Tuesday, June 29, 2010

False Phallus

I'm the one with the big. . .thing.

Easy to identify, difficult to ignore and one of the oldest comedic prosthetics. But none of this came into the decision behind my buffoon's most prominent "lump." When the ensemble first began to work in this style of clowning, we were asked to draw where we initially thought our "lumps" would go. They are areas that resonate with sensitivity and insecurity, which the world scrutinizes. For one reason or another, I was personally drawn to symmetry, feeling that each place of vulnerability had a double on the other side. My lumps are the calves, genitals, hips, shoulders and ears. Though the false exaggeration of these areas physically offers protection, they are highlighted emotionally.

The emotional openness of this type of performance is easily the most difficult aspect. If we're doing it right, it's about completely dropping our defenses and letting everything in. It's a type of psychological state that is litterally unhealthy to live in day-to-day, as some semblance of emotional protection is simply necessary in the real world. But for the clown (or buffoon), we get the opportunity to create our own world where we can be absolutely vulnerable. While exhausting, the work is so rewarding and ultimately much more interesting to the audience to be invited into this world. Never before has the ensemble experienced the emotional stress that a full run of a show demands but I think I can speak for the group when I say we are all looking forward to it as a challenge.

The most integral part of this project is you. It will not exist without the support of new and veteran audience members alike. So get on rown paper tickets, choose a date, pick out your outfit and we'll see you at the show.

Scott Ray Merchant
Les Enfants Terribles
Believe in Nothing, Mock Everything
July 14-August 14 at Red Tape Theatre

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