In my very first blog post for ClownAntics.com, I explained how to perform a squeak removal using a squeaker and thumb lights. This can be a fun little thing to do for children’s elbows, shoulders or toes, or you can do it to inanimate objects around them. If they are watching television, you can tell them the tv is damaged and you will repair it for them (you can also do this to video games). You can also say that you need to borrow some colors to take with you and “steal” the color from a blanket or toy with your thumb light. You might decide to perform the silly “surgery” on their family members as well, but thumb lights are so versatile that they allow you to be creative in other ways too.
One of the most effective things to do with thumb lights is to play catch with a small child, especially if they are not sure what to make of the bizarre clown creature walking into their hospital room. To keep yourself at a distance where they can feel secure, you can “discover” a squeak on an object in the room and “remove” it using the thumb light. You can then ask if they want to catch it. Most of the time, they are not sure, but you say this so that the parents can understand what you are trying to do. You then play catch with the parent for a while and maybe suggest that the parent toss it to the child. Very often a child will still not understand because they are being thrown an imaginary light, but the parents are usually very helpful with this. Once you get everyone to participate (by now, the whole family should be part of this), make sure to be very impressed with the child’s throw. Act like they have such a great arm that you almost missed the catch.
Sometimes when I’m leaving a room after having bestowed a nose sticker upon the little patient, I’ll ask them if I can add a little light or color onto their nose. They usually say yes and I pretend to take a light out of my pocket and place it on the nose sticker. You can also pretend to swallow the the thumb light, realize that it is not a good thing to swallow, then “cough” it up into your hand. This sounds a bit repulsive, but children find it funny, especially if they are still not sure how you are doing the trick.
Discover different ways you can use thumb lights; they are a great investment (as long as you do not allow anyone to discover your trick) and they always impress those who don’t expect them, even adults!
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