The chairs?. AGAIN?. How come this bit is surviving for so long, it's not THAT good...
How come this bit is surviving?!?Because it can be done by a solo clown, for 8 minutes, for nothing more than the price of four camp stools.It can be done very well, it can be done very poorly. The chair bit is evolving into the clown's equivalent of the joke in the film "The Aristocrats"... everyone does it their own way and how they do it reveals a lot about who they are and how they view their craft.
Well, Pat, looks like I have to see your version of the act, because up to now, all the times I saw this bit it was quite long and a little embarrassing to the volunteers... And what is that "?!?!" business?. Don't take it personal, Pat, please... Just my humble opinion... (Did I ever tell you about my collection of thousands of clown figurines?) ;)
I have done it, but it's not a bit that I do much anymore.It's a bit that I learned, used to build on and then discarded when my own material was stronger than anything that I could do with the chair bit.But there are still times when you've done all of the bits that you were contracted to do and the producer or Ringmaster run up to you in a tizzy, telling you that there is a problem and ask you for another emergency bit... which is when I reach into my trunk and hand them the CD and the cue sheet and trudge out to my car to get the four camp stools out.But I agree. I've seen it far too often and rarely done well.
I understand what you mean, Pat, and of course the needs of a circus clown are very different from the ones a community clown like myself have to satisfy. Yup, to have a bit like that for any emergency of course is a very wise thing. Say, aren't you forgetting anything in that prop list?. The four stools, the CD, the cue sheet and...?. What, no whistle?. Tsk, tsk, tsk... ;) (By the by, today is twenty four years since the day I made up and wore my very first cobbler-made clown shoes and I entertained for money at a birthday party for the very first time, back in Argentina... And I LOVE the fact that I still have SO MUCH to learn about this trade! And I love YOU because I'm learning so much through your blog... Thanks, Pat, from my heart!)
Like Pat said, the 4 chairs is an easy, portable, brainless routine that is a time filler for most shows.I've seen it done in a very entertaining fashion (by Gordoon) and he used his character to make it more than just the same old "grab four audience members and get them into position" type of routine. I've done it in a pinch, but it's not the kind of material I would feature as any kind of signature piece.-Greg
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