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  • rileysoloner

Clown Summer Finale

Good morning! I’m sitting in beautiful Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York. I can’t tell you how many shrieking electronics are filling the air with beeping noises. It’s lovely.


This is my last post for two weeks. I’m traveling to a ranch in West Virginia where the cellular and wifi signal is “very unreliable.”


If you’ve been reading, thank you! Let me know what’s working for you. Or just reach out to say hello. I appreciate you.


I’m taking workshops with Patch Adams, the clown doctor at Gesundheit! Institute. Week One is called “Construct Your Humanism.” Week Two is “Humanitarian Clowning.”


My hope: the group discussion in Week One will give way to a small or big breakthroughs. I want to put words to vague, optimistic feelings. I want to speak into existence community and action I’ve been grasping at in the dark.


I still feel charged up from Camp. I want to sustain this handle on my skills, desires and beliefs. I look forward to meeting some more like-minded creative journey people. Anyone peculiar enough to make this kind of commitment alongside me is someone I want to connect with and learn from.


I hope Week Two is good practice. Adding new tools and experience to my tool belt. My first and only humanitarian clown trip was in 2006. I was 17 when I traveled to El Salvador with a hybrid team of Patch’s Gesundheit! crew and a solid group of Camp people. It was a deeply formative experience that I don’t share often. When I was 20, I moved to New York to reinvent myself as a UCB Theatre improviser, exclusively. Zero backstory! I’m playing catch-up now, letting you know, actually, I come from something different.


El Salvador is a story for another time. But when it comes to performance technique, it probably goes without saying: wearing a red nose and performing on stage at Camp or in New York is one thing. Connecting with remote Salvadoran villagers or someone on their death bed is another. And so Week Two of this trip is for collecting experience and wisdom from the latter. We’ll see! I don’t know. Could be good!


Bye for now.

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