Cheesy, yes. And I know that many people don't appreciate Peter Sellers' The Party. It was actually BANNED in India during the 70s. I've never figured out why. It would be a bit like Britain banning Mr. Bean. I loved The Party, and never quite felt I was laughing "at" Hrundi V. Bakshi, more like "with" him. Besides, he was the nicest character in the film - innocent, self-accepting, playful, heroic, chivalrous, principled.
Ah - a clown!
But people have a hard time accepting clowns, perhaps. Recently, I had a doubly saddening experience when a recovering-alcoholic friend of mine called me up, quite drunk. Not only was I saddened and worried by his falling off the wagon, but then he went on to tell me how worried he was that I had become a clown!
Huh?Apparently my wonderful ability to switch between Nazu and Gladys had him frantically fearing the disappearance of Nazu altogether, leaving the world with Gladys alone. Hmmm. Gladys is lovely but I'm not about to hand over my life to her!
Anyway, I take that as a compliment and affirmation of my acting abilities! But apart from this, he also went on to talk about how clowning was not only harmful (as in the danger of the clown in you taking over a la The Exorcist) but also how humiliating it was.
Of course, he was drunk, so this was coming from a somewhat unclear mind, on top of his own perceptions or projections about what a clown is and does. To me, there's nothing humiliating about being a clown. It's wonderfully freeing, and to me, the most noble profession I could have stumbled across. My plastic red nose shares living quarters with the Rolex my dad bequeathed to me when he retired. And is just as precious.
Perhaps the people who banned The Party had the same perceptions and projections about the character of Hrundi V. Bakshi. Which brings me back to why I've titled this post as I did.
Severine and I are now partners - we signed a contract today and will run the Dr Clown India program together. All voluntary and honorary and all that (as in 'no money') but oh so rewarding and so much fun. I am HUGELY excited about it. And also about having Severine as a partner - she's a wonderful person and a brilliant clown, and I think we complement each other so well, I can't wait to see how we develop Dr Clown. (And if you can't wait either, then keep checking in here to find out how it's going.)