Why Kim and Margot are Singing with Big Red Noses and Why You’ll Join Us
Author: Kim Goodliffe
At an interdisciplinary training I (Kim) discovered that clowning is fun and a great process for vocal improvisation. Our Vancouver-based facilitator, Txi Whizz, told us the story of Bouffon clowns, a gang that lives in a deep underground cave and comes up to the surface to play games. While their raison d’être is to play, move, vocalize and do whatever they can to crack up the audience, the Bouffon are also a little nervous about leaving the safety of their underground clown gang. So, they like to cluster in close contact – hands or shoulders touching – a reminder that they’re all in it together.
I was intrigued by these brave and earthy creatures and pictured them climbing up through tangled tree roots, passing burrows of moles and rabbits. The light would be blinding as they emerged to form a tight group and, one by one, step forward to give generously and playfully to the audience.
Margot and I offer Clown Sing so that we can play with Vocal Improv and other-creature-ness in a unique expressive experience. On our day-long workshop we’ll combine specific clowning techniques with personal languages, and welcome into our singing the serious, the soulful, the absurd, the fun. The pace will be relaxed with time for conversation, contemplation and costuming. Our intention is to become a gang of clowns from deep within the earth, using embodied listening and group movement skills that can be done seated or standing.
When I took Margot through some of the exercises, she remarked, “Being in the spotlight can make us shy or scared. I love how we get to express that and dispel that through clowning.” I had to agree. Yes, we clowns get scared, and yet it’s our job to show everyone we’re scared. Once we step out in front of the cluster fear can turn to fascination. We make a movement with an elbow or foot, or make a sound. Fascination can turn to excitement and exuberance. When we’re done dancing our name, we can retreat back to the safety of the group where we are welcomed and congratulated.
If you like to vocalize and are tempted to try some clowning techniques, Margot and I invite you to join us in our workshop on Sunday, November 4 at URetreat Spa and Wellness, 1508 Haultain Street, 9:30-4:30. For more information contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shy, serious or closet singers and clowns, beginners or experienced, all are welcome.
Margot and Kim are both instructors with SoundBody Studio: soundbodystudio.ca