Between the 15th of March and the 15th of April, Jana and Dani from Clown Me In performed with Bendik, Ash, and Donna from The Flying Seagull Project a total of 60 shows, making a total of 4,655 person laugh all around Lebanon, starting from Beirut, reaching the Bekaa and all the way to Sour and of course many villages and areas around and along the way. Most of our performances were in camps and in the NGOs’ schools and premises.
On her first experience with Clown Me In and touring, Jana wrote:
“Let’s start with the first day with The Flying Seagulls, I was super excited to work with foreign performers, and as we had the first meeting we were all very excited, and worked together around the different clowning perspectives and techniques each one of us has. We tried on our costumes for the first time, and I felt ready and eager to finally start.
Our first show was a bit different than what I know about clowning, something way too new, and very “child-based”, allow me to explain why I put quotations for child-based; the projects that I usually take part in always had underlying messages that we were trying to convey to our audience, but with the Seagulls it was just games, magic, circus tricks, and making children, teenagers, adults, and elderly people laugh and interact, regardless of their circumstances. Going into all these different camps that are scattered all over Lebanon was a huge thing for me, and I was astonished because I thought no one could ever make those kids listen to us or even want to watch us, but turns out we were the highlights of their year, which makes me so proud, and honestly there are some faces that I still can’t forget. After our first weekend with out shows, and as we were getting ready for our first show of the week, I heard the kids’ playful voices from a distance, and I got that warm feeling in my heart that I didn’t know I had, the one that makes you realize you are happy with what you do, and you actually miss it!
I also learned who my clown was day after day! Pabli the little clown learned how to make people laugh in a cute way, and sometimes Pabli took over my “ordinary” life, where I found myself acting like Pabli then realizing that I’m not wearing my costume, and people would look at me all weirded out, and it makes me laugh.
Basically I’m very proud of that experience because I was able to test my limits, to stay pumped with energy throughout the day, persevere to make lots of people laugh, and become the highlight of all sorts of age ranges. It honestly was an eye-opening experience on so many levels, and I hope that I get to be part of more projects of this sort.”
Dani shared with us an experience that we find fascinating:
“In one of the shows in Sidon, a little girl who was blind, joined us on stage to witness the show without even being aware of her placement. Ash asked me to explain to her the events taking place on stage at every moment. She was more than cheerful and interactive with the show. Translating the visual show into words for this girl left a deep impact on me, and was one of the most meaningful moments for me throughout the whole tour.”