The Universal Mind and Non-Clown Clowns

By Ira Seidenstein

June 26, 2020

Jazz Musicians; Scientists: People can be ‘clowns’ without doing clowning as a profession.

“Non-Clown Clowns” is a concept that there are numerous people in all sorts of fields who are natural clowns but express their humour and creativity outside of the field of clown or theatre. In this case there is not a lot of funny-ness from the two Jazz musicians. However, the host is the brilliant ‘clown’ comedian Steve Allen who was an accomplished jazz pianist and composed thousands of tunes and songs. He also was an expert on clown and comedy. His parents were a Vaudeville comedy duet.

The Evans brother’s conversation is one of the closest concepts to my method and philosophy of creativity that I have ever heard of. The other closest concepts are from Hassidus and Kabbalah, both of which, along with jazz are practical inspirations to me and to my work. I also relate the same inspiration particularly from the work of the painters: Kandinsky, Klee, Miro, Chagall, Arthur Boyd, and a few others.
The Evans brothers discuss the ‘Jazz brain’ or ways of thinking jazz. This is completely in harmony with what I call “The Quantum Point”. I am currently editing my 2nd book about my work. It’s title is the same as my method “Quantum Theatre: Slapstick to Shakespeare”. It will be released in 2020.
The Evans’ are both also teachers of music and jazz. I am highly critical of what has been perpetuated as ‘clown teaching’ and ‘physical theatre training’ both of which I consider hoaxes stemming primarily from Paris schools and their cloned businesses. I explain about that in the beginning of Clown Secret and there I relate and connect the hoax to two myths/stories: The emperor’s new clothes; and, the worship of the golden calf. Evans’ have seen similar problems in the teaching of music and jazz and explain the problems and solutions which to me are essentially the same issues and solutions in the teaching of clown and physical theatre and improvisation.
What the Evans’ articulate can be applied directly to clowning. My introductory template “The Four Articulations for Performance” provide a “framework” and techniques as Evans’ explain. In fact, I would say my method is the same as what they articulate about the learning, teaching, creating, performing about Jazz, only my ‘jazz’ is clown.
In fact, I would say the relation between what they and Allen tell has an uncanny relation to how I actually think about clown. But it is no coincidence because as they articulate and as I tell in the book Clown Secret my method is actually to establish and reveal “Universal Principles”. As they are universal they can be found in science and in mysticism such as Kabbalah and Hassidic philosophy.
“The Universal Mind of Bill Evans”:
Steve Allen:
Bill Evans:
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Ira Seidenstein