This January, students will have the chance to laugh, cry, and become the snot that was blown out of someone’s nose.
The 6-in-1 clown workshop to be taught by Morgan Nadeau and Megan Verbeek will focus on a style of clown called Pochinko created by the Canadian clown Richard Pochinko in the 60s. This kind of clowning is very different from “trick” clowning, as you might see at the circus — in contrast to traditional clowning, Pochinko is very personal, mixing the French Lecoq style of clowning with the Native American medicine wheel. It dwells on feeling what the clown is feeling and living what the clown is living.
At the upcoming workshop, participants will create their own masks out of clay and explore six directions within themselves. Each direction of the mask pulls towards a different energy or part of the body. Participants will embrace their connection to the earth through the “below below” direction, their universality with the world with the “above above” direction, and everything in between. The seventh mask is the red clown nose. It combines all six directions of the inner clown along with a childlike innocence.
“If you drop your ice cream cone as an adult you have to be like, ‘That sucks,’” Nadeau says, “But if you drop it as a clown, you can fall to the ground and cry. It’s that amazing freedom to live in the moment which can be so foreign to us.”
The 6-in-1 mask workshop is an abridged instructional session as it will allow participants to go through all six directions in one hour, and is recommended for actors and non-actors alike. Experienced actors will get the chance to explore a unique actor-audience relationship where the fourth wall is broken down and reconstructed, but the workshop also has a therapeutic dimension that non-actors will appreciate. It is an opportunity to look in to oneself, one’s childhood, or even make up a new childhood.
“In our society we’re really good at wallowing and being like, ‘That guy cut me off five hours ago and I’m still mad about it!’” Nadeau says. “But do I have to be mad about it? Yes, but after five minutes of yelling in my car, I can let it go. And that’s the beauty of clown — feeling things 100% and letting yourself go there but knowing you don’t need to hold on to it forever.”
The workshop takes place January 3-7 every day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in FAB room 243. It costs $450, which includes the mask–making materials and the nose. The deadline to register is December 28. To register, contact Morgan Nadeau at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website girlclown.com.