I seem to be in Bangalore. In India. I am here…yesterday I was in Glasgow wearing thermals and 2 coats, and today I am here, in Bangalore, wearing shorts and drinking a mango lassi, the sounds of the city permeating the apartment walls - car horns, someone in another apartment taking a shower, dishes clanking, someone speaking loudly on the phone, children playing in the distance.
I am continually amazed at where Clowning has taken me in my life and the people it has brought me to. Many times I have invited myself to these places, driven by a desire to explore the things that unite humanity, that transcend culture and politics as well as a sense that clowning is always an incredibly fun shortcut to experiencing those things. Frankly, if I am going to travel anywhere in the world, I would rather do it as a clown. Without my clown lens, I can become bogged down in expectations about how I should be, what I should see, often overwhelmed by the options. I sometimes feel uselessly guilty, or embarrassed by my ignorance. Being able to inhabit a clownish presence allows me to accept all of this about myself, and then leave it behind. I feel more free to be myself, more open to knowing that I will likely say or do something stupid, trusting that these mistakes can be an opportunity to create humour and intimacy if we frame it that way, less concerned with knowing or doing or seeing, and more content just being in a place in all its richness and all its differences and sameness.
I am staying with Igor Narovski and his friends. Their parents live next door and bring us all of our meals; home cooked idli, Paddu, dhal, rice, chutney, chapatis. When you are offered another chapati and say yes, you are given 3 and they are so delicious it is impossible not to finish every bite. We go for chai in the afternoons, watch the sleepy street dogs resting in the shade. Just looking at them brings me peace amongst the rickshaws, motorbikes and cars in constant noise and motion. They are the silence that helps you to hear the music.
After a few days of acclimatisation and workshop planning, tomorrow we will go clowning in the streets of Bangalore.
I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and maybe some of my thoughts will trigger some thoughts of your own and I hope that helps.