Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh you pretty things.....

When the camera first pans up and you are suddenly confronted with a room full of intense young hipster conceptionists...I think I'll reserve judgement. It takes effort and love is work made visible right?

 Something about hipsters pandering in packs to their pretentious sense of intellectual entitlement sticks in my craw. Hah, I just knew I couldn't reserve judgement for long. Oh well.

This art piece is titled 'Interior Semiotics"
A snazzier title would be 'schrodinger's yeast infection'


Halloween, Relentless Murder Short Film, [with spoon]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guitar Tapping Stefan Joubert [Covent Garden]

Conductor as fine art mime.

    “Back in 2000, I had the opportunity to go to South Africa to form a new opera company. So, I went out there, and I auditioned mainly in rural township locations right around the country, about two thousand singers. Pulled together a company of forty of the most jaw-dropping amazing young performers the majority of whom were black; but there were a handful of white performers. Now, what emerged further into the rehearsal periods was one of those white performers had in his previous incarnation been a member of the South African police force. And, in the last years of the old regime, he would routinely be detailed to go into the townships to aggress the community. 

    “You can imagine what that knowledge did to the temperature in the [rehearsal] room, to the general atmosphere. Let’s be under no illusions. In South Africa, the relationship most devoid of trust is that between a white policeman and a black community. How do we recover from that, ladies and gentlemen? Simply through singing. We sang; we sang; we sang. And amazingly, new trust grew and indeed friendships blossomed. That showed me such a fundamental truth that music-making and other forms of creativity can so often go to places where mere words cannot.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pathos? Bathos? either way it's street theatre.

Used as a vehicle certainly but even before the reveal it's using the street to express a joyful commonality.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cheerfully enraged.

I checked back on facebook after months and was struck by insipid political mewling, as if whining on facebook validates opinions you magpied off your TV.

 I just wanted to lance that precious boil that is the idea that status updates reveal anything. 

Pithy hollow death of an empire bollocks. 

Cancerous intellectual saccharine where suburbanites get to pretend they are not  domesticated Anorexic political kittens and play alleycat from their cushy chairs or coffee shops, projecting their powerlessness to control even their own lives by sublimitive outrage.

   I don't let it infect me often, facebook is a surreal cacophony of meaningless twaddle even to the people who write in it. 

An ego gratifying global circlejerk morrisdance of braindeath.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feelgood Sunday, emotionally unavoidable potpourri

Interval background music.

Peter Panic, Vid and Story.

From Peter Panic.. [Who knows I collect funny stories] used with permission. M Ewen.

Here is a little story for you. You could do a whole book like this-
You spend some time in show biz you have some funny stories.
Ask people to talk about the funniest thing they ever saw. Heres mine.
Mid 90s saturday night Harvard Square.
We had done some shows, made some money now it was time to drink some beer.
Our local was Charlies Kitchen but Ken the hippie balloon dude was all about Pizzaria Unos.
"The food at Charlies sucks."
"Yeah, so what? We like Charlies. Later dude."
So we go in, order some beers, look at a menu and start discussing who has the best show.
Up the stairs comes a lesbian. and another. and another.
Cambridge is pretty liberal, it is no big deal...but they just keep coming.
It is the whole rainbow of lesbianism, short hair, baggy shirts, deisel dykes, femm girls,
they just keep coming up those stairs, maybe 25 in all.
They push some tables together and make themselves at home.
Oh well, good for them. We order some food, they get some beer, it is another rowdy night in the square. I thought to myself- this is why I like Charlies better than Unos.
There is a busker at the bar, a guitar player with one leg who I did not know.
The girls get him to play some songs and now they are having a sing-along.
These girls are fun. one of them, a slim young femm girl walks up to 'Airborne' Dan Foley and asks him if he can play hotel california on a guitar. Their guy did not know it.
Dan says "I could fake it but your guy is pretty good and this is his moment and, by the way, who ARE you? where are you from?" We did not see this every day.
She says they are a queer performance art collective from san fran called Sister Spit.
They just came from p-town and they were going to be attending a poetry slam in Boston the next day. Dan's like- thats cool, we are all performers too, jugglers and circus tricks.
She goes back to her seat and we give Dan a hard time- "I think she likes you dan."  "maybe you can get her to switch sides."
 Her friends seem to be giving her grief for flirting with the enemy. She comes back over. "We want to see some tricks."
" What? "
"You guys are performers, show us some tricks."
We are all like, "Oh, we just got done working, we're trying to eat here."
Sorry about the long set up, this is about to go somewhere.

Ken is eating the best meal of his life at Unos, Jim Show Jim decided to have an early night and a glass of ginger beer, my girlfriend Jenny had meant to meet us but she was asleep at home. now lets meet the hero of this story.
Mike Smith was not a performer, at least not a pro. ex army ranger, worlds greatest short order cook, ne'er do well who hung out on the pitch and was everyones friend.
natural born ring leader, he becomes the default MC.
He gets up, says "Ok- lets get this show started!" He does a cartwheel, realizes halfway through he does not know how and falls on his ass. no worries, the ball is rolling.
They do an acro balance, Bobarino Brady does a handstand.
They recite a dramatic poem, I juggle a salt shaker a ketchup bottle and a sugar packet.
They sing a song to guitar and Dan balances a chair on his chin. Now we are having fun, but still nothing to write a book about.
Mike turns to Bob Elgin, 'Lucky Bob', and says- "Your turn Bob, get up and do something."
He does not care about Bob but he knows we have to hold up our end.
Bob is all like, "Oh, all my props are in the car, I dont have anything on me." [Bob is a magician.]
Mike says "You have to do SOMETHING, what do you need? What if i get you a deck of cards?"
Bob says "Yeah! yeah, get me a deck of cards. I can do a card trick."
Here we go.
 I had the cat bird seat for what comes next so listen carefully.
Mike gets up. He knows someone in the bar has a deck of cards.
He walks up to the closest lesbian, the meanest, toughest dyke of them all.
dyed hair, tats, peircings, older than the rest. sort of a father figure.
mike- "Excuse me um... miss?"
She looks at him with contempt.
"Um, by any chance, do you happen to have a deck of cards?"
She is sitting slouched in her chair, legs spread wide in her leather pants.
Her name is Lynn Breedlove, apparently she is famous.
She says- "No, I dont have a deck...but I have a dick."
Just like that. and she grabs the inside of her leg, about halfway down her thigh.
This escalated very quickly, but no one is really paying attention yet.
Mike looks at her. He is thinking- 'you may look tough, but you were born a woman.'
There is no way. so he says-"Really?"
she says-"Thats right."
He says- "Will you show it to me?" He is so sure she is bluffing.
She says "How about, if I pull it out, how about you suck on it?"
Mike is completley crazy, but his 4 aces are about to run into a straight flush.
He says- "OK!"
Lynn Breedlove stands up and starts unlacing her leather pants.
Mike wears a bridge; he can take out his teeth.
As she pulls out a family size strap on dildo and he gets down on his knees I say-
"Mike- take out your teeth!"
He puts his teeth on the table and- God bless him- he puts that monster in his mouth.
It was like an explosion. It was very powerful. It started at the center with her table and our table and spread very quickly to the bar and the back corners of the room, and it was just...
It was hard to look at. It was like staring at the sun.
It did not last long.
He got to his feet, the girls are roaring, the whole place is going crazy, the roof was going to come off the building.
It was too much. From the back of the room people are calling us faggots and queers and what have you. The lesbians are ready to rumble, they are not afraid of a fight. They told us they get in fights everywhere they go. Something very intimidating about all those girls.
There was this pretty blonde girl with a scar on her cheek, she is swinging a chain.
So this Puerto Rican nitwit pulls a knife, Mike backs him into a corner and cools him down.
By then the bar staff and owners have had enough and they kick us all out.
'So what- time to go anyway.'
Now we are outside, and the kid with the knife and his buddies are not so tough anymore.
They take off. We are milling around, talking to the girls, they are slapping us on the back,
telling us we are all right even if we are male.
We did not want it to end. I had the party house nearby, so it was up to me to be like-
" you guys want to smoke some pot? Lets have a party."
They were like, "Yeah sure."
I run to a payphone, call Jenny, wake her up out of a sound sleep and I am babbling.
"Mike Smith just gave a blow job to a lesbian in Charlies and now they are all coming over to my house!"
She said-"I'll be right there." and hung up the phone. She was always good to go.
I run into Ken on the street. He had already heard. He was on his way to my house.
I just laughed at him. "How was your dinner Kenny boy? What did you have?"
Later I remembered to find a deck of cards and hand it to Bob.
"Lets see that card trick bob. Show us what we missed."
And he did a card trick for us.

Buskers Festival Wien 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mario Queen of the Circus

Looks like it was filmed in The Christchurch arts center which was in part reduced to rubble in the earthquake of this year. The Christchurch Buskers Fest put on some memorable shows there over the years. I hope it returns there. The fest is on still and is now an important cultural staple in a city that needs uplifting.

Quitting your job in style,

The Lion on the left has had enough of being overlooked.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Faces of Fear Caught on Haunted House Camera.

Thousands of teens - mostly boys - have paid admission to the Nightmares Fear Factory, a haunted house in Niagara Falls, Canada, to be scared witless, and judging from the photos taken by a hidden camera, they got their money's worth. Here are a few of the shots . You can see more at Nightmares Fear Factory's Flickr site.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grock "King of Clowns" [updated]

Grock (January 10, 1880 – July 14, 1959), born Charles Adrien Wettach, was a Swiss Clown, composer and musician. Called "the king of clowns" and "the greatest of Europe's clowns", Grock was once the most highly paid entertainer in the world.

By 1913, Grock's fame had spread, his act having developed into the mixture of pantomime and musical blunders for which he is now remembered. With the outbreak of World War 1, he made Britain his base, remaining there until 1924, when he returned to continental Europe. He performed throughout Europe and in the United States, commanding ever higher fees, and his continuing success enabled him to establish his own circus in 1951, with which he toured until his final performance in Hamburg on October 30, 1954. Grock described the secret of clowning as follows: "The genius of clowning is transforming the little, everyday annoyances, not only overcoming, but actually transforming them into something strange and terrific… it is the power to extract mirth for millions out of nothing and less than nothing."
He retired to the Villa Bianca (now named "Villa Grock"), a 50-room house he had had built in the 1920s in Imperia Italy, where he died in 1959.

Grock was the last pre media clown of the 20th century.  

a quick gag

A full length film 1hr 40
A selection of Grocks work, [and others]

A rainy sunday afternoon, on fullscreen, allowing yourself to drift back in time would be my suggestion.,9171,820394,00.html

Wave upon wave of applause filled a circus tent in Hamburg last week as a preposterous, shambling clown, his baggy pants secured by a huge safety pin, his crudely gloved hands the essence of misplaced elegance, finished his turn. Friends and fans had come from as far away as Italy and England to see his act. They stood on their chairs, stomping and cheering. Long after the clown himself had shuffled off, wiping a tear from his dead-white face with a floppy sleeve, the cheers ran on, until at last a loudspeaker blared: "Please, ladies and gentlemen, do not applaud any longer. Grock is not coming back. Grock is never coming back."

The audience of 3,000 found it hard to believe that The Great Grock would ever give up the limelight and the sawdust, but the fact was that at 74, Europe's greatest clown was tired. 

As Adrian Wettach, the son of a Swiss watchmaker, he ran away from home at 14 to try his luck in greasepaint. For 60 years he played in circuses and music halls across the length and breadth of Europe and England. On a continent where clowns are universally rated as the top act in any circus, Grock was acclaimed as the greatest of them all. The Queen of Spain once gave premature birth to a royal heir from laughing too hard at his antics. Winston Churchill once urged him to take out British citizenship so that Britons might claim him as their own. Even Charlie Chaplin was once kind enough to concede that Grock was almost as good as he.

Offstage a solemn and fastidious artist who speaks seven languages and boasts an honorary Ph.D., The Great Grock spent hours and years polishing and perfecting the details of his performance. But he never tampered with its essential ingredients, which were as simple and absurd as life itself: a tiny fiddle produced from a monstrous case, the almost miraculous discovery that it is easier to push a stool toward a piano than it is to push a piano toward a stool, his look of ecstatic appreciation at a single sour musical note produced all by himself. In such endless re-enactment of simple and simple-minded truth, everyman could forget his own absurdity and laugh instead at Crock's.

Last week, soon after the curtain fell for the last time on his act, Grock and his devoted Italian wife headed for retirement and a 50-room villa on the Italian Riviera. He had earned his rest without question, "but who," asked one of the million-odd friends he had left behind, "will ever be able to make us laugh like that again?"

The Villa Grock

Grock  discovered Imperia by chance, during a visit he paid to his parents-in-law spending a holiday there in 1920, and he was so struck by the place that he bought a house surrounded by a large garden, where he originally intended to spend his holidays. .
There he built the Villa that still overlooks the hills of Oneglia and that became the main residence of the clown until his death in 1959. The villa and the garden are evidence of the eclecticism of their owner and still transmit his celebrated melancholic smile.

The Garden
brought back the beauty and the charm of this “enchanted location” of the western Italian Riviera. The garden structures have been carefully repaired and plants and flowers are blooming in their former splendour. Today’s  visitors are surrounded by the same atmosphere Adrien Wettach had imagined, driven by his love/passion for nature.
The park represents a typical example of the historical gardens of the Riviera. The well marked paths invite to take a stroll and all around the spindle-shaped colums, the bold arches, the unique decorations, the fountains and the pond with its little oriental-looking bridge are the completion of an evocative and magic scenery.

The Villa
The originality of this villa is explained by the fact that Grock himself supervised the project by architect Armando Brignole..
The building is a sort of self portrait, the expression of an extraordinarily playful and creative personality. Although the architectural style goes beyond every definition, the influence of Art Nouveau is clearly recognizable especially in the interiors.
The Province of Imperia bought the property in 2002 and the villa is now undergoing restoration work and therefore not open to visits. The project includes the complete renovation  of the building in full compliance with the original plan. Upon completion of the works the Villa is going to become an important cultural centre: it will house exhibitions, meetings and conferences, international events and a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and art of the artist it is named after.
The restoration is expected to be completed in 2009.

The Lost Thing... Aussie Animation [+the making of..]

internet classic, Bingo the clown

It's a demo reel for the Alias Wavefront 3D software. Wonderful old clip

She Smiled,

You have to be absurdly fearless to perform on the street. You are auditioning for your life. You have to believe in something, anything at all, and expose your concern, your faith, your fearlessness to the world at large hoping you have disguised your abject terror sufficiently. Bravado masking a hopefully insular desperation for affection....Well that’s a bit cruel, sure you want affection, who doesn’t, but it can be a little more profound than that if you give yourself space and over the years synthesize  your motive down to one immutable nugget

If you fail to ignite a flame of curiosity and commitment from the fuel of passers-by smoldering with indifference then that small flame of your own, brought out and placed exposed risks extinguishment.
For all the pat doggerel about love lost being superior to not having loved at all the attraction of yourself being a dry latent wick rather than a doused failure is self evidently attractive to any street performer who tries and fails and walks away a soggy wick.
I may labor the illumination metaphor however I do so because my one immutable nugget is this...
I want to bring light into the world.
I’ve seen it individually and in audiences, the light. It’s very strong but soft. My Clown is kindling and my structures and form are small puffs applied to the spark that is my ambition to create and amplify the light that is the momentary celebration of life’s random goodness.

You have to do one thing well.  You also need to identify and remember that one thing rather than presuming that anything will do.
Because audiences are your own kind and they resonate. They simply will not invest more than you do in your show. A common mistake is to see them as objects to be moved about with simple slights of mind, like you are selling some new cheese grater between isle 4 and 5 at a supermarket.

You can do the smallest thing and if it means the world to you that’s enough.

There was a woman, a street performer who had synthesized her nugget down to the bone and it was, and is to me the perfect example of street theatre as profound poetry.

She was a minimalist pantomime of despair and joy. She did one thing well and her show was a setup for that one thing.
She would stand on a small black box with her name on it in white, she wore an Edwardian mens suit and had a top hat at her feet for donations, she wore whiteface.

She was not happy. She had a wonderful palette of unhappiness, each color individually crafted and immediately recognizable. Winsome and wistfully, regretfully, defiantly, sullenly, achingly, stoically, disappointingly, fearfully.
She would build an audience by looking down at the ground and forming a particular sadness before raising her gaze and directing it at one individual, sometimes scanning the crowd until she selected that person. She would focus on them until she had established some resonance then she would look down again. She remembered each sadness as it applied to each individual. After creating these relationships and creating also a rhythm of   discovery for her audience who were mesmerized and delighted by each new nuance of unhappiness she would bring forth she would move onto the next level in which, like a juggler, she would keep all her unhappinesses in the air by shifting her gaze, with brilliant comic timing, from each audience member she had previously bequeathed some particular unhappy relationship.
It was sad and funny and beautiful and masterful and the setup.

Because the appreciation of her art would reach a point where unbidden one of her audience would respond to her and walk forward and drop money into the hat at her feet. As they broke from the crowd and approached she would amplify whichever sadness pertained to them until they had put whatever token into her hat, she would break her gaze, peek down at the hat then look up.

...And them.

They would walk away or back to the audience and she would follow them with her smile, her smile created light. It was as honed and genuine and pure as each of her unhappinesses. It was a form of love. It illuminated her audience, they smiled and laughed each time. Then it would fade and sadness would return. The particular sadness the audience member who had contributed a donation, that sadness would go to the bottom of the pile, the others would be refueled as they were kept in play and this small but profound game was this woman s career.

I feel privileged to have spent so much time prospecting the world for eccentric public interpretations of the human condition in which laughter is the goal, in which individuals or groups put themselves at risk to gift others with some collective joyful vantage and having made that risk been redeemed in laughter, gratitude and coin.

This one thing, the act of going from sadness to joy, is fiendishly difficult to do. I know because after coming across this act I tried myself as an exercise, repeatedly, in front of a mirror.

It is very easy to go down, to lower your mood. Lower moods are always there, always available, as genuine as any sadness you've ever felt for the purposes of reproduction. I found the reverse, and still find the reverse, one of life’s great challenges. To truly morph from sadness to joy is a discipline and a gift.

It was her one thing she did exceedingly well and it bears repeating.
 You can do the smallest thing and if it means the world to you that’s enough.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Old 'Lurk' pic cache; further examples...

Turkish Icecream vendor street performance

Found a cache of pics; two

The Backwater Gospel, wicked animation.

Stock lines....

“The more money you give me the more money I have” Was first used by David holder in the late 80′s.
It may have lay latently submerged before then from earlier times but David was inventive.

He did the 'escape from the straightjacket on a tall unicycle' show until he fell, hit his head and his retinas started detaching. Incidentally, it was this show/module that Eddie Izzard purloined in his first Edinburgh fest adventure as a street performer.
I think most of the ‘classics’ came from the Covent garden nursery given that was a place where many performers worked together daily rather than just at festivals and there was a certain rivalry in applying new twists to what was  a certain cookie cutter quality to the prefabricated patter performers build their modules out of.
There is something mildly depressing about the inevitability of comedy irrespective of the performer vending it, that could be more my discordant perspective but as a performer myself [who doesn't speak], hearing…
“…And Kids, if mummy and daddy don’t give you at least $2 to give to the funny man that can only mean one thing….They don’t really love you…..just joking, it means you were adopted.”
A well worn classic, used extensively as a kind of counterfeit ‘personality’
The audiences roar with shocked, slyly impressed mirth and as someone who has seen probably 50 000 shows and loves the form something in me cringes. I identify a form of deceit but the audience laughs and the shows roll forward so I guess it’s my problem.
Back to David Holder… He used to preface this line with, “I know you won’t like this line and I know I’ll lose money but I don’t care I love this line.”
“…And Kids, if mummy and daddy don’t give you at least $2 to give to the funny man that can only mean one thing……He’s shit.”
That was what its all about to me, entertaining yourself inside the form and taking the audience along for the ride. Not building a module of hack to exploit human nature and your own need for minimal work hours and international travel.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Found a cache of pics, one.

Lurk enters the vehicle

I promised these two woman who freaked out when I entered their car via the window that I would put this up today....and so I have.  A minor scream really.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Clown Car diaries part one

The quality will improve I assure you. This is my first attempts at filming and narrating from inside the car. I learnt about avoiding the lighting washout effect and a few other things via these shots.
sorry about that.

Morris Minor Diaries
Minor Diaries
 Clown-Car Diaries?

which do you think?

 I'm just putting them out so I can laugh at their clumseyness. Tomorrow I'm donning camera and walking through Kona at the setup of the ironman which is held here this coming weekend.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dog Puppeteer in Recoleta

This video was filmed in Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Early Tom Waits Interview 1979

and the song/s he played to follow [he tacks a Waltzing Matilda refrain on the end cos he's in Australia], one of his most touching versions of  'On the Nickel'.

Lyrics for 'On the Nickel'

Sticks And Stones Will Break My Bones, But I Always Will Be True, And When
Your Mama Is Dead And Gone, I'll Sing This Lullabye Just For You, And What
Becomes Of All The Little Boys, Who Never Comb Their Hair, Well They're Lined
Up All Around The Block, On The Nickel Over There.

So You Better Bring A Bucket, There Is A Hole In The Pail, And If You Don't
Get My Letter, Then You'll Know That I'm In Jail, And What Becomes Of All The
Little Boys, Who Never Say Their Prayers, Well They're Sleepin' Like A Baby,
On The Nickel Over There.

And If You Chew Tobacco, And Wish Upon A Star, Well You'll Find Out Where
The Scarecrows Sit, Just Like Punchlines Between The Cars, And I Know A Place
Where A Royal Flush, Can Never Beat A Pair, And Even Thomas Jefferson, Is On
The Nickel Over There.

So Ring Around The Rosie, You're Sleepin' In The Rain, And You're Always
Late For Supper, And Man You Let Me Down Again, I Thought I Heard A
Mockingbird, Roosevelt Knows Where, You Can Skip The Light, With Grady Tuck,
On The Nickel Over There.

So What Becomes Of All The Little Boys, Who Run Away From Home, Well The
World Just Keeps Gettin' Bigger, Once You Get Out On Your Own, So Here's To
All The Little Boys, The Sandman Takes You Where, You'll Be Sleepin' With A
Pillowman, On The Nickel Over There.

So Let's Climb Up Through That Button Hole, And We'll Fall Right Up The
Stairs, And I'll Show You Where The Short Dogs Grow, On The Nickel Over There.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Funky the Bear, Breaking the Rules.

I harbour certain conceits.
I know what ‘funny’ is. It may well be, as I say, a conceit however I’ve studied it. A lot, all my life, because there’s something contained inside what funny is that makes my life bearable and interesting.
Not all of what I consider funny do I find personally funny. I’m not saying my sense of humor is some elevated, evolved, superior thing. I’m saying that on both an instinctive and intellectual level after decades of study and a life spent among professionally funny people I can tell the difference between that that contains whatever essence required to produce laughter in most cultures and what does not.

A great deal of the various structural mechanics are mundane and banal when you look deconstructively at the production of comedy yet they are powerful, so powerful that unfunny people can use them alone to create a semblance of comedy that works successfully.
I admit already my conceit and admit also it’s subjective but humor is deep or at least I’ve found it so.

I suffer from bouts of extreme depression, I sometimes go years without laughing, I took pills for a couple of years and the mildness they created scared me because I feared I was being smothered of my small gift. Knowing what was funny. While depressed pre-medicated I could hunt out funny people and watch their work and while they would not make me laugh they would make me smile inside as I luxuriated in the presence of ‘funny’.

It has to be said too that I am considered funny which is a relief as I’ve been a professional international clown soloist for nearly thirty years,
[I love that phrase ‘international clown soloist’. To me it’s as hardfought and risky as ‘fighter pilot’]
I use knowing what's funny to be funny and the world tends to reward me...when I pull my head out of my ass.

I stopped taking my medicine a few years back, became impossible to endure, lost everything including my mind as it melted down trying vainly to recapture bedrock from the shifting sands of my despair but slowly my strength is returning. In order to do what I do I have to be impossibly strong. I get my ‘funny’ from dangerous places. There’s a wistful hopelessness at the base of my humor that takes strength to keep on it’s bearing.
Surviving myself, as with everyone, is my largest challenge.
Personally I cope now by being frightened and fearless at the same time in a wave/ particle arrangement. It’s not easy but it is funny.

My other conceit, contained as a subset inside the first is that I know what ‘Clown’ is.

Admittedly it comes down to individual driven performance art that contains some preset litmus of whimsy. I believe everyone, from the most staid, externally boring to the most eccentric carries with them an inner dialogue teeming with absurd tangential branches. Everyone is an iceberg in that only a small portion of them is ever visible.
This aspect is for the most part too personal and too untamed to risk sharing and additionally sharing would require a degree of articulation that is simply as potentially socially dangerous as it is seemingly impossible.

Clowns skillfully externalise this process and do make it possible, they simulate a form of naked thought and if they succeed it is recognised by their audience as part of that subconscious flow we paradoxically all share individually.

The relief of this communal recognition is spelled in laughter.

I know many many clowns from many cultures, I have travelled to meet them and there was, at the first international clown festival held in China, where I represented NZ, a situation where I realised that I was a conduit of sorts, being the only Clown there who knew as many of the north American clowns as European and knowing also personally many from other places.

I had to try and mend a rift between Europe and North America that threatened clown harmony but that's another story.
I just mention this to reinforce a description given me by others that I'm a clown's clown.
Just to undermine any idea that you might have that I'm simply a narcissistic deluded pontificating burnout. I am but that's only part of the picture.
Three elements are used in any clown performance, Form, content and performance.

The third is an amalgam of the first two and the weighing and blend constitutes it being an element in its own right.

Sometimes form carries the comedy and sometimes it’s the content but for me when they are as illogically ill suited as many of the impulsive thoughts that reside hissing and bubbling in our own heads and yet are brought together re performance by a clown to make within some context some small surreal cohesive sense.

Well that’s what keeps me interested.

For me when external whimsy shortcircuits my own internal rabid hamster, that is the essence of happiness for me and when I can be in a number of people sharing that experience then that is when relief morphs into celebration.

Now a story, a recollection, the joy I feel when I come across a clown.

Funky the Bear was a guy in a bear suit. A cartoonish bear suit, the fancy dress variety rather than the authentic grizzly.

Funky was an artist, in that he created his own reality and projected it. Funky didn’t fit in, the world just had to adapt. Funky was funny and Funky was a clown.

The first time I came across him he got arrested. 
It was hilarious and I was lucky enough to see it unfold from beginning to end. I was ambling into the city [Perth Australia], passing through a large pedestrian plaza where the Art gallery and Museum reside, there was a fenced off area where one of Perths many variations of Arts festivals was eventing. [The 'ARTRAGE' festival]

As I walked into the area I came up behind two mounted policemen staring intently at an apparently drunk and antisocial bear who over the next few minutes staggered and fell, took wild swings at those who stopped to assist and who at one point began to take waste wood from a construction project and throw it into a public fountain.

Whether it was contrived or not it certainly appeared that this bear was simply out of control.

While we watched another , younger policeman arrived and watched with us, the bear was running amok about 100 meters away. The two mounted cops ordered the unmounted fresh faced cadet to “Go and deal with that.”

The bear had just swung another length of 2x4 into the fountain, over-rotated and fallen on his face then got up again when the Cop, about 20 feet away and approaching yelled. “Hey, stop!”

Funky turned and then did a classic cartoon doubletake, his arms thrown out wide, jumped into the air, spun 180 and landed running away, heading for the art event enclosure. It took only seconds for the policeman to catch up with him, he grabbed Funky by the shoulder but the bear kept running anyway. He ran the short distance up to the fence, missed the entrance point by a wide margin and ran straight into the chain link fence, froze a moment fully spreadeagled then slid dramatically down the fence to lie in a heap. The cop was now standing over him and a crowd was forming. Funky had done his best to make it look like the policeman was overreacting with violence at an innocent Bear

Trying to wrestle back the initiative the young improvising policeman thought it best to put an end to this antromorphic charade by yanking the bears costume head off. A good idea except the suits entry point was through the crutch and the head was not of the removable type.

The cop strained at yanking the bears head off and the bear milked it by throwing his arms out and exaggerating each attempt made at ripping his head off.

The now surrounded young cop who had moved on to brandishing his handcuffs only to find they didn’t fit round a bears wrists when the crowd that now surrounded him gave voice to their disapproval, adding to his woes. I presume the mounted cops were spectating stoically from a distance while howling with laughter within.

“You can’t arrest him ! He’s a conceptional artist!” someone barracked.

“You have the right to remain fluffy!” another yelled.

The typically Australian disdain for authority was given full play, no-one took it that seriously, the fact that the cop carried a sidearm meant nothing. He was embarrassed and stressed and trying to arrest a bear therefor the crowd became Bear champions and conceptual art sponsors instinctively.

Funky the bear put the policeman out of his misery by standing and head held low in shame offering his hand for the cop to take and lead him away, he shuffled meekly away, being towed by a policeman, the crowd good naturedly booing.

I heard later he was taken to the nearby station and mug-shots were taken with his costume still on before simply being let off with a warning. He was actually that year the official mascot of the festival so prosecuting him would have simply been more trouble than it was worth.

I saw him an hour or too later inside the enclosure and was impressed by the amount of expression he could muster inside that suit. He would dance until he attracted children then run away from them and lead them in a simple game of ‘catch the funny bear’ until he worked out who might be a parent and then he would rush up to them and drop to his knees and clasp his paws together in supplication, begging that the parents take their kids back.

He was funny, he was bitter and antisocial and trapped in a bear suit and that was his character.

Some months later I heard of his hijinks when paid to do roving atmospheric work at the grounds of the main Perth University.

He had thrown a rock at some reticulation pipe and burst it and spent part of his gig being chased around by the gardening staff. He’d run indoors to hide and walked into a full lecture hall mid lecture from a door at the front of the class. The lecturer looked at him and the amassed students looked down to him from their tiered seating. A moment frozen in strangeness as he entered. Funky then walked slowly and slyly towards the blackboard, picked up a piece of chalk in his paw. Turned and wrote slowly and deliberately F..U..C..K on the board, then sprinted from the room.

We became friends when, at a later time I met the man who filled the costume.

Funky was funny and Funky was a Clown.