Performing Life: Playing the Fool with Global Play Brigade

Tuesday, April 6th 2021

Global Play Brigade workshop with Jeff Smithson and Marian Rich


Today I get to take a sweet little clown workshop online with performers from around the world. If you look in the Zoom boxes you can see Boston, Atlanta, New York & California in the US alone. Then there is London, Mexico City, The Netherlands, Greece, Stockholm Sweden, Beijing China and Niger West Africa. This all courtesy of The Global Play Brigade; Amazing!


The workshop is designed to help us access our different “motors”:

HEAD: Intellectual; stickish movement, seeks to control.

HEART: Emotional; veil-like movement, seeks approval.

GUT: Instinctual; ball-like movement, seeks survival.


And moreover; to practice non-attachment, to let go, and to laugh at ourselves. That is;

P.L.A.Y. = Practice Laughing At Yourself!

First we practice Non-Attachment.

Aka: “Letting Go,” “Allowing,” or “Noticing.

Then, because my breakout room partner did not show up, I get paired with the two workshop teachers for the personalized mocking exercise. I choose the frown-line on my forehead. First they respond just plain empathetically. Secondly they respond by mocking it. With a spirit of love and respect, but actual mocking. Finally they respond by mocking it with ridiculous over the top ridiculousness.

Jeff Smithson & Marian Rich *help* me laugh at myself!


Although I didn’t get to mock them back, I do grab some compromising screen shots of Jeff, who is also a beloved clown partner and friend.



We then do basically the opposite exercise, “Reverse Trash Talk,” where you passionately and aggressively compliment your partner. “Oh YEAH!?! Well *I* think your SMILE is TERRIFIC!! I LOVE IT!!!”

Great exercise! I highly recommend it.


Here we are practicing some face isolation exercises:

Try to smile and frown at the same time, lol.


And speaking of faces, I get to see one of my very favorite ones of all time in the workshop today. I’m sure a random screen shot cannot convey how wondrously beautiful, intelligent and talented is this person, but all the same I present the other healthcare clown in today’s workshop; from Humorology Atlanta, the incomparable Denise Arrabas!

The incomparable Denise Arrabas


Another exquisite human being I am going to hug the crap out of once I get the chance again.

Anyway, two thumbs up for the Global Play Brigade!



About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in activism, art, Clowning, comedy, Corona Quarantine, education, faith, famiglia, fighting Fascism, forgiveness, Friendship, health, history, Hospital Clowning, Laughter League, learning, love, making art, mental health, Mindfulness, parenthood, patience, Performing Life, Secret Juggler, what’s “work-life balance?”, work, work-life balance. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Performing Life: Playing the Fool with Global Play Brigade

  1. I love it! Sounds like fun!

  2. B Wow says:

    Does that mean you have a HEAD-BUTT?! I absolutely LOVE your HEAD-BUTT! It’s gorgeous! Perhaps unique in all the world! Perfect for a clown to work against!

    Yes, let’s Practice Laughing At Yourselves! The world needs more of that. Our entire species is just ludicrous.

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