Hospital Clowning: Eccentric Principles Workshop with Avner

Tuesday, April 6th 2021


Today begins a six week course over Zoom with Avner. To those of us in variety arts, Avner is a legend. A juggler, variety performer, movie actor, broadway star, magician, mentor, friend, and world renowned plain-clothes clown. More recently he’s mastered the roles of hypnotist, sourdough bread baker, dog owner and grandfather.

Avner’s son and granddaughter crash the workshop.


My classmates in this workshop hail from Colorado, California, Montreal, Liepzig and Berlin Germany, Australia, and three hospital clowns from Malaysia! Avner conjures us all from his home on Peak’s Island off the coast of Maine.


Avner demonstrates a LeCoq Movement.


Some of what we covered today:

  • Clowning is an approach to performing.
  • The body tells the story. Words are just filler.
  • Don’t go outside your comfort zone; EXPAND your Comfort Zone!
  • Performing should be joyous and fun.
  • Every movement is associated with a breath; movement and breath are linked.
  • When you stop breathing, the Audience becomes anxious.
  • We must *allow* the Audience to fall into rapport with us (with breath).
  • The *work* happens on the Stage; the Story happens in the mind of the Audience.
  • We are the brush; the Audience are the canvas and the paint.
  • Our job as performers is to Create and Maintain Rapport.
  • Never try to be interesting. Be INTERESTED!
  • aka: Have the emotional response yourself and then invite Audience to share that with you.
  • The focus of a performance in any setting is to Solve Problems.
  • (Preferably in an interesting way!)

To wit:

Avner demonstrates the instantaneous shoe tying technique.


And this leads to our first assignment;

  • Find an interesting way to solve an ordinary problem (and submit it by videotape).
  • Also to practice the LeCoq movement (incl. backwards?). Also;
  • Choose one of his little origami projects to learn as well, and perform it for one person.

Okay I’ve got my work cut out for me. Here’s a little taste of Avner for you:


Avner The Eccentric – Exceptions to Gravity – LIVE at The Reg [2:48]:


To be continued.


About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in art, Clowning, comedy, Corona Quarantine, education, faith, famiglia, fighting Fascism, health, history, Hospital Clowning, juggling, learning, love, making art, mental health, patience, Performing Life, persistence, Secret Juggler, work, work-life balance. Bookmark the permalink.

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