Clowning by Kathleen Yore, Artistic Director, Odd Doll

Last night I felt very privileged to be able to meet with different Yorkshire based artists from all sorts of backgrounds at Freedom Studios. From the moment I arrived at Freedom I felt happy! It is a great place for wonderful creative things to happen. A place where artists want to share, have fun and relax. I was going to be the workshop leader for the evening. I always get more nervous about leading a session, than I do performing…maybe its because I have to be myself! I giggle a lot and find it hard to be serious! I really hoped I could inspire the participants and give them new tools to develop their own work.

From the moment we started dancing and I looked at everyone’s faces, concentrating, eager and ready for play I knew we were in for a good evening!

Slowly, everyone’s clown began to emerge, some a little shy and sad, some sassy and confident, some joyful and childlike, others pure ridiculous! Together we made ordinary objects become extraordinary; a terrifying brush, a stupid teabag, and a perfect rubber glove! Then as the evening went on we moved toward dark clown, exploring how clown pain or body shock can bring an audience to tears or laughter!

My passion has always been in directing and I feel I am still at the start of my journey. My aim is for performers to feel relaxed enough to allow themselves to be open, available and vulnerable. I want them to enjoy what they do with a passion and I want to develop the way I give feedback in a clear and positive way.

This year as professional development I aim to seek out a professional clown course and a directing course which I hope I can return with to Freedom Studios and share with its artists. I believe this way of working, sharing and looking our for one another is essential. I also can’t wait to learn more from the artists I met last night!

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