Not all hospital clowns are trained magicians, but doing magic can create some wonderful comedic moments. Indeed, simple, short tricks are a great way to engage your “audience” even if you only have a short encounter with them in hospital hallways. (As stated in previous posts, regardless of age, approach people only if they seem interested.)
As I stated in my Skills in Hospital post, it is necessary to learn an extra skill well enough to look professional [although its purpose continues to be to provide a backdrop for comedy]. Thumb lights are an easy add-on to other gags, but you must get used to handling them, especially since they don’t always fit well.
I had tried junior thumb lights because the standard ones were too big, but these were too small, so I kept using the standard adult size. I wasn’t very good at keeping a good hold on them while performing, so one day I dropped mine in the middle of a gag in the ER waiting room! EVERYONE saw this. I picked it up and made some silly comment while my partner came up with something else for us to do.
Thumb lights are great for a quick Squeak Removal, but the show can go on after that, especially for very young children:
Materials needed: thumb lights
After you ask if they feel much better after a sqeak-ectomy, tell them you are going to send the light specimen to the lab.
Just when you are about the place the “light” in your pocket, ask if they want to catch it. Sometimes little ones don’t want to, so you can toss it to the parent. Play “catch” with the parent until the little one wants to try it.
Sometimes youngsters say they don’t see it. You should “pick it up” from a place near them and tell them it’s right there...parents will usually help with this imagination boost!
Hopefully, you’ll eventually have spirited a game of catch with the little patient. Always give them the power and pretend they have such a good arm that they almost hit you.
Stop it at some point and say you must finally take the light to the lab [or this game will go on forever]!
Lucy E. Nunez has been a theatrical performer since 2002 and an improv performer since 2003. She created Nurse Lulu for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program in 2014. She is now Baptist Children's Hospital first-ever resident clown! For more information please visit: www.sunnybearbuds.wix.com/buds
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- Tags: Clown Magic, Clowning on a Budget, empowering patients, hospital clowning, imagination, improvisation, squeakers, thumb lights, Thumbtip Magic