First day of school is finally finished. I can’t believe everything I have learned in the matter of 24 hours. After meeting all the Irish students some of my classes will be integrated with I couldn’t be happier. I felt an overwhelming amount of welcome and warmth from everyone. Our first day we went straight into Theatre of Clown. After some warming up, name games, and “Simon Says” with a wooden spoon we got into the nitty gritty of what Theatre of Clown truly is. And it’s not what most people think it is. So as a class we all took our first baby steps into understanding this beautiful part of theatre. Here is what the activity we partook in as class entailed:
One person stands up in front of the entire class wearing a red nose and a hat of their choice. They can say no words; they can only be silent, walk around, and look into the eyes of their clown master and classmates in front of them. We have to create conversations just by looking into their eyes. We have to let go and show how we are feeling in that moment, and show people what we are most afraid of anyone seeing. Our eyes hold our soul, and we have to let people see it without saying a word. By releasing tension and breaking down our walls we are creating an authentic presence. We can’t have our walls up and we can’t expect anything or what will come of it. Expectations will cut the experience.
The activity that was presented to us in class is absolutely beautiful. It’s an interesting way to see people, especially when I only met them for the first time a couple hours ago. I learned a lot about myself and about others in the matter of about six hours. It was incredible. People who really let you see into their eyes and let themselves feel what they were feeling were the most fascinating to watch. Their eyes electrified the whole room sometimes because you could really see everything they were thinking or feeling. I loved how unique each experience was. Some people were sad, some were dark, and some laughed loud almost the entire time they were up. Only a few showed us their underbelly or their darkness, but that’s okay. It’s not easy showing strangers how you think. But what’s also beautiful about this exercise is that I have learned more about how it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to be human. Each individual I am in this class with has a story and has a darkness and light. It’s okay if we don’t get it right the first time or if we screw up because we’re human. We will mess up – it’s part of life. I also am beginning to learn more about how to not have expectations. If I think about how I am going to walk, or share my eyes, or who I am going to look at before I even go up on the stage, then that will ruin the experience. If I expect how much I am going to let people see within me, then that will also cut the experience. So when I went up there today I just told myself I would be confident, I would be myself, I would be in the moment, and just be. I would let myself feel what I do feel, which is usually what I do in my everyday life because I am a sensitive person. As soon I as got up there and looked into Raymond’s (Our leader/teacher for the week) eyes he saw things I didn’t know he could. I didn’t know a single pair of eyes would be able to see everything. I could tell he was really going to see parts of me that are very private and deep within me. So I began to cry. I was showing someone a part of myself I didn’t even know I truly had by just looking into his eyes. I felt a crazy mix of up and down emotions of laughter, sadness, darkness, and happiness. I thought I was going mad! At first I thought people would probably think I’m crazy because of how many emotions I showed them within 15 minutes, but I am human. And as soon as I remember how to be present in the moment, then all my thoughts ceased taking over my brain. Then, when I made my exit I shrugged a little, but he stopped me and said, “You don’t have to apologize for nothing, girl.” And he’s right. I don’t have to apologize. And I have noticed that my self-esteem effects how I present myself on stage. If I am not confident then my body language will show that I am apologizing for being on stage. When, really, I don’t have to. I can’t apologize. I need to love myself and believe in myself more to create an electrifying presence. First day, and I’ve already learned so much, and I am craving for more.