Sometimes travel problems or other extenuating circumstances force us to cancel a show. But that doesn’t mean the clowns take a day off! CWB artists are particularly adaptable, creating opportunities for clowning and community wherever they go. In this blog Leora writes about the myriad ways the clowns interact with families during a community event in The Bahamas.
Our second show of the day is cancelled so we take fliers and head to Port Lucaya, mingling with locals during the tree lighting ceremony.
People gather in bleacher seats in the outdoor square, waiting for the program to begin, while the three of us play with kids. Clay and Meredith juggle, and do lasso and hat tricks. I clap for kids trying to hula hoop, and make up games: “Look! It’s an elevator! Step inside and push the button!”
The event organizer says we can come onstage and make an announcement about tomorrow’s CWB show in the plaza. We head backstage with the groups of children and teenagers waiting to perform. They shuffle with nervous excitement, about to sing, dance, and be seen by their community, proud parents, and secret crushes in the crowd.
The ceremony stretches on, more performers, more music, a band coming on to play. We eat pizza on the edge of the square and play with the kids who come up to our table. Meredith makes his nose squeak for two little girls with big bows in their hair, who look at each other with open-mouthed surprise. Clay lassoes a woman who can’t stop laughing. I have a dance-off with the little boy at the table next to us. We go back and forth from the table to the Christmas tree to the square all night.
I end up dancing in a circle of little children, all of us mirroring each other’s dance moves. As we jump up and down I notice shy eye contact from some, while other kids impulsively reach out to hold my hand. Occasionally, older kids sneak up to act scared of the clown but I don’t mind so much because of the dancing, the dancing!
There’s a mother holding hands with her six-year-old daughter, and I feel so much love bouncing back and forth between them. They let me join in, the three of us holding hands, and the little girl stares up at me with a big jack-o-lantern smile—she’s missing a few of her teeth. We keep eye contact the entire time we’re dancing.