I find myself being asked the same question by audience members, “What made you want to be a mime/clown?” The on the surface answer was my introduction to the art of Mime and Movement through a college theatre elective course. My personal discovering and learning of a new integrative form of physical art made this little light go off in mime head which showed me the path I was going to take professionally, probably for the rest of my life, or so I assume.The more deeper reasonings behind my passions for miming and clownism that I have discovered over the years, is the genuine art of making another person feel happy, or feel any kind of emotional connection to the work I am presenting by using interpersonal communication skills both verbally and nonverbally. I love knowing the simple fact that there is a universal language among humans with just a simple facial expression.
No matter what country or culture one comes from we all smile the same, and our facial expressions are the purest form of communication that we humans possess. Humans frown when we experience the same feelings, we all laugh when we express feelings of joy, we all cry when we are sad, we scowl when angry and so on and so forth.
About 5 years ago I began a personal effort to reach out to my community with my talent as a physical theater artist. At the time I was living in Buffalo NY, just finishing up my first year of my masters, I was assistant teaching the Mime course at the University at Buffalo and I felt confident in my production skills and ability to perform with improvisation to an audience.
At the time I was working late nights as a bartender so my days were completely free beside the two days a week that I was teaching at the University. Being a high energy performer I was pretty bored during the days so I began my research on how to perform in Buffalo as a mime/clown. I started looking into senior citizen programs, and surrounding daycare centers for children. I had made a posting on social media about how I could engage with a wider audience to continue to build my skills and also gain more performance experience.
One of my good friends replied to my posting and recommended to volunteer at her place of work, which was the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo. She stated they were always looking for volunteers to come and visit the patients, mostly children, to provide performance relief to those who were both suffering and scared. I was intrigued and immediately started to research and then I reached out.
I began my learning process of volunteering my time through performance art in Buffalo NY. I started at the Roswell Center and broadened my horizons to senior centers and child care centers. As I volunteered I learned the different needs of those across different demographics from healthy children, seniors citizens, and those who were terminally ill, they all require a different performance interaction based on their situations and livelihoods.
Flash forward to me now living in NYC. Now having over 5 years of experience in volunteering my performance art skills to those who need a pick me up in life.
My performance art has evolved over the years into more Artistic Activism. Volunteering my time to make more political statements and donating my work to help fundraisers within NYC. One of the popular shows that I perform monthly in is Jump Shark. Jump Shark is a production where all proceeds of the show are donated to Planned Parenthood . Another performance that I have donated/participated in is the National Spinal Cord Injury Associations (NSCIA) annual fundraiser event in NYC.
I’ve also become a creative producer here in NYC using my organizational talents as well as my performance skills to create a fundraising show of my own. My current artistic activist project is in collaboration with a group known as CircusAid. For the last three months, I, along with 2 other activists, have been producing a show that will allow us to travel to Greece this summer to help refugees who are displaced by war. For more information about my personal mission statement please visit my fundraising page and read about my goals for this project.
I will be continuing my efforts with CircusAid for the rest of the summer and I will document and blog my journeys and experiences through ClownAntics.com. So please follow up with the next chapter of “The Artistic Activist” which will go into much more depth of the individual accomplishments I have made and my future projects for the world.