'amusing in an odd way; whimsically humorous; waggish, jocular or witty, full of roguish good humor.’
I’m additionally a white faced pantomime on stilts. I don’t speak and
thus have worked many cultures who’s spoken and written languages were
unknown to me.
I had no problem communicating.
That worked for almost thirty years until around 2010.
Since then the idea of distracting the already distracted has lost it's romantic appeal. Ecosystems are crashing, parts of the world that didn't used to be are now uninhabitable and migration's already started. Water tables are more or less empty in Africa and southern Europe and the Americas. Globally fish are over 50% depleted and non renewable as of 2016, the worlds convulsing and collapsing systematically in real time as I write and playing my worlds tiniest violin on the deck of humanities Titanic, or even worse, on a cruise ship or whatever real estate development and multi-corp sponsor facade masking as community event I could whore myself out to for yucks ...well I used to think the majority of dumb fucks and their kids about to inherit a barren wasteland before their middle age was darkly amusing. Now I'm more inclined to see clowns as the cruel mother tereasas with serpentine eyes pacing the terminal ward of humanity living off whatever hope the hopeless still radiate.
I’ve had a change of heart. It took a
near terminal cancer and two years of recuperation and a global pandemic
to reorientate the kind of dark optimism that was my professional
I’ve decided Clowns can still be useful.
Salman Rushdie in midnights children wrote something that resonated with me as a clown.
I’m paraphrasing but he wrote about Indian street magicians and he said.
“Their hold on reality was so fundamental and strong that they could bend and shape it to their will.”
All performance incapsulates this ambition and street theatre is its most fundamental form.
A public space is bent and shaped and moments are spun from straw into metaphysical gold in that ideally a group of strangers are given focus and access to a joy that is larger than the sum of it’s parts and also practically there’s a transaction borne of collective gratitude that empowers the performer. The performer also benefits in a rare and singular way in that their life actually makes sense for a select period of time. The best of the best [not to be confused with the most commercially successful ] [and this is all just my thoughts and opinion] achieve a kind of profound peace whilst dancing round inside their absurd creations.
This is the ideal or the bedrock of the situation as I’ve always seen it. I’ve studied and inhabited and experimented within this conceptual membrane for as long as I could and also studied others in the convergence of Clown and Street theatre artists/engineers.
It’s not enough to simply be a boilerplate narcissist, it’s helpful to know that metaphor and psychology exist in applicable realworld units. As a mime I lacked the luxury of the word being made flesh and dealt primarily with metaphor, psychology, the interpretation of the moment and timing.
It worked for me. Suicidal people in my audiences would puncture their isolated hells to let me know I’d made them laugh. I guess that makes me a generous psychopath given I victimised people for a living.
I look for the bedrock in other performers, I think the essential nature of people who manipulate others for a living is important. I identified mainly and not surprisingly with robust nihilistic contrarians who created incandescent joy because someone had to and life held no meaning otherwise.
I’m fifty fucking seven now. I’ve spent the two years isolated in a room with the luxury of the state paying my rent getting used to the fact I’ve had my stomach removed and just thinking generally.
The difference between being insane and being a clown really comes down to whether you can orchestrate laughter.
As such I’ve been unemployed the last couple of years and while I once wrote of Performer and Clown Anthony Livingspace.
"Figuratively, if you were to imagine the outskirts of society and from
there walk a day and a half, then have on hand a very powerful set of
binoculars, you may, in the distance make out what looks to be a putrid
Tony lives just on the other side of that but returns to do shows for the folk.”
I feel myself I have ventured so far away from what constitutes 2020 collective reality that it and I no longer have enough in common to form a collective bond.
I choose to find that liberating because, and I’ve been there before, the alternative is simply to keep to myself and with patience wait to die.
During this period of isolation the world convulsed and itself shrank and isolated.
I got a head start by chance.
Another wise clown once told me that our main responsibility as Clowns is to keep ourselves entertained.
So I’ve decided to once again entertain myself and others and create something larger than myself, an ambitious vehicle, to do it as we all navigate the new global cultural turbulences in search of new sources of bread, [not my business] and circuses, [the wider definition of which being my paddling pool of choice, my business]