I am fresh from a morning playing in Hospital Pedro de Elizalde with Dra Maní Curí, Dr Roberto. They usually play in pairs, so today, Artistic Director Silvina ( Dra Stacatta.) came to play with me.
What a day! I had an absolute ball. All three made me so welcome - inhabiting the 'Yes' so that everything was flowing and fun and safe. We had a lot of fun playing with the fact that I am an 'extranjera' (foreigner). It was very humbling to be trusted and welcomed into the heart of the work so warmly. And it was so worthwhile - I learnt and realised things about our work that I hadn't until today.
I want to be able to spend more time playing in the waiting rooms back at home. We never really have time for this, but here I saw clearly how appreciated it can be, and how effective a lovely, funny, theatrical game is. Just following each other around a bank of seats, trying to catch up with one another. It gave so much time for people to see us, and for us to see them in return. Simple and very funny. We need more days in Glasgow and Edinburgh to fit in all the waiting rooms and day clinics!
Songs for Staff
They sang a lovely name song for one of the Doctors working in a clinic, and I thought, how lovely for all those waiting to see their Doctor in this light - not as a high status expert, but a humble, sweet human. Perla and Bernardo did this last week as well.
Doctor/ Clown Relations
The hospital clowns here and in the other hospitals I have visited have a great relationship with the Doctors and Nurses on the wards. The lack of Play Specialists means that the clowns receive referrals directly from the Doctors and Nurses, and as a result, have built up lovely relationships. We have great relationships with the vast majority of Nurses that we come across, but we hardly even see Doctors on the wards, and there are very few that we play with or have long interactions with. I don't know if this is a bad thing necessarily , but I like the idea that we are in hospital for everyone who is there - patients, parents, family, nurses, domestic staff AND Doctors. Perhaps we should start with a little song...
Happy Healthcare Staff, Happy Hospital Clowns
This hospital is bigger and brighter than the others, and was clear straight away how much more relaxed and happy staff are here. This also has a direct relationship, I imagine, with how open and welcoming staff are to Hospital Clowns here. This is most noticeable at home in our Elderflower work, where undervalued staff, working in difficult conditions are those who have less time for us being there.
Photos to follow!
I am a therapeutic clown and performer. Writing here is part of my wider practice and reflection on clowning as an (therapeutic) art form.