Holly Stoppit
Photo credit: Paul Blakemore

Introduction To Clowning

Explore what it feels like to put judgement to one side, turn up your curiosity and follow your impulses to let go, play and connect.

Holly Stoppit's Introduction to Clowning is a 2-day workshop which gently immerses you into the state of clown, where everything is possible and nothing is quite as it seems. You will be led through a carefully paced progression of group games and exercises, designed to free up your body, voice and imagination, anchoring you in the present, connecting you with the group and helping you to effortlessly enter into the states of ‘flow’ and ‘play’. From here, your clown will naturally start to emerge.

Clown is not a character you put on, it's a gentle dropping back into a state of child-like wonderment, where pleasure, playfulness and exploration rule. Your clown is the most curious, spontaneous and authentic part of you and Holly delights in creating safe and non-judgmental environments full of invitations for clowns to come out to play.

Over the weekend, you’ll experience a multitude of fun technical comedy exercises, all geared towards helping you release more laughter from audiences. We’ll explore how physicality, breath, timing, rhythm, surprise and truth provoke laughter. You’ll discover how embracing and sharing your vulnerability through your clown can open up an audacious, laughter-laden quality of connection with audiences.

This training is ideal for emerging / professional performers of any discipline who wish to improve their stage presence and connection with audiences. But you don't need to be a performer to come to clown school, over the last 10 years, Holly has taught this course to actors, bank managers, therapists, musicians, teachers, politicians, comedians, IT specialists, the list goes on! If you are interested in cultivating a playful, light, deep and honest connection with yourself and others, then this is the course for you.

Introduction to Clowning lays the foundations for a plethora of advanced training courses.

This course has an application process to make sure we’ve got a good mix of bods in the room (taking gender, age, performance experience etc into consideration). No experience of performing is needed but your reasons will be considered, and priority may be given to those who have applied before - these courses fill up quick!

“A warm, gentle invitation to play and be playful”

“Holly is an inspirational, passionate and very, very generous teacher.”

“I connected with some forgotten and neglected bits of my psyche, through playing, and laughed and laughed and laughed. It was healing…. My clown surprised me: sometimes she was cross, sometimes she was scared, sometimes she was horny and sometimes she was just silly, but she was always authentic and raw. It felt more like channeling than improvising. I came away feeling more tolerant of my jagged bits.”

“… a wonderful exploration of letting go of ego! To simultaneously release fear of appearing foolish..., cultivate and sustain intimate connection with an audience, and support and be supported by others to follow what’s working, spontaneously and without attachment is an extraordinary practice. I’m not sure whether the wondrous curiosity and playfulness is another layer to the experience, or the only context in which it can possibly happen, and it doesn’t really matter – it just works, and is totally transformative when it does. And I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in two days in my life.”

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