Yesterday at Medical Clowning training was funny and informative. A man came to teach us the ins-and-outs of bringing joy into a hospital. We started off by getting out of our comfort zone by forcing loud laughter and learning how to walk with character. He taught us that awkwardness is normal and it should be embraced. The idea of medial clowning is not to change who we are to make people laugh but to just exaggerate our personalities. If someone is awkward about dressing up in clown gear, they can take that feeling and but it into their gate to make it look funny.
We went through different exercises to get us prepared for going into hospitals to cheer up children. An activity that stood up the most to me was breathing. He had us thing of something that made us mad and put on a furious face and then try to breathe. The breathing did not come easily. He then had us smile and try to breathe and the difference was amazing. Breathing was much more easy while smiling. This taught us that medical clowning was not only to release stress but to actually make the patients health better, if only for a moment.
We were told to find a partner and mimic their moves. Our only rule was to keep eye contact with our partner. A simple thing like eye contact made a silly activity a bonding experience. What I loved about Medical Clowning training was that it taught me that happiness is a language that is universal. You don’t need to crack jokes to make someone happy, something simple like a smile or laughing together can be the sweetest conversation.