It takes someone supremely clever to seem supremely silly

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This guy is probably an acquired taste, but it takes a hell of a lot of talent to appear that hopeless that effortlessly.
It may sound corny, but i think this is something all of us performers could aspire to. To be that effortless on stage is a gift.
That said, one of the most important things in life is not to take oneself too seriously, especially as performers. The best artists are those that can step back and just have a good laugh at themselves, and not view themselves as gods gift to man kind.

I hope to be like that one day.

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996)

I think that it takes a certain kind of genius to be a clown. True there are the horrendous clowns who you just want to go away, but that isn’t the laugh of humour. That is the nervous knee jerk laugh as (in the most extreme cases) a reaction to pain.

A Genius clown, however, makes us laugh, not for being stupid, but for mirroring ourselves. It is the genius of a clown (or Pierrot or Punch or Harlequin or Fool or Shakespeare’s Porter) that they can encapsulate humanity in a way that transcends time.
I think that it takes as much genius to do this as to get a plane off the ground or to invent the telephone. It certainly uses the same ingredients as Edison’s favourite method:

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% Perspiration

Thomas Alva Edison

A genius performer works as hard as anyone else to show us our world, and they do so eight nights a week. They may have spent their entire life honing their craft, and their efforts still ring true after many many years. Take for example Harry Houdini, William Kemp, Grimauldi, and my personal idol, Charlie Chaplin. a century has passed and we can still completely engage with their works. This is genius.

And it is a genius we all can aspire to

Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
Brendan Gill

One Response

  1. Emma
    | Reply

    “Short people have long faces and
    Long people have short faces.
    Big people have little humor
    And little people have no humor at all!
    And in the words of that immortal buddy”
    Donald O’Connor, “as he was about to be lead
    To the guillotine:

    Now you could study Shakespeare and be quite elite
    And you can charm the critics and have nothin’ to eat
    Just slip on a banana peel
    The world’s at your feet…” and etc.

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