Author Topic: Learners are leaders  (Read 29831 times)

Presto r. Clown

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Learners are leaders
« on: October 12, 2015, 01:56:58 PM »
If you aren't growing you are dying... sounds too harsh, but it's true. We agree with it in business, science, and human nature, yet we often deny it when it comes to performance. We find a level of comfort and then we allow ourselves to plateau. What is your skill set; juggling, comedy, balance, facepaint. or balloons? Don't practice for a day, week, month, and you see the atrophy setting in. I often quote Jascha Heifetz in my lectures, "If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it." This idea should haunt all of us who perform, especially when we have grown complacent and it begins to show.

Leon McBride is often re-quoted as teaching that, "In clowning you need to learn every facet of clowning. It might not all be useful today, but learning from it, will allow you to grow." I will be honest there are facets of clowning I don't enjoy. The selfish side of me withdraws and avoids things like hospital clowning, yet to be a leader it requires me to be a learner, and in order to learn i must choose to put myself in situations that will stretch me and grow me. I have had more discomfort and more joy from hospital clown, and had i always avoided it, i wouldn't be the clown I am today.

Some times we back ourselves into a corner and say, "I don't do that, so there is no reason to take their class."  Every convention, camp, or clown academy i attend i make a point of taking a class i have no gifting in, or experience with. At the Fellowship of Christian Magician's convention this summer i went to a face paint class. I didn't have much success, but certainly had fun and learned a ton. I wont tell you which class it was at TCA lest i hurt someones feelings.

Some times we say, "What could that person possibly teach me?" We can, and should learn from everyone. You might be the smartest guy in the room, I wouldn't know what that feels like, but you can always learn from others. You might not even like the guy who is teaching, but you can still learn from him. I have learned more about what I do and don't do just by watching others. It's all learning.

Pick up a book! I read like crazy... I'm a terrible reader, but i am hungry for knowledge so it drives me to struggle through. This summer i have picked up David Bartlett's "A guide to "you"nique clowning, Norm Barnhart's "Cool kid's show magic', and most recently Steve Kissell's "How to be a great MC". They are worth the read, a couple are even worth the price, but regardless of what you think, they make you think, and thinking is a good thing when it comes to learning.

It goes without saying but this doesn't apply just in clowning, but in every aspect of your life.
So from someone who wasn't much good at school, and still isn't, "Learn something new today!"
Jed 'Presto' Crouse