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I rest my head over the words "There is no unfavourable wind to the sailor who knows his way", a quote that my grandmother found through a million other sentences and words; this one, she chose, made sense.
Dreams I have had of friends of schools, aged and dark, through a winter's cold, tiny rainbows, drenched scarfs, lost and aged landscapes, teeth and coins, over the Christmas break: it all came true.
We are not the same, as we are just as well, in Stamps, city of revolving seasons; for new students come, as the Masterclown bounces, tamburines, insults, masks emerge, like hills of hope over silent searches sounding clear in the howling air predicting backwards that everything has changed, and we are still here.Back to Contents
The masks have features that illuminate shadows and darken clear spaces. The memories of December fade away through new people, new faces, new masks. Presents were exchanged. It is true to say that if we have learn the art of giving, then we must learn the art of letting go of the gift. The cool, hard earth of January dampened by the heavy rain on the plateaux where once were bleeding pumpkings is impenetrable, plotting rebirth, despite us, humans, wanting far too much, far beyond our reach.
"I am a teacher, and as a teacher I see a student, and immediately I have a plan, a way in which I realise my dignity as a teacher, the dignity to dream around a student, to show a way".Back to Contents
The miserable city of Stamps is hiding peach colored sunsets under gray slates of passing clouds, and the wind coming from the North makes German trains tumble and Dutch freight companies lose money as though the tulip stock market crashed.
I have been for most of these past two days looking through my mind at the past adventures that are narrated in the Strict Report and realised and fully accepted that we do are on another boat, which some passengers left, some returned to and new ones joined. But I have the slight suspicion that even if all were to be the same passengers, a lingering feeling of misplacement would have stayed. Greek tragedy felt like a lesson in the simplicity of beauty. The Larval masks are instead a lesson in primordial simplicity.
The momentum built over the later weeks of the previous term dissipated, like a waterfall which finally arrives to a lake to placidly swim into itself. For now, the Masterclown is a gentle agneu (the mild "tiny shit hairdresser with tiny dog, both homosexual" was casually employed) who reminds us that "the class is a trip and I am the CHAFFEUR!"Back to Contents
Our imagination is rusty and our bodies still inflated by the big feast of Christmas, New Years and the Spanish Three Kings plus Italian Befana combo. Most of us just do not have much going on, and let their minds dwell on the exiguous size of Stamps, so inadapt to host a bunch of post-Millennials in need of a milkshake at 11pm. Most of us also look like they took a nice gander into the world and their place into it. So the higher numbers on the scales might even indicate a higher capacity to keep one's feet on the ground, to know one's "weight".
Winter looks better from afar, and this we knew. Maybe the Californians did not know before they came, and ignore of the Eurocentric notion of seasons, and how it afterall informs everything they do, even if they cannot get past the fact that the sun has the indecency to rise at 8am on any given winter Parisian morning.
Thursday flows as usual. The Masterclown's bantering attitude creates an apparent barrier that one has to overcome to be free. But the barrier, let me just remind you, dear reader, is not there. It is never there. The Masterclown is not setting you up. You yourself, dear performer, are setting yourself up by excluding options to your performance. Why? I don't know. It does not even matter. Let me carry on, ok?
Masks. Why masks? Because theatre was banished by the Church. How can I remind you that the Church ate up all of the arts after the fall of the Roman Empire? By writing it. So men had to mask their face in order not to be clearly identified. And women? They did not wear masks, because they were already banished from the Church, because Eve ate the apple. #metooBack to Contents
The twilight of Stamps bounces on the Larval masks, deciding whether we can see them or not, are the masks are alive or dead? Motions of parts of the body, fixing points into the abstract cores of our physique.
"We can use modern costumes in Shakespeare plays. But we do not use Shakespeare costumes in modern plays. I do not say it's good, I say, we do not do it." The Masterclown is sharp, ebullient and psychological for the First Autocours of Term 2. Vaudevillians morph their clown through the freedom of the text, a long awaited return to the addiction of words.
There is a knowledge which arises on its own, beyond voice exercises and posture training. A fast-track to beauty, which takes everchanging practice. I wrote this post much better before but it got deleted due to my inexperience with the interface.
"You think, fantastic, or mad cow?"Back to Contents
Stamps is tiring and I have lost weight and sleep. The thought of spending the night in my 17sqm apartment to make soup gives me a sense of safety I rarely experience.
This book, "The Lord of the Flies", which makes the Lockian and the God-fearing Atheist swarm with excitement about the intrinsically evil aspects of human nature, represents the core of the XX century aestethic of atomic delusions and cinematic reproduction. Its finale ponders on the banality of evil, on the known unknown of human violence, on why we struggle to be humans, on the animal instinct which seems to be looming at every corner, pushing us to a form of self-exile, as though we were too unevolved to be simply creatures of love and fairness. Chastised, ashamed of our own evil, this Christian society epurated all violence for fear of its anarchic and impulsive character, and relegated it to armies, pornography, depravity, all that we pretend to always be occurring somewhere else, away from our clean existence.
That animal streak is also the core of play, of discovery, of liberation from the Apollonean, and maybe the Brits should get over their disdain for spontaneity and join the group which at times includes also Germans. Play is power without violence. It is political, it has rules we all decide to abide to. Then some fucker comes in and inserts fear, and violence ensues, destroying the fun of the game, obliterating the chance to live in paradise on Earth.
"The Commedia dell'Arte actors were crazy, mad. Like in Italy. Everything seems normal, but everybody is crazy. Which is beautiful and light. But crazy."Back to Contents
Many seem to feel that the Masterclown speaks directly to them in class. As though reality becomes a tunnel in which everybody you know are characters of a psycodrama encted to reveal something that will become meaningful to you, as though there is a secret everybody is conspiring to reveal to you. And the secret is always the closest thing to ourselves, too close to be seen, and too essential not to be overlooked. Stating the obvious has revelatory properties.
So I think, bouncing up and down on the bus from Austerlitz to Stamps, through meanders of tiny streets where unevenly parked cars force the bus driver to a show of driving skills the sleepy audience of the bus has no energy to appreciate. Miracles happen in the dark, away from the clutter of history, which records only what was already predigested, keeping the unexplainable on the fringes of consciousness.Back to Contents
Each time I enter my 17sqm apartment in the spacious city of Stamps, I feel as though I entered the setting of a bank robbery in which the criminal run away with a few dollars to at least pay for the bus ticket back home. I feel enveloped in thoughts of humanity and the fragility that we consistently hide.
The Masterclown sometimes lits up like a shrine, as though channeling a spirit that belong to the wisdom of eternal thoughts. By using the mere game of positive human emotions, be it love, lust or fun, he breaks the walls that we learned so zealously to craete as though they were the only one thing we learned in our lifetime. Barriers come down and we feel unable to function. But the paradox seems to be that we give so much importance to love that we keep it hidden, separate from daily life, as though we have to give it in drops, as though it might run out.Back to Contents
Today I leave the city of Stamps early to take a train to Milan Garibaldi, where coincidentally a major derailment happened because "either the defective train tracks affected the derailment of the train, or the train derailment made the train tracks defective" (official sources). Each time I see the lights that gave me life, my soul relaxes, sensing no peril.
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In Milan, I went on stage at Teatro Franco Parenti to explain many things about my performing self. I immediately felt at home, in the pouring rain, in the drunken fight on the tram, on the heated seats with cappuccinos. I thought of the Masterclown talking about the madness of Italy. I guess I do not see it. I guess I am in it.Back to Contents
I moved away from the world famous 17sqm little shit apartment that accompaned me and many lentil-based meals down the toilet pipe, to move 50 meters down the road, which makes me feel that I have somehow ventured too far from the school. The spacious city of Stamps has space for everybody, mostly with a view on your own knees.
What we do as actors is quite strange. In many ways, it is conservative, if we consider technological advancement as "progressive". What we do is valid in every era. It's basic. It's emotive, it's the re-imitation of life. It's the telling of stories that could have any setting, any script, any language. And to do so, we must be awake to all of the movements of the body. There is no fun in watching a person scroll with their phone.
One day, Adam Curtis, the bespoken BBC videodocumentarian who makes Errol Morris feel like a filmmaking toddler, was in Berlin for the presentation of his 2016 "Bitter Lake". While speaking of Aladdin, a BlackRock algorhytmic megacomputer managing assets for trillions and trillions, keeping the world of everchanging human relations in a state of stasis, Mr. Curtis stopped and said that there is very little which is interesting in watching a human being on a computer, or on a phone. It's fucking boring, Masterclown docet.
So the challenge seems to be to be able to stay in that inner place that is not boring, despite the fact that everything we are surrounded by conspires against having a decent time with the beauty that this all thing we live is.Back to Contents
Outside the schol walls, Stamps is a town which mixes the homeless with the dentist, the feverish gambler with the feverish immigrant gambler. Nobody is safe yet everybody is fine, walking the square in opposite directions, creating variety of movement. Their safety sleeps in their walk through the deafening mist and the blinding sound of garbage trucks. Stamps breathes out the trash of Paris.
Astrologically, the Seine will return to its normal water levels after the full Moon of tomorrow. The trains will then be restored to being late. Many, on their phones, do not see the rising levels, nor do they see the pokemons hidden below the thick, gray, tempestous parisian streams. It rains, it pours.
All that we need to do is to be animals who know the seasons of life; who know when to be kings and when to be preys; who know the time to take all they can, who know when it's time to call curtains. Do not worry about yourself. Do not worry about what others will say or do. The impulse will lead you to a place just at the border of your waking life. On that border, the animal and the human coexist; on that border, the elegance of theatre mixes in with the intuition of survival. All is a game. All is a fucking game. We know the impulse very well. We knew it all along.Back to Contents
The 19 years old cat in the house I moved to bangs on the window distractedly, as if after all this time he still believed that transparency always means accessibility. Stings of pain surround my body, tensions accumulated through lifetimes of walking the winter streets without scarfs.
I am out of it, as sometimes it occurs. It sometimes does happen that for no reason whatsoever, time slips in a message that says "go to sleep. Everything will be alright". But one must go to sleep. Otherwise all the people in Stamps end looking like ominous silhouettes born out of the restless fog while I am cycling to go get cookies.
The wind is strong in Stamps. A voice in my dreams said: "for pain, sometimes we blame the desert, sometimes we blame the wind"Back to Contents
They keep falling like dreams that we cannot hold straight, as dreams of a lifetime take our entire life to sustain. To live a dream is to take your dream as reality, to make the dream yours, to enjoy it, to relish it, to respect it without fear.
The best actor might be the one who is happy to have a grammar punctuating his erection.Back to Contents
Making fun of things dead is no so fun, so since people do not fully understand the historical context of a joke, they simply are offended on behalf of the people who should feel offended. Feeling offended is a noble act according to the people who have been practicing feeling offended for the longest amount of time, who are, namely, the people without a sense of humor, the people who have prohibited themselves to cross the lines, lines so neat, lines that might be made of cocaine, but just because it's ok to do drugs in defense of free will and the dismembering of the social fabric...
Things dead are all the horrors of the XX century that we do not understand anymore. That we do not see anymore. Atomic bombs, fascisms, communism, the American conquest...the horror now lives in some repressed area of the mind, in the expectation of democracy, in the live stream of nothingness...life is boring without the lies of good journalism, the creativeness of synthesis, the timing of mystery...
And so we are offended because we do not see a joke about i.e. concentration camps as effective for our reality, which is ultimately ignorant, and forgetful. What might be fun is not to make a historical joke anymore. It's a sea of forgetfulness, in the historical present of the endless scroll...
On our last day with the masks, masks that we made and masks that we destroyed, we sucked, we were bad, once again. But sometimes a character emerges, a body fused with a mask that has the poetry of the unknown, the last resort, the human consolation which we hope will never perish...Back to Contents
Snow falls on the dreams of these young actors looking for their shadows in the whitening streets of Stamps. The layer of cold is like a blank new page to bear the future fruits of a changing group. Set the masks back in the boxes, the day moves slow, incessant, with 5th galleries and noses down.
The Masterclown's baroque haircut signals the suffering this world has in store for us. All we have so far is the deep end of the winter which we thought climate change and the overflowing of the Seine were going to save us from. All I have is a sting in my stomach which signals another change of scene, another readjustement to make.Back to Contents
Nobody ever expected kindness coming out of the mouths of Parisian boulangers or bus drivers. Yet, the unending snow brings warm recommendations (or ominous warnings) in the form of "be careful, tomorrow 'on va glisser'". As to say, yes, the snow is magic, but somebody is going to suffer, and that somebody might be you.
The Masterclown is out of service today for a "dentist's appointment" (sic), so 'clear-as-water' Carlo takes the lead to a very poorly populated group W class in which most of its members are either absent or just asleep.
As usual, pleasure is key to this horrible endeavour which is Mélo. The pleasure to be poor, to speak to the people of Paris in the 5th gallery; again, to improvise means to do scripted scenes as though it was the first time one does them. The canovaccio is an art acting on the border between danger and safety: just like anything good. Meanwhile, in the snowy city of Stamps, its undying characters stuck in it in the form of dentists and gynecologists are truly improvising their ways through the cancelled appointments and the delayed trains, trying not to lose their tempers, trying to stay on their scripted lives.Back to Contents
At times I feel that imagination will be lost forever, to become a luxury good. Its quality will therefore diminish, whilst its price will raise like gold, like bitcoin, like tulips, like '.com', like peanut butter outside the USA. Humans did all they could through imagining, through visualizing what could be. The eyes left alone to gaze into empty space, the body free to move into a room without limits.
How did kids manage to sustain the world they saw through their body? How could we pretend to be planes when we had never been on one? When I see children given tablets, I think, well, less competition ahead for me...but if they do not play physically, comedy, imitation and the overall wellness of the world will die.
Stamps is alight in its white shoulders and chopped branches, unable to sustain the snow. Solitary birds flap their wings through the pine trees. We could be as crazy as to get used to see a world of mirrors some day.Back to Contents
Neophites grow into evangelists without a religion. I dreamed of money, then of engines, cars, a helicopter following us because outlaws, bullets and a horse, and once again I awake in this large bed with no one but empty clothes abandoned by the excitement of the day. When it's calm all around the house, I suspect that the dream is just outside waiting to grab me again, with its invisible hands, with its silent eyes, with its whirlwind of characters. Time slips by, creating space.Back to Contents
Palomas descend on my garden, a wide prairie, away from the small studios that made me gaze into the dirty sink once again. They fall on the melting snow, a gift of middlewinter. Behind them, winter trees in waking spring light. The lazy city of Stamps hides golden gifts born out of boredom, and papal rings to be kissed. Jean François the bartender oversees the spectacle of dancing students until it's time to kick us out. The snow has turned into rain. Dances and romances transform before our eyes, keeping them closed, eating the last remains of snow.
"This scene, do we think it's like a crab who is looking to hit a pubic hair of the Archibishop of Canterbury, in the street, asking for directions, waiting at the traffic light, walking around, or, I am deeply drunk as usual?" There might be a lie constructed throughout the years, a lie so well built, a game, a game because a lie is a game that works, and when it works it becomes a reality, and truth is a desire, is a refuge of the sleepless mind. It might be that our biggest effort is to be ourselves before being characters. It might be that, because in real life we already all play horribile characters.Back to Contents
Paris flashes lights blinding the darkness, from excess to excess. Nobody searches and nobody is found. Only meanders of streets walked by people whose life will always be shorter than history. Legends are done. We cannot inscribe this life into the greater circle for which monuments were made. Nobody observes the life of somebody like a grand spectacle. All the stages have been separated, divided into small terrains where to grow each's own semi-fictional tales of success.
We made peace with history by proposing a subtle war of denial of conflict. Meanwhile, the poor people of Paris, celebrated under the shadow of conquests, rebellions, revolutions, speak to us with the humility proper of not knowing what better life there could be, with elongated emotions that make us sigh with compassion, and perhaps with the wish that we could feel so readily too. For dinner, a lit candle on the bare wooden table; a necessity we quickly turned into romance through the definition of civilisation.Back to Contents
"...there where the sea sparkles, and the wind blows strong..." Today was not my grandma's birthday, and I called her one day too late. She was obviously fuming. My grandfather was playing the trumpet in the background, I could hear him far away, maybe in the luminous hall with parquet. My semi-large bathtub is an invite to fluorescence. We live in a separate dimension where it seems impossible to live in a separate dimension. I believe and disbelieve at the same time. Everything is real, everything is a lie. There is only action. At least, for this.
"Does this guy sound like a singer for cows?" Stamps is ugly, so ugly that we all have found beauty inside, in our rooms heated with gas and electricity, in our rooms rented out by the Stampians, people who either escape or emulate Parisians. And so Stamps makes sense, one more time, for it unravels its indifference to make us stand on our two feet. At times I live in the terrible fear that this dream will one day end. Then I go make tiramisu, to nurture my dream, to make it grow, so that one day it will be able to stand on its own two feet.Back to Contents
There is a gym in Stamps where all the immigrants meet to tone their bodies and relax their faces. A guy from Afghanistan confesses that he does not like dancing. The Brazilian guy disagrees. There are no women.
Masterclown in the garage, Stamps under proverbial cold, tight fists and hearts melting, doing a slow U-turn on the second term, on the entire year. There is an aura surrounding everyone. The techniques of the Masterclown are subtle, so subtle to appear chaotic. One can try so tiressly to pin all of it down, only to realise he should write the big word "surrender" on his forehead and be it.
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Violence and romance in the twilight of Paris when the winter slowly dissolves into the thin air evaporating from the Seine, now lowering its levels to reveal the dirt accumulated on the bed of the river.
.In Mélo we see the actor more than the character. A good actor is always equal to himself. Never tell this to anybody.Back to Contents
"You sing like a girl scout on heat" Go straight into the action. Stamps has quarreling neighbors and stranded parcels. Like in Berlin, parcels are a franco-german alliance, a pastime paradise, parcels containing nothing, moving here and there, making people go places, making places and people closer for no reason.
"Does he look like an actor or is he like an old lizard catching the last sun before slowly dying? You do not have to suffer when you play the character of somebody who suffers. If you do, see a psychiatrist."Back to Contents
Whiffs of spring enter the rooms where we set our spirits on fire. The trees of Stamps are waves of seaweed in the decrepit sea. A few days' break, just enough to make us forget the dream and force us to remember it. The Masterclown has no wife for the next few days, expect a spiralling fall from exhilaration to excruciating numbness.
The sensitivity of poor people has no choice. It can only feel. Most of the middle-class, upper middle class and above-middle class students here can only dream of the sensitivity of poor people. Of having something to lose. I have made my point over and over again. And I have made it again, like here. And here.
There is an abandoned amusement park here somewhere in Stamps. The dreadfully acustically and visibly polluted city fo Stamps, where dreams go to rehab. Stamps and its cumulative years of having lived in Stamps, where some themed rap songs might make the common second generation immigrant feel better, and the Belgian-germanic-french inbread balding man feel worse. The world of Stamps, a fight amongst poor people to look middle class, and a fight amongst rich people to be perceived as poor.
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From dawn to twilight, from green to purple, Stamps slowly reawakens, for the trees embrace daylight, and the parked cars over the parking lot outside Carrefour begin to emit a slow vibration. The core of one's body is an endless reservoir of imagination, as the mind is the electrical impulse allowing the execution, but not "the mind" itself: we could say she is a tax collector, allowing the body to be, to pay its dues, to manifest its status, a bailiff imposing strict rules, but the mind knows that is the core which runs the show, and the mind wants to take all merit, like companies salvaging the raw planet, like musicians stealing rhythm from the singers of blues.
So all love comes from the guts. The mind filters and allows, the mind, the censor, the predigested prepackaging that instructs safety. All is light, all is light, all is always magical, sometimes farcical, but all is, always light.Back to Contents
The Masterclown arrives early, done as he is playing with the chickens, the wife in Japan, “where there are a lot of Japanese people”. He has nobody to make fun with, so he pokes, and pokes. His Dunhill aftershaves permeates the room. Coitus interruptus is no help to us. We are a drug, and the audience leaves the theatre, suddenly changed. We see dreams, lightness, humour. Even when we are seeing a horrible deed. “You are a magician playing with our fantasy”.Back to Contents
Another clochard with industrially printed business cards asking for food. Paris, a girl enters the train with bell-bottom trousers, calmly, without showing her legs too much. Two old guys, who could be the muslim correspectives of Al Pacino an Robert DeNiro, debate the size of their shoes and the tightness of their scarves.
Maybe all emotion is not as important as we think. The more we let go of it, the more it returns, hitting us. Emotions are not a stored product, they can be let out, as if on a border, to dominate without controlling, to be light without being taken for granted. The Masterclown peers into more students' eyes: "You cry, you feel. How can you, as an actor, to make us dream, sell your emotions without messing with them?".
Brought up as we are against the Americanization of emotions, we find ourselves at loss; instructed as we were to treat our feelings as "ultimate truths", we have became more exposed and supsceptible to the manipulation of our guts. And we have become poorer in believing in purity, in the invaluable meaning of art.
While playing, you might become engrossed in the vision of yourself playing, to watch yourself being watched. The magic breaks. The people do not love. The tickets do not sell. Ode to the people who know how to sell, for they withstand the insults of the many, their perjuries, for the mass accuses them of egocentrism. Ode to the smart people who do their best to charge a high price for their tickets, for they keep their mind at being watched, and not watching themselves being watched.
The Masterclown is a pimp. A pimp of emotions.Back to Contents
We crawl into another weekend day pretending to have days off. "Your dignity is to be not like another person". The half-circle walk of Mélodrama is for the poor, for the miser, to highlight a story that can be seen from afar, from the perspective of the ones who are not offered a good chance.Back to Contents
A Chinese guy spits orange peel from the train. I left the core of an apple looking over the passing houses and the wet soil.
"This is not good. You know too much about what you are about to say". My guts receive and give power, and they show on my cheeks. Everybody searches with excitement for that emotion escondida. As if summoning the moment of death, as if bringing the crucial moment closer, as a prop, as a friend to refer to, as a lover to stare at, the presence of the ultimate danger, death, the final reminder of doing something that will stand out, even if for a second in the vastity of time. This is Mélodrama after al. Any time, at any cost, something unseen has to be seen, without warning, without warming. As if to always trust the intrinsic confidence of your emotions.Back to Contents
The Masterclown takes the liberty to be arbitrary. "Why? Why? You do not need to know why! Do you want to know why Confucius came up with the things he came up? It's a mysterious thing, that comes from the sky, from the millenary memory of older people!"Back to Contents
"Wine from Burgundy or Cote du Rhones is the best. You look like a roasted aubergine".
The Carrefour looks so beautiful from the woods, its blue neon light glowing from afar. Here we are, still struggling to bring freedom on stage, still caring about us caring about ourselves. Loops don't end if we keep on looking.
"If you are fascist on stage, if you want too much, you block your generosity. Everything must be done for your beauty, for your fun." We are selling that shit.Back to Contents
We hadn't seen the sun in weeks, and for its twilight, Mélodrama offers the first glimpses into the slow spring in the erratic city of Stamps. The Seine has reduced its flux, placidly returning to its normal levels. Birds begin to chirp. Loves come, loves go. The winter is receding, the full moon clears the way for a new understanding, which always comes in recollection, for we live in a reverse trauma, traumas healing traumas past, traumas piling up like frost in the morning.
Claude and its silks come to their last day: "You can always pull yourself up, you are strong. You just need confidence. It's just a 1 meter fall, if you do. Why don't you have the confidence? Did it begin with your mother?"Back to Contents
"You look like your father was the director of a zoo…for birds".
The Friday autocours often turns into a bedlam in which the student audience is overtaken by the most disparate emotions, with the Masterclown hissing and whipping the crowd, the tension and the love of the spirit hovering above, at times visiting the room, at times taking a leak. But most of all, amongst such fluster, the student body always thanks its student performance, clapping flops and beauties. An act of acknowledgement, but also of invitation to doing the same when our time will come.
The Masterclown shows the vest he bought in Dublin, like a pro of slapstick comedy, with the typical face of the bourgeois on holiday, while students are on stage. Doing a job well, with focus, brings an unimaginable joy.
The Masterclown brings up the fuckable and the unfuckable about us. And both are very sellable.Back to Contents
A chapter closes and another one advances: Bouffons. I don't really know what to say, but the Masterclown "knows a lot and does not want to say much more so not to look too pretentious". The hunchback, the deprived, the deformed, the ugly; the homosexual, the jew, the woman; the abhorred, the left out, the outcast. The children of the Devil. The pain that is brought forth as the freedom to be cast away. The voices that speak to the entire community without being part of it. The never redeemed, the non-existence of misplaced guilt, the depth of the surface. The impossibility of connivence with power. The fuck you to God, to the king, to the priest, to the rules, to boredom.Back to Contents
The days are wet and the dawn of spring comes with the suffering of the winter in accepting its end. "The bouffon pretends to like it, while he actually hates it".Back to Contents
"Too many people when they are sad they think they are poetic. They are not! They are fucking boring!" Weeks going by, tiredness in the eyes of all, whilst the Masterclown seems to be savouring each of his insult, every moment of embarrassment, every small sentencing, such as, "bouffons are never existentialist".Back to Contents
It's already Thursday in the mighty city of Stamps where sleep is deep and desires abound. Some would claim there is far too much to do in such little time, others would probably disagree and sit to enjoy the first sun and interspersed clouds. Carlo the impersonator of himself enters in machine gun mode as the bouffons require a dirtier language; "like this, you dribble too much on your balls", "look at him as if he was a cat fucking a crocodile" and "there is a difference between a bouffon and a ball-breaker".
There is no shame in the bouffon because their destiny was already decided by shame itself, the shame of society. So there is no fear of being ashamed, only the affirmation of being on the outside. Even here, the game must be light. Even here, there is fun and sensitivity. The bouffon is in control of the nastiness he possesses. He is in the wrong, in such a beautifully uncanny way. The game is about authority being challenged without the need to pontificate or show with self-entitlement why society is wrong. It is a way to replicate society to the point of making it devoid of meaning.
The time for suffering has gone away. "When we see you, we think you love bakeries. When I see you, I think, did I but bread today?" It's not good. Comedy sketches are not bouffons. So many bouffons in the street. They seem to have come out of nowhere, while they have always been there. They look like they have been forgotten, while instead they are everpresent. There is a dream revolving around them, the dream that we have and the dream that they live. Outside. Outside. A desire we all have. A desire we will never fulfill. A poetic moment kicks in. It's gone now.
"Everytime I see you, I see that you do not want to be sublime. Why not? Why not sublime, why not?"Back to Contents
I have lost the notes of today somewhere. Not that I need notes to tell you that this was a good day in which the Masterclown fucked with us as usual. There is no way to translate the experience of an old man pretending to beat up his students, who are in turn excited to see their fellow schoolmates being mock-beaten up. Nothing can be translated, all is an approximation, bananas contain potassium, life is a dream, and you have been sleeping far too deep to be reminded that this is all there is. Stamps is vainglorious, with the Second years gearing up to straddling around with their need to be recognised on the city's internationally unknown stage.Back to Contents
It's deep, it's deeper than we even realise, or it is just a joke. There is often boredom involved when passion escalates. When there seems to be no other thing to do in life than living the dream you have chosen to live. If we could live only in dreams, one scene after the other, one gigantic affirmation of fiction after the other, so to slide gently over a million people's suffering, our eyes gazing on a way out, through that door which could make us immortal...maybe we are just con artists trumpeting invented victories as the lack of a real danger makes us satisfied of a life made of rarified accomplishments and increasingly longer moments of superficial self-love and denied self-loathing. Or maybe that is the door we gaze back and try not to be sucked into. If the latter was the case, it would not still be good. But it would be better.
There is too much wine in Stamps, where the streets at twilight seem to fold onto themselves, like in an overgrown prairie with nothing else to do but to listen to the distant sound of the rolling wind.Back to Contents
"I found what happened the day I was born in the archives of the Bibliotheque National. And also on the day my parents fucked, which I have calculated." Before dying, Stephen Hawkings said that humanity has no more and no less than 100 years to live, and most of it uncomfortably. Birds chirp and raindrops fall over the comfortable city of Stamps. Humans will be standing shoulder to shoulder. The Earth will be an incandenscent ball of fire because of electricity consumption. Handwritten letters will be made illegal. All communication will be pointless, because ineffective in changing a world in a perpetual state of emergency. An emergency which will end in a tiny fart wiping the world, its unanswered prayers and its sexist comments.
Franprix will be closing on March 30, I asked the black cashier. The only one who smiles. The other two cashiers look like overgrown fish wrapped in an apron. I forgot to buy baking soda.
Bouffons. Most of us think of making an impression of some weird people with ingrown hairs. Maybe all we have to look forward to is the past. All that the future seems to bring us is more Bruno Mars doing a cover of a cover songs of a cover group of Earth, Wind and Fire. So, in a way, the past has already all the answers.
If we have already destroyed the world, bouffons are speaking from the vantage point of the ones who can taste the bittersweet flavour of perpetual decay, and to the ones who believe in the bountiful, endless resources available from the depths of the Earth, that the world is never to cease. They copy what hurts, and send it back unapologetically. Do you like this word? Unapologetically. I have taken it from an Edinburgh Fringe review.Back to Contents
There are many ways to make it through and think that this is an acting school. We are doing some form of acting. But at times, the lack of a rigurous technical training, and the persistence of thinking about it, make one revert back and to realise that this is a 2-years field trip in which human connection is resiscitated to work through the issues that made us feel stuck and join the school in the first place.
Even if that was the case, and many times I resolved to this conclusion (for lack of a better way out of the labirynth), that would surely help your acting.Back to Contents
"...if suddenly a night we might all be swallowed in the depths of our own time, we might as well be found timeless" is a non-existent quote. "Pleasure, not condom. Leave immediately if your pleasure is in your condom" is a real quote from the Friday autocours made in masterclownland. For there is only one way: the plasure of not giving a fuck. A solar storm is giving way to humanity's justification for anxiety, stress, fatigue. We have the Masterclowmn. There was a time when becoming an adult was directly associated to understanding the reasons of the mysterious sorrows of growing up through statistics, edge funds, employability, Freud. In Stamps, there is only one need: to say fuck you. And to say fuck you does not mean to create a barrier. But as we are gently reminded, "meaning is for idiots'.Back to Contents
"When you leave a show and think, 'I am more intelligent', for sure the show was shit". Sitting next to the Masterclown makes our struggles banal, clarifies them, resizes their intensity, as we are like dancing monkeys in need of appreciation; silly, as we repeat the same banal mistake of most people's puberty, our wannabe perfect lives, our educations, our needs to break free from what is the very foundation of what we are, and time spent discovering that our previous discoveries were sentimental traps that made our gazes weaker.
So from the perspective of the Masterclown arises the allowance, the possibility that all this has not buried the spirit down so far, a trick I played on myself far too many times, to believe that the spirit was gone, that digging was required without interruptions, and if the excavation continues, there is no time for fresh air, for the joke of the day, for the fleeting bird sitting on the fence I see through my window.
There is no time for sadness, it's already too late. "What you do does not mean anything, and it is beautiful"Back to Contents
The spring equinox showers us with a summation of the winter, from gray to sun to rain, to rainbow and the spit of the bouffon, as to say, been there done that, a movement from introspection to lightness, lightness which does not forget subterranean forces erupting with a smile, for the brain alone produces the heaviness which was never inscribed in the architecture of everything.
What do I know? Nothing, and with this non-knowledge I dwell over the sleepless nights of the changing seasons that made us stronger, weaker and then stronger again, wrapped up as we are in a present which never seems to cease, Stamps, its clearly marked weather reports, its strikes and its immigration rules, the internationally unknown school of the Masterclown, the Franprix, Jean Francois, the revolving police, looking for crime, or just making it up, for us, for them, transient facilitators of dreams and drama.
The Masterclown has a secret weapon, which he never conceals but that equally never shows. Nobody can tell what it is, yet it manifests itself through the confusion, the mixed signals, the oscillation between states of excitement and fatigue that one enters in the school. It is a trap he never tends, yet in which we fall, as though we deliberately decided to fall into it.Back to Contents
The days are going by so fast, so seemingly beautiful, yet so meaningless as nothing seems to stay, and their meaning is suggested, implied, unpacked invisibly. When we say bad things about people we are fucking happy. So the bouffon has to be fucking happy. You have to kill. You have to have fun killing.
"Every time you have an idea, that's a piece of shit. Work. It's fun to work. It's a great pleasure to work." Work.Back to Contents
"Sometimes the truth does not need much more than itself in order to come out". Carlo. No need to be funny, for the world is always yours to make. Bouffons are sponges picking up society and their most terrifying games, their bodies the spiritual mirror of the society they speak about. And yet we are a bunch of kids of the West looking for a way out of the burgeois mess, so we take from the emarginated, make their words our own, criticise our very society, satirize the satire in an unrelenting game of imitation, and there seems to be no escape from the very prison we believe we are in. But we are not, for insisting on fighting is a misdirection. Carve out a space of freedom, don't be militant.Back to Contents
Sweet memories of Stamps reemerge straight after the end of Term 2, as the historical present in which we have been living vanishes, leaving a thread of slowly unfolding images as the train speeds up towards the city of Paris.
The horses and dromedaries of the circus of Stamps graze the growing grass as the robins chirp their way through the pink morning. All is quiet, roofs turning gray to purple.
Through the forest we walk and stare into the dead of night, filled with the inestricable desire to exceed our body, and to have more body. The Masterclown leaves a final message: "You have to be magical, you have to be untoucheable, somewhere far, far away, manifesting your pleasure and freedom. Look for beauty, look for poetry. Always."Back to Contents
More faces, and more masks to drop! Too many peanuts from Jean-François the barkeeper from Switzerland! Swiss people took gold teeth from the Jews and gave them iron in exchange, the scoundrels, and liberal Swiss people are eager to condemn the fact that they have more money than all the other European contries, oh happiness where are thou. Carlo bangs and "You are more beautiful than the lie you are trying to cover up" comes out of his mouth. Secrets are there to be kept under the disguise of a character while the self is, as per usual, "having pleasure in being clandestine". The toubillon de la vie returns in mighty Stamps where owls are the masters of the stratosphere, unnoticeable unlike birds, boring birds who sing too much, show themselves too much, push too hard, ultimately making us wish that the sky was a jubilation of owls.Back to Contents
Don't mock your character! You are it. No parody. Forget it!
Rule of three says: "do it once, little laugh, do it again, maybe not, and if they laugh at the third time, you win. You have to try!" The Masterclown orchestrates the operations as per usual despite gloomy Stamps being on the verge of its own breakdown made of Edenlike scents and wild dives in the stream. A fact that in all honesty has reversed the inside with the outside (and the other way round, but that's redundandandandandant). The natural elements are shuffled, winter and its discontents forgotten, the transition between the time off and the time on gets thinnner and thinner, souls quieten in the stormy knowledge that the antipasti is being served, and as long as you stay put, the entire meal will come and feed you for years to come. His stick like a wand, his peering eyes like the ones of an irresistible confessor, the Masterclown is serving the usual revenge to be eaten cold, the usual revenge against whatever conditioning from whatever environment of whatever, whoever you are.Back to Contents
Large rocks undermining the stream, rocks like events that accumulated over time acquire a magnitude that is more than the summation of their happening. A strange sentence but not a strange thought, for the Masterclown's school is that same old parody that we came to know in our recent past, a parody so effective that we fail to realise because some or most of us experienced personal success, or at least collective admiration. And the blockage derives from applying the rules of society in this society, the closest thing to a society that we have ever touched with our own hands. "I am against movement classes. I prefer to drink two bottles of wine from Burgundy than to move my body."Back to Contents
All is positive, all that we do here derives from the "law" of "attraction", of "seduction", of "love", "I think". Thank you, yes, this is theatre after all, and if movement comes before text, of course then the complementing rule is that your movement is a movement of attraction, even in dramaticity. Is that a word? And yet I think of serious scenes that failed to make me feel incredibly connected to the knot on my stomach, or maybe I watched them far too many times.
Unusually high temperatures in Stamps as much as in the rest of the civilised world, where all that is springlike bounces off our bodies, so shivering and pale and shrunken in unwanted solidarity, the asking to bloom again after the seeds of winter. Insects fly inside houses, windows, doors, interstices, to join humanity or simply to rest their tired bodies, unable to carry the weight of the above-average temperatures. Back to Contents
Stamps city of pre-lights, where the stars come to do their "light-check" before performing in Paris, punctually obliterated by the human lights set up to create the illusion of control over nature, hence, "city of lights". New moon over the pines and fresh earth that moves under our feet in French-loving Stamps; arabic tongues whisper into the morning; ghosts of the Western world, the proliferation of Allahs in a nevralgic center of world power, in a shifting world that Stamps shows us, albeit only sporadically, to be a caricature of a memory sold to us for a high (psychic) price.
Masterclown in the garage "to check if he'll be able to teach for another 55 years", a joke on the precarious state of the ageing father, of the school, of the "oh, so you have trained there, so you must be a decent person, but I'll give the job to a LAMDA graduate", of the student, loving creature, uneffortlessly moving between states of the soul that were not described in the school booklet. A Friday therefore with no autocour, as to protract the crisis of identities triggered by the character, by the "personnage".
Back to Contents
I had a foot injury, not that this is essential for the development of this blog unread by the many, but at least it shows a certain honesty from the side of the author, confident in not recurring to any fictional device to hide his current feelings, which are always at the forefront of his artistic endeavours. I am well, thank you. A British student confided me that his fellow countrypeople are the most dishonest of all, so he will write a play about that. Second year students do Bouffon (from day 36 to day 50 in the previous term for the first year), soon to evolve in acts inspired by real life events, such as British dishonesty.
Stamps disgorges children and laughing parents into the park, and children do so much each day, a vitality that becomes interior as the human body grows and is destined for decay. The Masterclown agitates his stick: "The actor gives fantasy to the text. If you don't, you are a university teacher. And that is a different job."Back to Contents
"If you flop a lot it's ok. It is a way to discover freedom." Stamps slows down after the high temperatures, le primtemps being the "crazy season" offering draughts and showers, and the Masterclown, like a keeper of strange beasts, rehabilitates blocked pleasures under its severe eye, and its self-explanatory attitude: "You want to be funny. You insist. But you make us vomit. You are so heavy you make us throw up. You underline everything you do as if you were marking a boring test with a red pencil, like in Oxford. You have to be funny by chance, not by will! If you don't succeed with something, you don't have to get it. It's ok if you don't win, it will help you not to win, for this is the humour of life. You do not have to want to succeed, otherwise you are going to block something inside you. Be happy in your shoes, you have a way and that way is always there to guide you".Back to Contents
There are no lies about who we are and who we are, because change is all there is. What we do and what we like trick us to identify with who we are. Advertisement divides and conquers, a mass of sameness in an illusion of loneliness. The successful fiction of unchanging elements defining a life too tired to think otherwise, or to see itself without looking. A bunch of undeciphrable nonsense.
But peer into the eyes of your most vulnerable stories, and there you will find the most overrated truths that you have only apprehended in quick-winged theory, as the body learns the stories with the slowness of time, and in that time to be savoured there is fun and release from all of that garbage of obsessions and self-pity that have been clutching to the soul through the years. If of soul we can speak, and worry not, for the job is never done; only a fragment can be said to be done, but no fragment is alone or can stand without relationship (beeee). The slow mind of the Masterclow gets a hold of me once again (is it me or is it you, and does that matter?). Here and there my mind rushes out impulsively to conclusions, but impulse can still be a friend without adding the heavy load of definitions, of conclusions, for conclusions come unnoticed, showing themselves when they quit existing.Back to Contents
The undeniably realistic pantomime of the Masterclown continues on and on, beyond the limits of our imagination. Week 2 comes to a full close and the mind has entered into the depths of itself; thoughts are no longer a good that we use at will. They are now specters and friends, foes and allies, powerful guidances and our own ruin. The Masterclown watches, impassible, at times jovial, at times vengeful. Stories unravel, hearts unfold. Stamps between the greves and the cheap barbershops spreads like a backdrop, a playground, a hilly soundscape of overcommenting birds, birds like thoughts, relationships like trees, and days like roofs where to lay our heads and look up to the stars, the passing clouds, the pregnant moon.
It might as well be that the desire for freedom is a fear, like the fear that I have when I have to open my heart and write a few lines, make a sound, do a move, demonstrate my love; a fear ingrained to protect a treasure: the Masterclown, fingers on his temple to squeeze out the one-eyed wisdom, extracts the bare knowledge of the untaught: to a student who was pushed to sing a lullaby and cried of surprise to her own gentleness, or for the fact of not having been allowed to do so before, says "Do you know why you are crying? Because you have shown your soul".
You can say (or I can say, I'll think for you, what am I here for anyways) that we might be learning to show and to be vulnerable in front of the tabernacle of the Masterclown, for comfortability and openness derive from an environment of safety and of shared efforts, but wouldn't you (or I, in this case) fail to recognize the fear that possesses you, that possesses I, the fear of freedom, its deep roots, its large branches? For freedom has been the first element to be put on a cage, the freedom to show, unapologetically and enthusiastically, a rare undangered animal reduced to spectacle, and rightly so, for where would the business of the Masterclown be otherwise?Back to Contents
Friday autocour is a butchering knife, characters die like paper-mache figurines owning no spirit or price tag. The youngsters get stuck on having to pretend to be characters, refusing to depersonalise themselves, whilst the oldest suffer and question all the choices which led them to this very moment, to the realization that they took themselves too for granted up until now. Life offers various seasons to all, and we all try to live them as much as we can; obvious statement for the unobvious mind: I try to keep this literary effort as open to the highest amount of people as possible. Pressure to do well surrounds me. I could forget about it, as much as I forget that I need air to breathe. I breathe, and the air is there for me, even (and especially!) when I forget that it is always there. Pressure has to be forgotten a little bit, just like the Masterclown treats the depths of our pleasure and sorrow with humor, forgetfulness, and mostly with the mere existence of the present tense, the here, the now, the spring of all healing.Back to Contents
Body and mind travel for wondrous legions once our concerns with success, obsessive self-doubt and the fear of our internal world are abandoned. So the Masterclown is never going to say, “abandon yourself to trust the unknown, for it will lead you to that place of freedom you belong to”, because he would think it a wanky sentence. He might agree, and fully. But yet, that’s wanky.
Stamps is made of cats who could be as big as the garage shutters on my street, howling with pleasure and pain, answering to the call of nature of Stamps, the sky offering Venus and Jupiter far from each other, disengaged; and the cats could eat all of us, humans, seemingly peaceful bringers of catfood. Stamps is made of a newly repainted Franprix, in which everything that has changed could have stayed the same, for this is mostly what life in Europe is like today.Back to Contents
Masterclown at the pit stop, with Carlo on the saddle, as the internationally unknown school melts under the sun of disengagement, for when you kick the Master out of the school, the school's holographic contours appear more delineated, or, uhm, the opposite, blurred, evidently fugacious.
We play games. All of the games that children play are based on love because they have not become games to win yet, but games to pass time. The fiction that is here urged to become reality is the love that keeps such games alive, the love that keeps the scene alive. The games that children play bring the meaningless freedom needed for acting; the overzealous writer of things complicates meaninglessness to the point of giving it meaning: my self-pity here, the Queen of all venerating egoes.Back to Contents
"Was he sending you positive vibes? Was he tender or was he a piece of shit? Everybody has to begin from a place of playfulness." I wrote that in the last entry!
"Your character is you in the imagination of the audience. People who ask “what is my character?” are wankers. Because when we can separate you from your character, it means that your character is very boring.“ It is so simple, dear Masterclown. We just need to do things as ourselves. It should be easy to do in the age of freedom and democracy, in the age in which everybody is given a voice. A piece of cake. And yet, look at the execution platoon re-enacted every Friday, as a ritual (for if we call ritual what happens at church, anything that repeats weekly must be a ritual too). When humans are given carte blanche to display their freedom, they look mostly stunted and clichéd. Only when strangled, when poked and rarely when encouraged, can humans display freedom, the one that does not exist but within and through themselves. That is when the fiction of the Masterclown, when his subtle pedagogy, when his exaggerated insults begin to be unmasked. The unmasking is never full, forever awaited, never completely reached, some would even say it never happened.Back to Contents
Affirmation and surprise. Sameness and change. Stay the same, but surprise us with your choices. Be inventive, but when you find something, hold on to it forever. The same ideas have existed for long? And who cares. This is the historical present.
"When you have two ideas, you are a wanker from La Sorbonne". "If people love you, and you do not like it, you have to take it! It's a rule! We do not give a shit about what you like! You say, 'I don't know why they are laughing', shut your mouth! If they love it, you take it! And do it with pleasure!" The Masterclown. Even, and especially, when he does not speak to us, we can hear him well. "Many times, when men are gentlemen, it is because they want to eat sandwitch." "You cannot think your spirit is bad. Your spirit is good.".
The theory of the Mastercloiwn exists between his rules (ruuuuules!!) and the scattered way in which they are sent. For the rules are there to be taken for what they are: rules, and therefore fallible and open to suggestions. The rule of the school is that you have been free here from day one, and yet you showed very little capacity to comply to that rule. For freedom cannot be regulated. So the punchline is, declare love to the world, submit to your desire to be loved and obtain the freedom through which you will be liberated. Now that I read back, this is not a punchline, but there was no premise either, so in a way thank god no trees have been cut for me to write this.Back to Contents
On the edge of the smooth city of Stamps are the unfinished houses, the zebra crossings without streets to cross on, depots, Leclerc and the solitary immigrant. Even in May, when the temperature raise, making the British squirm with excitement and desire for shade, the African living in France might be feeling even more left out, for the sun in the European summer is a faint egg emitting no sufficient heat, a hack sun. Here at the limit, at the border with itself, Stamps is meaningless. The troubadour Masterclown, his stick and his hat, his round glasses and his big nose, make for an effervescent yet ephemeral memory, the one alike to a dream with visual poignancy but no message; a sibylline dream in which I drawn, unsure of my whereabouts, and yet staunchly persevering on a path of which meaninglessness I have to learn to walk on without asking questions, for some questions are self-made ploys not to listen to the evercoming answers.
But maybe the immigrant has no nostalgia, for the nostalgic European is only so for the luxury of command. Here on the border of Stamps with itself, a roundabout with no arms propels another African-descent driving man sneezing, windows rolled down. Might it be a sign of the impending hay-fever, just before the climax of the summer solstice, making this slice of dream roll back onto itself, contracting like the universe on a Sunday? Nevermind. Leon-mouths everywhere in the undone fields of dog-barking Stamps. The sacristy of the Masterclown has hit us strong at the end of Characters, in which a handful of students where under his hypnotizing eye and chose to be moulded, expounded, "worked". The apparent consciousness shift is no longer as visible as it was when in the internationally unknown school for the first time. The psychic powers of the ranting Masterclown escape us, only to appear in the form of unasked questions in our darkest hour.Back to Contents
The Shakespearean aficionados are wet with anticipation, and the first day of the new module fulfills the need to use known text, and yet forget not that the techniques of the Masterclown elude modules, topics, authors, for the Masterclown plays and plays, before, after and during Shakespeare and Chekov.
All action on stage appears to me today as an internalized dream. It is self-absorption made public, it is personal fiction made consumable. One has to act, and to act one has to be happy to share one's inner world. You are not being self-indulgent. You simply are, and that is your job. There is no reason to shame. Use this light to plough through the everyday demonization of display, of good display, from society, tax collectors, advertisement, teachers, parents, and mostly and most importantly, yourself. The fourth wall is the Heisenbergian effect that fully emancipates this inner world: the stage gives it a setting, it gives eyes; can this gaze help you solidify this dream, to give it a proper placement?
So much for the gurus of positive thinking. Before getting on stage, the Masterclown indicates to stay focused on being a bad student. Baffling the friends of positive mental attitude: once again, it’s not success, it’s beauty.Back to Contents
Many would say that the Masterclown is tripping on the antibiotics he is taking to keep his bronchitis at bay. That would be why many of us seem not to undertsand the meaning of "being beautiful" and "being bad", to "say the text with pleasure" whist "being the character". Many students would even say that they caught fever because of the Masterclown's French tendency to greet everybody with a kiss on the cheek. The Masterclown would retract blaming the students for having passed the ungodly disease to him. Nevermind, for the banter goes on. "To be beautiful does not mean to be beautiful like your daddy would like you to be beautiful. You know what I mean!?" "My grandpa fucked the Queen of Spain--but Spanish royalty does not count much." "But don't think too much about what I say, even if sometimes what I say is very good."Back to Contents
"Every night, as an actor, you have to do what you did the previous night. Each night, you have to conquer a space of pleasure. You cannot think, 'last night I did it, so I will just repeat what I did'. No! You cannot repeat. Otherwise you'll be headed towards disaster." Being beautiful might mean to reach pleasure as a thing that we do not hold. The heady will to be beautiful will not help. The faithful search to be beautiful will help. It replaces any externalized god we might be living with. "So when you enter the stage and want to be beautiful, you will fail. Every day, you have to conquer your beauty." It surprises us as much as it surprises you, when you see it. You have to allow it to touch you. "You do have to think that you are fantastic. You might flop, but that is ok. But you need to be willing to follow your beauty. Only idiots have the luxury to 'try something new'."Back to Contents
"Your beauty is the base. Then we can work to find more fun." Think of Shakespeare, who still today shakes scenes, how gleeful he would be to know that, through his writings, not only he piled up money and successfully speculated on his gains, but he would also have the artistic pleasure, if the dead can feel, to know that his oeuvre is helping performers and their audiences discover beauty. "I believe in complicity and friendship on stage. Complicity between actors is the easiest way to find a game. Under a text is always a game. Yes. I shit on Stanislavsky every morning."Back to Contents
Stamps traps us into its wind, echoing the distant sea, whose only witness are the steep dunes, swallowed by the forest, like a Dunsinane of sorts. Jean-François the bar owner cuts another slice of cheese into the falling afternoon, right before turning on the disco-ball lights. Stamps is enveloped in strikes, drinks on me. The market seller and Donald J Trump supporter raises the price of black tomatoes each week, as to mimic his favourite one when sanctioning Iran. After 5 years, the ban on Berlusconi’s presence in Parliament due to tax fraud and embezzlement is lifted, a news that did not go unnoticed in old folk’s homes. The two bell towers sound concomitantly, churches empty; conversely, the Mosque of Stamps appears quiet, but a handful of devotees always surround it.
Far away from Stamps, solitary men and women, who want to desperately prove to the world that they can be somebody by losing themselves, walk the streets of Paris, or any other great city; the struggle for recognition is equal to the struggle for recognition on social media; the cards are on the table, and unfortunately, too soon, for the cards are not too good anyways. In Stamps, the deck is being constantly reshuffled, recreating the need to success. Lost as we are, we learn how to follow ourselves, at all times, of course if you accept to undergo the way of the Masterclown.Back to Contents
Thunder and storms in Stamps, Scottish blood running into its swelling streams, and just like in Macbeth, the day seems an amassment of nights, bleak stars and brief candles. As the rain falls incessant, and the festival of birds is united with the unbending tipping and dripping, I put some bossa nova on the background. Some music never dies, some other was born dead. Or never born from woman. Or just disgusting. We try, as usual, to discover something beautiful. I suspect it has always been there, under our eyes. But there is need for rehab all around.
Some people go on rehab because they think they need it, or they want to need it. Some people desperately want to fix the unfixable, or the perfectly healthy state they are in. Some people seem to be so concerned with their health that they ultimately drag their health out of themselves just by thinking that there is something "wrong" with them. So maybe some madmen of Stamps were admitted to the psychiatric hospital for fear of being mad, and eventually became mad in the process of unnecessary healing. Our minds are so flexible, so gullible, so unfathomably moldable that anything is possible, in good and in bad. Yet unable to determine what is good and what is bad. For the rest, is the body. Abandon your mind, I beg you!Back to Contents
"Don't try to charm me. I am uncharmeable."
How did it go with the Masterclown today? He made me feel too nice, not masculine, not a guy who can pick up any woman. As though that was my own capacity that I desire strongly and that I could not give life to on stage, as a fantasy, as ... But look again. The Masterclown says "Too many people treat this school like a brothel. Many forget that this is a school. And so the line between fiction and reality is blurred."
"Any play is a homage to theatre. This is what we are doing as actors. We are paying homage to theatre, and if one does it well, with the spirit of an actor, then one will also make money."Back to Contents
BEAUTYBack to Contents
Remember that this is not a psychotherapy session. You might connect the blockage you feel on stage to a personal issue. But this is acting. And for as much as you feel that you need to “relax’, or to “be less scared”, or to “fix” something in you before you go up, forget it. You must act and enjoy it. You will forever question your performance. And this is not a blockage. This is not a problem. This is your life. Then, by keeping on going up, some things will surely get better. There is a reason why you have decided to act. It is a personal reason.
So, indirectly, something will happen to your inner life. In fact, something has already happened to your passions, to your ways of deciding, to your ways to enjoy what you have. And the Masterclown's trick seems like it is never there because always unreachable. We move as our goal moves. The Masterclown tricks us because we choose to be tricked. We are tricked because we believe that at some point, somehow, somewhere, there is no trick; there is a clean sheet; there is peace; there is stable and constant respite; I say that with the authority of somebody who does not know anything: that which you call “end to your suffering” nothing else is that the greatest illusion of all, the most effective advert since the invention of paradise, "up" to the mathematical formula to any advert, and that is “success”; “made it”;”wo-ho”.
I say that without cynicism, for every day contains an achievement if we are kind enough to see it; and yet, the illusion of sitting back, relaxing, and not struggling any longer because we have “arrived” is the best antidote to living ever invented. And living is not a sickness, so. The Masterclown does not hammer that concept down. In fact, he does not even speak about it. This is a theatre school, after all; one is supposed to become a better actor here. There is no time for the philosophical implications of this and that. Even though they are there to see. We might be all tripping. And this is just my interpretation. Which is important to me.Back to Contents
"You have to be balanced on your two feet. We are not in the States! We are not in Hollywood! We are in Stamps!" The Masterclown proclaims its rule over the cosmos of the pollen-ridden city of Stamps, in which the children of Shakespeare try to exist, to be "terribly beautiful".
We must always have a vision in our eyes, a vision that transports us beyond the sticky room and its dampened windows, a room that is light and spacious, but which becomes clogged through its persistence in our minds. The usual banter made in Masterclown helps to loosen up the muscles even in the most serious scenes, for to be sad is not our job. Any impulse is good, because it is easier to keep everything inside; the hardest thing is to jump into the "empty space" so to maybe discover that we like it. And to like this unknown is the source of pleasure, the "great director". Being cool is precisely the opposite. To be cool is to be separated, "We say: she lives in the Castle of Windsor. She lives in Mont Saint Michel. She is shitty. It is never good to play what your family would want. You know what I mean?" Without a jump down the ivory tower nothing can start. One only stays in and comments. You are not in show. You are in action.Back to Contents
They want to look for freedom, and discover that freedom is the most annoying friend, a never-lying instrument of inner peeling, which, slice by slice, exposes whatever lies there, and likes it the way it is. Masks and tensions drop, for who, for what? There comes the question, because the instinct towards freedom as a ‘thing’, as a conquest, drives us towards the discovery that this freedom is nothing but a pile of dust, an exercise of meaninglessness, the ultimate desire, increasingly disappearing the closer we tend to it.Back to Contents
“This is the problem of young people: they are too nice. Old people are nasty!"Back to Contents
It is true, sometimes, that we cannot stand the voice of the Masterclown inside our head. And yet I would be ready to stitch his sentences on to my clothes. His sentences are not mind-blowing. But their impact is contextually spot on. I might have told you that already. And I have no shame in repeating myself.
I would produce merchandise, hoodies, keychains, t-shirts, notebooks and toilet paper, with sentences of the kind “If you are not tall, you don’t have a good impulse”, or “if you stomp your feet, your acting is heavy”, or even “BUY A COW! CASH!”, sell them on a website on which the contact section and google maps lead to a waterfall somewhere in France.Back to Contents
You can hear the pecking of rain on the top floor of the internationally unknown school if you come here in silence, with the excuse of closing the open windows in the yellow storm. Stamps was elected as the receiving and giving end of our dreams. Stamps is not so pretty. Stamps is also magnificent. Stamps falls in love with us, and we surrender.
“I don’t want anything. This is my tactic. I do not want anything from you. I can only tell you that you have to be beautiful. I can only tell you that we have to dream around you. Very simple."Back to Contents
Stamps is predominantly a sprawl enclosing a town. The house cat catches a young bird. A mother skunk is killed in a car accident going towards another sprawl enclosing a town. The medieval city of Stamps hosts a wedding in which multicultural France comes together, the Stamps counterpart of Windsor.
A storm, the bolt of nature over the tiled roof of the town, rain hard but insufficient for the thirsty fields. At times I feel as though secret messages are assailing me. Then I rush out to draw conclusions about life, thunders, the Masterclown, the psychiatric hospital.
This exercise of writing began with the intention of reporting this adventure; when I was a bit younger, I had decided to make documentaries. Jokingly, in the dominating postmodernism, I knew that reporting was impossible, and even if (or especially because) I ended up not making films I kept my conviction. In fact, I had begun writing about this experience following this logic. I still maintain this conclusion; yet, the ways that brought me here, to this sense of indeterminacy, do not come from the negative feeling, prevailing in intellectual-hipsterland, that all work has lost its meaning because of the age of mechanical reproduction, because art has been absorbed by this logic too, for we make copies of readymades and fail to locate any truth, that truth is a lie, a lie because it is not there, and it never was there, and we are sad, deceived, self-importantly expecting more from this world, and our parents, and the institutions, and the job market...meanwhile all that we feel loses its meaning because PC culture is preventing us from exploring our true or perceived emotions, pornography is controlling and exasperating the ways in which we experience sexuality, news are burning our capacity to assess, twitter is substituting the struggle for democracy, and facebook is deteriorating the quality of our relationships, and iphones are sucking up the faculties of our imagination, we are dumber, slower, removed from nature, schizophrenically consuming anti-capitalism...; nothing of that, fortunately, for that is unhelpful. I cannot describe where I am; there is a transformation in action that belongs to humanity at large, devoid of socially constituted logics. I hope not to be able to describe what that is.Back to Contents
Masterclown! Am I really pretending or misplacing real emotions?
I type faster than I can think, and my illusions are certified. It rains hard in Stamps, city of a million seasons and mosquitos, visibly punctuating our psychic pains onto our bodies. The Masterclown is inimitable in his capacity to be wise and to simultaneously mock wisdom. And the more we repeat a word the more it loses its meaning; and yet that word does not lose its relevance in our everyday, forgetful state of human beings. As to say, wisdom is empty, and yet we need it.
I have desired most zealously to wipe away my faulty thinking, made of scribbled lines joining adjacent concepts (a way to kill boredom, to exorcise it) and now that I have the teachings of Don Masterclown (for I have become bored with avoiding boredom itself) I resist, I resist, for resistance only desires itself and its stillness, groomed through centuries of escapism and danger. It gets lonely when there is enough time to reflect on our reflection. But why am I thinking that self-healing is after all a way to save the planet.Back to Contents
It’s all high, so high, and probably love will all wash us up onto some adult shore, who knows. The roofs of Stamps are like gigantic umbrellas now that the sky is wider than it has ever been; and I want to grow, expand, like these trees, and a little voice in my head tells me that all expansion imposes a contraction.
There are strikes every day, every day trying to be away from Stamps, its women gesticulating, hands like chimneys made of cigarettes, their dyed hair and mild alcoholism, Stamps' air made of forget-me-not, as we start to see the finish line, the end of this much-a-do-for-nothing, us, internationally unknown, trying to explain over wine what millennia of human analysis have tried to consistently and unsuccessfully wipe away, this feeling of profound solitude carefully hidden behind every weekend at the bar; some see solitude as a reason to despair, others to rejoice, as freedom, a permission to dance.
Or again, this city of Stamps that provides unexpected answers to questions never asked, and this house under a bed of bamboo roots, ready to be propelled into the sky, to invade satellites and block low-budget travelers mid air, or to fleetingly entertain the few ones looking out into the clouds from their seat, wondering how they got so high up and why don't they stay there more often: yes, a flying home, a spurious concept and a fine image.
There is not so much I can now say about the Masterclown. The more I try to look for a way to verbalize what truly goes on in the school, the more I find this task daunting, useless and pompous. There are new memories I store in the form of energy, as if memories to be evoked not to be told, but to be used as fuel. The Masterclown drinks beer.Back to Contents
I jumped ’n the stage of Stamps, confused by the invading ivies climbing up the kitchen, intoxicated by my own incapable stillness, deranged, feigning purity and imagining the way I am when I sleep.
Nature expands, it moves faster than all I can see, rivers of streets appear to me in the deep deep night until their shape melts with the walls and I have nothing to worry, the sight is clear, and dark, as light and shade have the same shape.Back to Contents
The problem of being transparent: “when you become transparent, then we do not know who we are talking to. You stop existing! It’s a big problem in the world”.Back to Contents
“You start with theatre, and you lose your charm. You are beautiful when you are who you are, and when you get on stage we hate you! So you have to start with yourself, with your charm, with your beauty"
Ah, beauty, sane beauty! I like to act, but where is the limit between impulse and self-containment?
¿Qué es la vida? Un frenesí.
¿Qué es la vida? Una ilusión,
una sombra, una ficción,
y el mayor bien es pequeño;
que toda la vida es sueño,
y los sueños, sueños son.
Back to Contents
“You have to be funny, which means that the audience laughs”.
It’s the last module of the year and the Masterclown is finally teaching clown. Hordes of students stream in from all four corners of the world to have the pleasure of being insulted. The Masterclown is an uncontainable river of information, spilling an spouting aphorisms, maxims, lapidary comments, half-truths and unbaked concepts; we are left munching on these assertions through the heat of Stamps, the air-con on, trepidation and smelly feet.
“You are allowed to flop but you are not allowed not to save it. Smile and pretend you have no problem”. But it is a parade of humiliation, and the teaching of Don Masterclown make complete sense, comes at a full circle.
Meanwhile, a new government has sworn in Italy, governments are like flops, year by year. Smile and pretend like you have no problem, like a politician. It is the unmasking of self-confidence. Flop is the enemy of an actor, but the friend of a clown. “The clown is never sad, he thinks, 'surely tough audience tonight, but we are going to make it’”. The master clown sentences: “You don’t criticise yourself, you stay artist! Do not mention your flop, you are never ashamed!” “The audience is the fuel of your act. You love the audience. You do something really bad and you are proud, like a child who makes a big poo and shows it to his parents, even Freud wrote this in his book”.
“Clown is never bad! The spectator is bad! You are always right! And yet you come on stage as a bad student”.Back to Contents
There is a lightning far away inside some reluctant clouds of the sprawl of Stamps. I look out and think that life is a never-ending stream of rehearsals. I get a whiff of how this house smelled in the winter, precarious and squeaky, century-old wooden boards, dinners, rivers of wine, complicit looks and doubtful smiles. There is boredom and nostalgia in the air; as humans, we'd do anything not to focus on the present. School is ending and love is unending. "One year here will change your life" recites the Masterclown's website, that old website with the sound of a rooster when opening the webpage. We dreamt around this shaky website, gazing into the badly translated English and its impeccably flowery French on its side; like the Masterclown's reading when slowly reaching for the books he absorbs so rapidly.
School is ending, and love continues. This love for clown that stems out of the Masterclown's involvement and from Carlo, the impersonator of himself, who is adding speed and gusto to his exercises. "When we laugh, your clown is close to your body. When we are not, it's far from you. He finds you boring."
We have traversed all of the seasons to return to square one, to receive an imaginary testimony. From observing the second year Clowns to getting a taste of a possible future in Clowns. I might be sounding pompous but nice today, but Stamps is not just a city for shits and giggles.Back to Contents
Line up! For the Masterclown is choosing our costumes. Trumpeting sounds, expectation, delusion, riddles. The all-seeing Masterclown, the mirror of our pre-adolescence, is here to proclaim a tassel of our past, present and future. Venghino, signori, venghino! Get in line to discover your clown!
For many this is the long-awaited time to be given a material blessing, a clear statement, a direction, an essentiality! The Masterclown dictates the rhythm of our failures to unleash our potential success, and this goes through us having to visit a costume shop. Shocking is the ritualism of the Masterclown, for the unbelievably believable two-hour extravaganza is a-critically embraced by the student body, relishing in the catwalk of a quasi-freudian process of oracular clarity. Nobody seems to question for a second the Masterclown’s crystal ball. Could I suspect that the prior 28 weeks of study prepared us to this very moment of willing suspension of disbelief? For the cure to work, one has to believe the doctor.Back to Contents
HA! NO ENTRY!Back to Contents
The school is a school; it's an internationally unknown school. But what does that mean? I will explain. It means that in it, we understand its learning value; but outside of it, in the moments of placid contemplation, or of social anxiety, we do not see it as a school. We, or I, more specifically, see it as an experiment, a test, a lone road traversed within a community. Everybody goes through changes, stillness, decay. This tricks us. It tricks me. A cycle for us, for me, as used as I am to a didactic based on a beginning and an ending, from prehistory to AI, means that the entirety of a school education is based on a dialectic, Hegelian, wanky; from A to B down till Z. As if history could be "read", understood as the necessary conditions which brought us to the present moment. A Europeanism. Instead, the school of the Masterclown tricks us, or me. All the tools are laid down in week one. The same tools repeat in week 30. In between, we could say, or I could say, is a rhizome, horizontal, running alongside us, academically incorrect, and yet one of the biggest and most significant images to dismantle our, or my, notions of growth, discovery, hierarchy, didactic, rules, commonality, competition, solitude. It is a sort of revolutionary pedagogy, the "show don't tell" of schools, a place where wankers go to rehab and generally don't change, but learn how to stay the same in pleasure, in charm, in "creative self-sabotage". The Masterclown is a wanker. That is why he knows wankers, and relishes in their confusion when they are called out. The Masterclown is Confucius, and that is why he does not like Buddhism. The Masterclown is boring, and that is why he has no time to waste with boring people. So the trick goes on, there is no need to feel in top of things.
Stamps disappears into the forests and trains. We, or I, could say that Stamps is everywhere. That Paris is an imaginary city subordinate to Stamps, one of the million receiving ends of the filaments extending from Stamps, where we dream, where I dream so well, in dreams, in nightmares, in cauchemars, where attraction and repulsion exist together. There is no escape, and that frees as much as it entraps. Lesson is, to live on the edge, comfortably in discomfort; pleasure is this: the surprise coming from realizing that we have never lost ourselves, and that when we were, we were making it up. Pleasure is that untenable knowledge that exists beyond reach: it is uplifting, it is sublime. Technically, it is the most wanted object of desire: the state of bliss deriving from deliverance; it is both the philosopher's wet dream and its arch-enemy, for pleasure dismantles centuries of Plato's caves, it could wipe away everything that is and will ever be written. Pleasure is a state of the body that refuses to be written. And for that reason, wankers will always be running free, looking for prisons.Back to Contents
From Libya come the enemies on uncertainly fluttering boats; the Masterclown coughs. Tomorrow leaders of USA and North Korea meet in Singapore for the first time in history, and Stamps breathes clean air and medium showers. The new moon in Gemini seduces us into looking for our twin. The internationally unknown school ends when we approach the summer solstice. Time is both inexorably fast and tremendously still. For nothing seems to happen whilst waiting for the end, and the experience of waiting together eventually cements whatever it is that the year brought. The Masterclown knows all this, and he does not need to care; maybe his hunchback curved of an extra centimetre this year? That would be eventful.
The Canadian G7 was deleted with a tweet, and in a way there are reasons to be happy about it. Sometimes, the most needed actions come from the least desirable figures. The establishment seems to have lost its own capacity to renew itself; stiffness can only bring fracture, and before that a good deal of frustration in the onlookers.
In Masterclownese, breakthrough comes with a discovery. But some breakthroughs are just changes beyond good and evil. Or maybe one should look at politics through the eyes of life: change is inescapable. So in a way, the very focus on what is good, the steering towards a communal good, is enough to wipe away any claim that meaninglessness rules all living forms.Back to Contents
Middle-June in Stamps can sometimes look like a fetid November, a mixture of bruillard and water canes summarily washing an empty market square. Frenchmen in aprons frying meat, listening to American-sounding music, epic riffs and eloquent notes, ignorant of centuries of musical notation, and blissfully so. Stamps lives, it carries on, it hides and reappears, like a dragon in the squirming streams at a Chinese new year celebrations. But what do I know? Stamps exists only in retrospect. The intrepid Masterclown and his right-arm, Carlo the impersonator of himself, whip and carrot, usher first years into the second, and draw to second years the curtains open to the far too meaningful world outside, a fanfare of mistras know-it-all trumpeting their successes at things they never attempted. It is hard to distinguish shit from chocolate. Maybe the internationally unknown school is the final incarnation of that perennial doubt. Was it fluff, or just the way we want life to be? I should abandon any impetus to explain, and yet I try. Ha! Imagine all those people expecting to read about what actually happens at the internationally unknown school!Back to Contents
Some days the effort of these accounts seem pathetic and worthless because implying the pretentiousness of understanding. I do have issues with desiring conclusions ASAP, so to rest my mind and proclaim a job done. The Masterclown's ways are better understood in their mysterious nature, grazed, not held, "narrated by a fool, signifying nothing", and yet I try, seldom aware of my failure, and perhaps all is fine like this.
"I never say you have to be good. I say that you must have pleasure, that you must be beautiful, that you have to try to be beautiful, and never I say it is bad to be bad. Whatever you are, an actor, a writer, a director, have the pleasure that helps you walking down the street. Even if you are in a crisis, it is beautiful to be in a crisis, it shows that you are alive." Oh yea, I did think of connecting this thought to our crisis, this eternal state of emergency that envelops the self-hating Western world, the only one I know; yet, nobody has ever told me to identify with it. Pleasure and beauty maybe are the strength to walk down one's path independently of grand narratives, serenely accepting the environment, and gently playing with it, like children of all cultures and eras have always done.Back to Contents
It's Carlo day, and we are really not that interested. So I will speak of the Masterclown. The smile of a clown is really not like the smile of somebody who wants to be liked, it is the smile of somebody who is liked because of the pointless confidence of his smile.
Memories have begun to fall from the sky beyond the unfriendly bruillard of middle-June, the unfathomable destiny of the students of the internationally unknown school, cove of dreams, lingers, suspended, a minizeitgeist, the long sunsets, the silent cigarettes burning in the night, the flashbacks to fallwinterspring, last minute decisions, don't look back, neon lights in the student kitchen, unwashed plates, cellophane and bags, bins filled with trash and forgotten clothes, the smell of Stamps, our glory and our curse, finitude and the need to bow, receive the applause and turn away to throw it all away and to start again.Back to Contents
The finest expression of the Masterclown's teachings in clown might be today's exercise in which clowns participate to a grimace competition. It is one of his hardest, for it demands to show chldlike fun though a simple task under a coating of adult desire and pressure to be funny.
It is an exercise in grasping time that flows like a river that we know too well. Like planets moving faster on their trajectory when approaching their star, time ravages and consumes me, I feel it eating me inside, this big box, my hands trembling, the sounds of voices in the night, the steps on the squeaky wooden slates of centuries ago; Stamps, its pointlessness and its minuscule paths through the woods, our footsteps, alone, and together, conversing about the Masterclown, as if unaware of the spade of time hanging over head; the silly ducks, the black swans, the pond, unvisited restaurants waiting for the extras. To list the overflowing bag of charms of Stamps, of the internationally unknown school, makes no sense. It's a charade, a pantomime, the most useful place of life; we are in love.Back to Contents
Clowns come at the end because they reduce the Masterclown's ways to the essence, the essential trickery of love: to play forever as if the world had never been real. I came into the internationally unknown school as a young man who thought it useful to analyze its workings, its pedagogy, its halo of mystery. I sometimes found it useful to find respite from my restless mind, my incapacity to live fully committed to the present; I found it useful to distance myself from it, to resist to its ways, untrusting of its trumpeting of love. I have never been this close to such manifestations of love. Only as a child, at school, I felt the meaning of a year coming to a close, the awareness that cycles truly end, that memories are the result of lived life.
"When I stop being nasty, I'll die"Back to Contents
The tr(i/a)p is nearly over. We feel we are nearly back to square one. To perform the most ridiculous tasks is quite a feat. I know how to do it. I just don't know how to show it. Something appears from pleasure, from a face in pleasure, because "it is not just a face! It is both the inside and the outside!"
As a teen, I used to romanticise the end of the school; so I do today. However when I was a teen I was a virgin and shy and all of my sentiments of love could not be expressed through the joyful carnal encounter with a loved one.
The Masterclown oozes love out of all of the pores of his nose and sometimes it feels like we are characters in his dream of love he is dreaming for himself; a terrifying thought for the supporters of free will and football on Sundays. Carlo the impersonator of himself is another a vehicle of love, and my love is both ephemeral and there to stay; I feel my love as if she was in the stratosphere, so excessive, so big; everybody has exploded, or I might be projecting, yet I see the carelessness and abandon that comes with the vicinity to the final frontier; but blockage and doubt emerge too, caught in a trap. These days hide the potency to destroy and rebuild.
Nobody seems to be able to take it anymore, bodies falling apart; yet the adventure of the present moment whispers to us through the open shutters of Stamps, the long goodbyes, the end of blossoms, holding everything together until the final hour. I am presently going through the repetition of some past trauma I am terrified to re-live, and that is why I have to be valiant until the very end. The Masterclown creates a sect of free people who have to go through a process of soul opening only the greats are dedicated to doing.
Whilst looking at Carlo, the impersonator of himself, his relaxed jaw and his observing eyes, I see why we become attracted to love; love carries with itself a naturalness, a simplicity that is disarming, and once surrendered to the honesty of this way, we fall in love. But honesty is not the opposite of lie. Honesty and lies coexist in love; we love a good lie, a complicit look, a lie so good that we see it and yet we choose to believe it, because it is after all an expression of love. God wasn't this thought good.
Clown is the great equalizer. It does not really need anything but the most valuable thing you have got. Yer SOUL.Back to Contents
I just want to say what I cannot say. I cannot say how much I have learned to love. I cannot say how many nights I feared and desired this place. I cannot express the solitude that can envelop me here, and the joyful and overwhelmed feeling of understanding nothing of what is going on. I do not understand it, and I pretend like I do.
Before, I felt ashamed for not looking for my liberation earlier. As I grow under the silent supervision of the Masterclown, I saw myself young, doubting all systems, then falling pray of the fear of the ages. I accept my solitude, and my need to love, my need to liberate myself from this old life, that I drag behind me. My mind is a clutter of memories of love, and solitude, and unachievable promises of bliss; of desires to move on, of lightness, of distant travels, of balancing this itch to my heart with carelessness, running free without chastising myself for not being whatever image I pretended I could be. To liberate my soul from the illusion of uniqueness, from the ravaging ego, wanting to be still, immobile, an understandable figurine. I want to be light, and I want to be real. I want to give all there is to give and to expect nothing but my giving. I want to do it as a human being. Not as an advert, not as a promoter of whatever good I think I can sell. What is life after the Masterclown? You might think I have gone crazy. We all have. We always were crazy. Life is a trip, the Masterclown is the chaffeur. Through Stamps, I have explored dusty corners of my soul and the only truth is that truth is shared. With the world, with the public, with a lover, with a tree, with the leaves of Stamps. We'll run away and make other things. This week is a lion chewing on us slowly, its power immense, unveiling lies, cementing what has to stay, offering questions forever. I am at a hightened state of awareness in which laughter and tears even themselves out. My heart aches, because it is slower than time. Things die. It all dies, and returns, wiped away from memory, the memory that through people returns as extended mind. I trust what is happening, because it is too late to worry, or to be sad. Yes, it is hard. It breaks our hearts, to leave, to say goodbye to our everpresent, to leave habits, to acquire new ones; and the easiest thing could be to pretend that it never happened, but the Masterclown will not let you. It is not easy anymore, to bury ourselves under a pile of crappy excuses. I am small, sentimental, hopeless; and I am big, charming, resourceful. All those good times we had. All these good times we'll have.Back to Contents
The strength of the Masterclown is to make us fall in love even with the shitty city of Stamps. There is no reason to worry we might be lost, because we are, and all of this was about accepting it and make it into a profession. Freedom is freedom beyond freedom, OK?
It's all over and at the Stamps train station gusts of wind smell of sand. It might come from the dune, it might come from the sea, which does not feel so distant today. Nothing seems to have happened. It is very uneventful out here, in Stamps, the gargoyle of Essonne. Insights disappear, making way to unknown certainty. The Earth has just collided with the Sun, exploding into summer. We could not wait to say goodbye. For many already the veil seems to have lifted. Flixbuses emerge through the yellow fields, the grass now too high to be walked through, like in April or March, when we used to have time to breathe our days out onto the nature. The Masterclown was given a new drum as a present. It was about time, the old one scorched through tireless insults. Knowing the Masterclown's lack of sentimentality, there might be the attempt at denying bourgeois pride behind the insistence on using tired and replaceable objects. So it is not clear whether he'll use the new drum.