Tuesday, January 22, 2008
For one summer in college I traveled Europe with a teen outreach ministry that would put on performances for tourists. There were many parts to the performance: music, drama, puppets and clowns. I was a clown.
In clown school we learned how to apply clown make-up, how to make balloon animals and the most important rule: once you are dressed as the clown, you are the clown. No one should see the transformation. The in-between part. You are either you, or the clown.
I loved being a clown. I made a little clown costume in the weeks before the trip and my costume was sort of for a baby-clown. I had black and white check bloomers, a colorful handprint pinafore and a huge red bow for my hair. I would paint large, weepy eyelashes on my cheeks and make wide-eyed baby faces.
What I noticed about the whole clown thing, was that the transformation was real. I could be having a terrible day, be grumpy and sleepy and completely anti-clown. Then, when it would be time to dress, I would put on the costume, paint my face and I'd feel all clown-y. All of a sudden. I'd be the happy baby clown. I would skip and laugh loudly and do all kinds of silly things that I would never normally do in front of strangers. The costume gave me a sense of freedom. I was allowed to hide behind a few props and be different and a little wild for a bit before washing it all off.
Lately I have wondered if this blog is my adult clown costume. I say things in a more thoughtful, clever way than I actually speak. I use phrases like 'yikes' and make the winky colon face when I rarely say yikes or actually wink. ;) I often feel spunky and silly when I write, when in real life it takes good friends or good news or a really good mood to pull out the spunk. I've wondered, is the Robyn of 3Peas the real deal?
Well, what I have noticed is all of this writing and crafting and communing with people I care about has really given me a greater sense of confidence. I feel more comfortable writing. I feel more comfortable with me. And all this is not just show. This medium has given a hidden Robyn a place to come out and wink and say 'yikes'...among other things.
I think that when I dressed as a clown and performed as a clown, I was letting out lots of silly that was really there. It's hard to contrive silly. And I think, similarly, as I write, I see and show off bits of me that really only get revealed to close friends. But they are there. It's not contrived.
I don't really have a point to this analogy. I just wanted to share what I had been thinking about. and to tell you:
I still have the costume. ;)
Posted by Dave at 2:11 PM