Eccentric Principles

The Eccentric Principles are also available in Catalan, Finnish, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish.

  1. Clown’s job is to make the audience feel things, and to get the audience to breathe.
  2. Everyone inhales, but many of us need to be reminded to exhale.
  3. The imagination and the brain are connected to and affect the body. Any change in the mind has a corresponding change in the body. Any change in the body (i.e. in the breath first) has a corresponding change in the mind.
  4. Don’t tell or show the audience what to think, do, or feel.
  5. Don’t tell or show your partners what to think, do, or feel. Don’t point.
  6. Weight belongs on the underside. Keep a single point in your lower abdomen. Keep your energy flowing.
  7. Tension is your enemy. It produces emotional, mental and physical numbness.
  8. How you feel about your performance is what counts, not whether it is in reality good or bad.
  9. The clown discovers an audience who are sitting in rows and looking at an empty space and waiting for a show. This must be dealt with first, by establishing complicity with the audience.
  10. The clown creates a world in the empty space, rather than entering into a world that already exists (sketch).
  11. Use mime to create fantasy, not to re-create reality.
  12. The clown searches to create a game and to define the rules, which then must be obeyed.
  13. Don’t ask or tell the audience how they feel or think. Have an emotional experience and invite the audience to join in your reaction.
  14. Be interested, not interesting.
  15. When you are interested in everythng, everything eventually becomes interesting. —Thanks to Zainul Abidin for this corollary.
  16. Everyone must to breathe all the time, even when on stage.
  17. The clown enters the stage to do a job, not to get laughs. If there are laughs, it is an interruption that must be dealt with.