Clown is hard.
It's the most wonderful time of the year!!
So far I have only done one show out of six. And it is terrifying!
I have been acting all of my adult life, and this isn't my first fringe by any means, or even my first solo show; but this show, is the most personal and raw thing I have ever done.
Now, don't get me wrong! I am glad I am doing it, and I have a sense of pride for the show. My hope is that I can help some people to better understand depression, or, if they need it, to seek help and talk about it. But it is definitely the hardest show I have ever been a part of.
When learning to clown, we are taught to live in the present and sit in our innocence. While in this child-like state, we also have all of our experience to help us. It can be a tricky balance, being 100% present and living in innocence when we have to follow a script we've gone over hundreds of times.
Clown is hard.
The parallel of clowning to my depression seems very fitting.
My first few years of clowning, I wouldn't "go there". I wouldn't let myself be 100% authentic with my experience. I was hiding. Why would I be completely true to myself and my feelings, if I didn't like them? I didn't like me? It wasn't until the amazing Mike Kennard yelled at me during a workshop. (Don't worry, I'm glad he did!)
We were doing an exercise called "making contact". Basically the goal is to be on stage, breathing, and looking into the audience - making contact with each and every one of them. Connecting with them. Sharing everything you have and everything you are with them so that they, the audience, are a part of you while on stage. (Isn't theatre fun!?)
I went to the front of the room for my turn to make contact during a workshop. I looked at everyone. I breathed. I did it!
Except when Mike asked "who felt connected to Morgan?"
... nobody did.
So he made me do it again, and again. He starting wacking me with a foam sword and yelling at me to let go! What are you hiding!? Show us the real you! Do it!
Until I burst into tears.
I said "I don't want to! share who I am! I hate myself! Why the f*** would I share that!?"
At that moment, Mike said make contact now.
I did. I was sure it hadn't worked again.Mike asked who felt connected to me, and the entire class raised their hands.
THIS is my show Silenced.
I have to be in this vulnerable state and share my deepest and darkest moments to an audience. Strangers, and friends. Colleagues and coworkers. Students and teachers. I have to bare all to them.
But don't forget that innocence! Play! Laugh! Discover! Have fun with the show even though it is hard!
Come see Silenced at the Edmonton Fringe Festival to see me living in innocence, experience, and (hopefully) making contact with you in the audience.
Venue #10, Acacia Hall, 10433 83 ave
Sun 20 @ 4:14pm
Wed 23 @ 12 pm
Thurs 24 @ 8:15 pm
Fri 25 @ 2:15 pm
Sat 26 @ 10:15 pm