Humor Therapy: Bring in the Clowns

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Humor Therapy: Bring in the Clowns — Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Venue

How can you entertain in a place like this?

“The question often comes up. In fact, it seems only natural that folks would wonder how in the world anyone could entertain — let alone “clown” in the midst of sickness, sadness, sometimes even dying. Not an unusual query at all.

Even as the seasoned hospital/caring clown that I am (13 years, at this writing), I must admit if I stop to ponder this thought long enough — it makes me consider as well. But then, I know I have been doing this for many years and seen the joy and wonderment in the faces and eyes of so many. I guess that is how I can do this type of entertaining.

However, performing in the hospital does require special training. By their very nature, pediatrics, cancer wards and also hospice settings require extra  preparation for entertainers. Many special situations and particular needs take entertaining in these venues well out of the norm or mainstream of performing even as compared to other healthcare settings.

Clowns who perform for patients usually agree the experience is humbling. The audience is not at their best, yet they usually welcome us in and thank us for our presence in the sweetest of ways. Our meager performances – no matter how grand, are dwarfed by the incredible strength and courage we appear in the face of, room after room, patient-by-patient. Sometimes the patients join in the celebration, sometimes quietly or just casually observing. I have even seen a patient or two take in our performance with all the energy they could muster — with eyes closed. They were there — right there with us, all along, I assure you.

The truth is, this kind of performing is very serious business. Hospital/caring clowns and healthcare entertainers may appear to be colorful and full of light, but a gentleness must pervade their spirits, as they wait and watch their audience watching them, adjusting, tweaking and fine-tuning their performance accordingly.”

ABOVE is partial excerpt from: Injecting Healing Humor in the Healthcare Setting: Entertaining Effectively in the Healthcare Venue (page 18), by Becky Cortino 

Copyright © 2017 BeckyCortino All Rights Reserved.

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