Thursday, June 05, 2008

A clown comes from the heart, not the nose."

Jodi Carlton:
It all started after work on Friday. I met my fellow clowns-to-be in a room at the World Trade Center Portland (located in downtown Portland). We were all a little unsure of what to expect, and though we were very excited to be there, there was a decided twinge of fear lurking in the room.

The group had the opportunity to play with the costume pieces that our leader, Angel Ocasio, had brought along with him. We found the possibilities amazing as we viewed the rack full of clothes and many boxes of accessories.

All during the evening we did exercises to help loosen us up and learn to play with our emotions. We'd even portray animals, such as giraffes and owls. At first some of the clown candidates were uncomfortable, but as the evening progressed we all started to let go of our fears and have fun!

I know many of us went home that night trying to figure out what character we would eventually be -- ready to really discover our inner clowns.
On Saturday we began the work to find our clown characters. We also started learning to use clown make-up and decided what our individual clown faces would be. It was great fun to watch the character in each of us start to emerge during this process of applying makeup. Once we found what makeup worked, we headed for the clothing and accessories and began putting together our costumes.

Angel showed us fascinating things, like the limitless possibilities of using items from our daily life and making these into clown props. Who'd have guessed all the things you can do with a lollipop, a balloon, a water bottle and a paper bag! We were able to draw on his 28 years of experience as a professional clown and walk away with a new appreciation for this amazing art form.
Sunday was about the clown in each of us. We came in, applied our makeup, put on our costumes and away we went! This was our chance to officially introduced our clown character to the assembled group. We laughed, cried, and laughed some more.

I think our new Clown Corps is as unique as all the wonderful individuals who are in it. Each person is beginning to find that inner clown, and in the process of doing this weekend workshop, new friendships have been forged. We've been introduced to something special that will forever be a part of our lives.

Personally, I can't wait for my grandkids to meet 'Rosy,' my own clown. And who knows? Maybe one day they'll decide they'd like to 'clown around,' too!