Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting
About the Book
In his introduction, Christopher Bayes describes the pursuit of the clown as the search for "the authentic, playful self and its unique relationship to the comic world." An essential read for performers of all kinds, this text takes a deep dive into theatre, physical expression, and the limitless possibilities of the comic performance. This unique glimpse into the whimsical world of clowning includes helpful guides for movement, vocal exercise, and helping the "big stupid" in you find its full potential. Through the exploration of sound and gesture, Discovering the Clown, or The Funny Book of Good Acting expands the boundaries of typical performance, and promises to unleash the clown within any performer.
Everybody has a clown in them. Thousands of characters can come from that clown. It's the playful self, the unsocialized self, the naïve self. It's the big stupid who just wants to have some fun with the audience.
Christopher Bayes runs The Funny School of Good Acting in Brooklyn, NY. He has taught programs at Juilliard, the Actor's Center, the Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab, the Academy of Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theater, NYU, and Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently Professor and Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama. His honors include a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study Grant and both a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant and a Career Opportunity Grant. He is a 1999/2000 Fox Fellow.
Virginia Scott specializes in developing, devising, and staging collaboratively created and physically oriented pieces for the theatre and the training of actors for this pursuit. Her work has been seen in New York at UCB, Ars Nova, 59E59, The Barrow Group Theatre, and the International Clown Festival. Virginia has taught Clown in New York at the Actor's Center, the Michael Howard Studios, CAP 21 and the Glass Contraption Clown Theatre Company. Virginia works closely with Christopher Bayes and is one of only a handful of teachers certified to teach his clown technique.
About the Book
In New York, he has directed Red Noses by Peter Barnes, Four by Feydeau, The Bourgeois Gentleman, The Moliere One Acts, and The Love of Three Oranges by Carlo Gozzi at the Juilliard School; The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere, The New Place by Carlo Goldoni, We Won’t Pay... by Dario Fo, and his new adaptation of Moliere’s The Reluctant Doctor of Love for New York University’s Graduate Acting Program; The Raven by Carlo Gozzi at NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing; Ubu Roi at both NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing and Fordham University; and Timeslips at HERE.
Additionally, he has staged several original works including Wreckage at P.S. 122, The Big Day (a clown show) and The Fiasco Bro. Circus at the Juilliard School, Zibaldoné at HERE and the Present Company Theatorium, The Fools/Los Locos Del Pueblo at Touchstone Theater, Necromance, A Night of Conjuration at Dixon Place, Clowns at the New York International Clown Festival and The Public Theater and Even Maybe Tammy at The Flea.
Outside of New York, his directing credits include Servant of Two Masters (Yale Rep, Shakespeare Theater, Guthrie Theater, Arts-Emerson and Seattle Rep) Doctor In Spite of Himself (Intiman Theater, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep) Accidental Death of an Anarchist ( Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep), co-production of Scapin at the Intiman Theater in Seattle and Court Theater in Chicago, Comedy of Errors at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Len Jenkin’s new adaptation of The Birds at Yale Repertory Theater, Endgame at Court Theater, The Moliere Impromptu at Trinity Repertory Theater.
He was part of the creative team for the Broadway and Touring productions of THE 39 STEPS for which he created additional movement and served as Movement Director. He also created the Movement/Choreography for John Guare's Three Kinds of Exile at The Atlantic Theater.
He has received numerous awards and grants including a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study Grant, a General Mills Foundation Artist Assistance Grant, and both a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant and a Career Opportunity Grant. He is a 1999/2000 Fox Fellow.
He has taught classes and workshops internationally at Cirque Du Soliel, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Big Apple Circus, Interlochen Arts Center, Vassar College, Stella Adler Conservatory, Bard College, Fordham University, University of Texas Graduate Acting and Directing Programs, National Shakespeare Conservatory, University of Minnesota Graduate Acting Program, the Guthrie Theater, Iowa State University and Theater de la Jeune Lune.
He has served on the faculty of the Juilliard Drama School, the Actor's Center (founding faculty & master teacher of physical comedy/clown), Yale School of Drama, the Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab, the Academy of Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington D.C., New York University's Graduate Acting Program and Tisch School of the Arts. His most recent position was that of Clinical Professor of Theater, Speech and Dance at Brown University and Director of Movement and Physical Theater at the Brown/Trinity Consortium in Providence, RI. In 2006, however, he threw caution to the wind, packed up his family and all of his nonsense and headed back to New York City. He is currently Professor and Head of Physical Acting at the Yale School of Drama.