Send In le Bouffon

Today on my Facebook page, I saw a notice that Trilby Jeeves (one of the best names ever!) is holding a 2 day Buffoonery workshop, June 21-22 at The Kier Gallery.
This notice immediately brought back a wash of great memories for me because 20 years ago (that sounds like an impossibly long time ago to be talking about and not referencing my childhood) I and a bunch of theatre friends took a 2 day buffoonery workshop from Trilby. We did the workshop at the old Off Stage theatre (now City Cinema).

It was a fantastic workshop. I was never a fan of clowns (those blue-wigged, face-painted, big-shoed circus clowns) but was told that le bouffon was a different kind of clowning from that stereotype. Basically, buffoons love to entertain their audience by any means necessary. Buffoons are the ultimate approval-seekers. However, they usually fail in gaining the approval they seek through their own character flaws. That is where the entertainment comes from. I fell in love with this style of clowning, and am so glad I was shown it.

Anyway, the workshop was fantastic, and even now, 20 years later, I find myself utilizing techniques and ideas I was taught and discovered that weekend. it was one of the most valuable “acting” workshops I ever took.

It was also one of the most fun.

After the workshop was done, a group of us produced a few clown shows for kids (and grownups too) and had a blast doing them. Some of the most enjoyable performing I’ve ever done.

If you’re an actor and you’d like to learn to be more comfortable on stage; to be better able to get to the “truth” of the characters you play; to have tons of fun and learn a new (old) performance style, you should take this workshop.

Reading the words above probably won’t make anybody say “yeah, I gotta do this” (if anybody even still reads this blog), but know this: I don’t endorse many things, and generally keep my opinions to myself, but the buffoon workshop was one of my favourite ‘theatre’ experiences and I heartily encourage anyone and everyone (actor or not) to take it.

You’ll love it.

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