Feedback for Intro to Clown Weekend

Jul 04 2018

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Joe Rosser

Wahhhhhhhhhh! Just finished the last Introduction to Clowning Weekend of the season! 

In a futile attempt to try and keep up with demand, we've run the intro workshop 5 times already this year, meaning 60 new baby clowns are now roaming free.

They came to us from near and far, some travelled all the way down from the cold, cold, north of England, some along the coast from Cornwall, others over the bridge from Wales and a fair few from the far east of England. One person even came from Holland!

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive:

"An incredibly playful, deep, exciting, mind-bending, awesomely-held full-body toe-dipping into the world of clowning."

"I came to put in a new light and ended up stripping out the entire wiring. You're bloody marvellous, Holly, and thank you for sharing the experience and wisdom of your practice." 

"Your expertise with positive coaching is inspirational. Your care and openness enabled me to be caring and open."

I feel so grateful for all the feedback I've received, it really helps me understand and refine my practice. The rest of this blog is all feedback from one participant, Kathy Harris, a former teacher and youth worker. She captured the essence of the workshop so vividly that I wanted to share it with the world. Over to you, Kathy:

Clown is the part of us that is full of curiosity, awe and wonder of the world in which we live and are part of. She loves to play, explore and take risks just like a toddler who once had to take the risk of standing up and explore the world of the two-legged. 

Just like the toddler who falls over time and time again when learning the art of walking, the clown fails dismally many times, but this never prevents her from trying again. In fact, she finds her failures hilarious and loves nothing more than sharing her explorations with those around her, inviting them into her world. 

When she succeeds, she wants to share her joy immediately. Yet she doesn’t ride on her success; once the moment is over, she drops it just like she drops her failures and goes about looking for something new to explore, play and experiment with. Her whole world is one of trying and inventing and failing and succeeding and reaching out to connect with others who are prepared to meet her emotionally with this. 

When she makes a connection, Clown’s heart swells with love. She wears her heart on her sleeve and finds nourishment in authenticity. Likewise, Clown loves people for who they are and is nourished when she connects with others who are also prepared to hang up the many masks they’ve accumulated during their lifetime and join in the explorations of being alive. 

Clown is rooted in the moment so has no fear of the future nor regrets for the past. It’s all about the NOW - but with awareness, poise and readiness for change. She understands on a deep level that change is the very essence of life so whilst she is relishing each moment, she is alert and poised; always ready to drop what she is doing and start something else once it feels right. 

Clown lives in all of us but we tend to lose connection with her over the course of our lives and sometimes need a bit of help with finding and reconnecting with her. Believe it or not, there are schools and teachers out there who are trained and able to help us with this. Isn't that awesome!?! Clown School is a bit different from the school we went to as children, because we’re encouraged to come out of the mind (which tends to judge, criticise and condemn) and move into the heart – which is infinitely loving and joyful. 

As you are beginning to realise, there’s a lot more to clowning than meets the eye. Often when we attempt the unfamiliar and move out of our comfort zone, our fears take us out of our bodies - to protect us from experiencing all those emotions we’ve been conditioned to believe that are bad or wrong. With a whole lifetime of learning the art of disguise, taking off the masks and being fully present is a challenge. So, part of the training involves centring, grounding, and learning to feel comfortable with the whole emotional spectrum as we allow others to see us as we really are. This requires courage and practice – lots of both! 

The course I attended on the weekend was an introduction to clowning. It laid foundations and helped us to move into the ‘zone’ of Clown. There’s so much more, but just dipping in the toe in was hugely useful. I'm definitely going back for more.

Introduction to Clowning will be back in the autumn, watch this space for dates, or better still, sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page.

Holly Stoppit menu