Synopses & Reviews
The Art of Clowning is the first book on clowning technique and offers a step-by-step process for actors and other theatrical enthusiasts to discover their "inner clown." This fun and accessible guide expands on theories and exercises to help students and beginners develop solo and group performances. Using twenty years of teaching experience, Simon reveals a complete system of clowning that is a must-have for amateurs and experts alike.
"Eli Simon's The Art of Clowning, is a clear, practical and well thought-out guide for novice or aspiring clowns at the high school and university level. Simon brings together classic exercises with his own innovations in a progression that gives the student and teacher a clear path. Many exercises include specific references to great clown routines - with on-line sources, these references become an invaluable compliment to the text, a huge advantage for students of this very visual art form."--Jeff Raz, Founder and Director of the Clown Conservatory, San Francisco, Lead Clown in Cirque du Soleil
"In The Art of Clowning, Eli Simon manages to capture the unique spirit of the clown. The techniques of clowning are clearly and precisely laid out with humor, passion, and a sense of emotional depth. I would recommend The Art of Clowning to any actor - it is an invaluable resource for movement and comedy skills in the context of clowning as an art form."--Henson Keys, Chair of Acting Program, University of Illinois Department of Theatre
"Eli Simon has synthesized his vast catalog of clown teaching knowledge and laid it out for us in The Art of Clowning. It is an eminently useful book and an important resource for any teacher of theatre at any level. Simon is masterful in his articulation of the process of teaching clowning and deeply respectful of the clowning tradition that he pays homage to."--Charlie Oates, Professor of Theatre/Movement, University of California at San Diego
"The Art of Clowning provides readers with a clear and empowering guide to the world of clowning. It provides sound advice and exercises for any actor, clown or not. This book is easy and fun to read, and is a useful addition to our field. I particularly appreciate the material on the clowns relationship to the audience, an area I consider much overlooked and of critical importance to any stage actor."--Sanford Robbins, Director of Professional Theatre Training Program, Chair of Theatre
"The Art of Clowning is an invaluable training resource manual for would-be clowns in high school, college, and university classes; and in any number of clown festivals currently proliferating around the world. Simon, an internationally known director and teacher of acting with his own clown troupe, has given us a clear, straight-forward description of how to find one's "inner clown." This wonderful book betrays a passionate devotion to the importance of clown work, not only in creating clown characters, but also in helping actors transform themselves into any theatrical roles: from clowns and villains to heroines and tragic monarchs."--Michael Flachman, Professor of English and Director of The Hawk Honors Program at California State University, Bakersfield.
"The Art of Clowning positively vibrates with joy and inspiration. Simons writing is clear, spirited and accessible; even the table of contents is beguiling. His step-by-step instructions are designed for both a performer working alone or for a collaborative team of performer and trainer, and will guide even the shyest novice to discover her own unique clown personality."--Leslie Bennet, Professor of Movement, Department of Theatre and Film, University of Kansas
"In The Art of Clowning Eli Simon beautifully articulates his thoughtful and systematic approach to the serious investigation of clowning. The clearly defined progression guides the reader to playfully and safely uncover his/her clown, and deepen creative, artistic expression."--Peter Hadres, Artistic Associate, Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts
"Eli Simon - in his instruction, in his lifes work and in The Art of Clowning - brings the depth and soul back to clowning that follows the lineage from Pierrot through Chaplin and Skelton. This book shows the purity and love of clowning. Simon reminds us why clowns are the very essence of theatre and why so much of good acting and storytelling is non-verbal. My only regret is that I didnt have a chance to be trained by Eli when I was young and learning. Every actor and writer should read this book!"--Zoot Velasco, New Vaudeville Performer, Artistic Director, Muckenthaler Cultural Center
"What a great resource for actors and performers! You will learn to create an intimate connection with your audience, find the stripped-down truth in your performances, and actually enjoy committing to failure! The Art of Clowning is your blueprint for finding and deepening your inner clown. Theres something here for actors at every level; those just starting out and those of us who have been clowns for a while. This book is packed with fruitful exercises and illuminating information on the history and background of clowning."--Crista Flanagan, Actor/Comedienne, Star of “Madd TV”
"Eli Simon's vast experience as a director, teacher, and clown trainer makes The Art of Clowning a joyful journey to one's inner clown -- the soul of any performer. His exercises constitute an enlightening journey of self-discovery, a veritable roadmap to connecting with audiences of any size. Whether your ultimate goal is Shakespeare, modern theatre, film, or television, Simon's experienced, supportive, and humorous voice points you in the right direction."--Andrew Hill Newman, Producer/Writer, Head Writer "iCarly"
"Eli Simons The Art of Clowning is the next best thing to having Simon in the room next to you when you are exploring the clowns world. Simon is direct and generous in opening up the whole spectrum of the clown to actors both experienced and novice. His natural zest and love for the actor as clown literally springs up from every page. Read this book, follow Simons treasure trail and you will, you must be drawn into yours and others private and yet so public clown world."--Kevin Crawford, Director, Accademia dell arte, Arezzo, Italy
"Eli Simon has created a user-friendly workbook that will not sit pristine on a bookshelf for long. It will become that dog-eared, heavy-highlighted, well-worn manual with plenty of notes in the margins that gets pulled out and reviewed frequently by teachers, students, and performers alike."--Theatre Topics
About the Author
Eli Simon is Professor of Acting at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Masking Unmasked, Four Basic Approaches to Acting and his clown troupe, CLOWNZILLA, has received international acclaim. http://www.clownzilla.net/HomePage.htm
Table of Contents
Introduction * Clowning Rules * Finding your Clown * Mission: Impossible * Stretching in New Directions * The Ins and Outs of White-face * Voice and Text * Afterword: Building a Troop