violent person, conjuring up real anger first, as in the emotional exercises in Chapters 13 and 25.
The violent person then enters the stage and confronts the bystander, who reacts on impulse, and the impro is simply played out from that point.
Big applause, and the next couple have a go. This exercise can often be most effective if the 'ONLY safe response' (see below) is not given to the participants to start with, but is discovered through feedback and discussion of each interaction.
ANY feedback to the violent person, after their initial provocation, only perpetuates the game, so the ONLY safe response is to immediately break the contact and leave.
If this is done immediately on the first provocation, there is nothing for the violent person to engage with, so they will not follow, unless in the leaving we also challenge them in some way.
And the awful truth is, that we almost always will feedback, or challenge as we go, and get ourselves into trouble, because our adrenaline rises to the occasion and we want to win, it's subconscious.
The challenge here is to realise that we win by choosing the games we play, not by succeeding within somebody else's terms, particularly not someone who is working on quite a primitive level. So the only safe response is not to buy into the game.
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 24 November 2011