How not to hide from humanity (Sorry Martha Nussbaum)

This post was written by Allan MacNeil graduate of the Disability Studies program.

Allan MacNeil at his clown show, "The exorcism of Rob Ford"

Photograph of Allan MacNeil and a woman holding hand puppets

“In nature a repulsive caterpillar turns into a lovely butterfly, but with human beings, it is the other way around: a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar.” Anton Chekhov.

Clowning, Jeu and Boufoon are forms of theatre for the 98% and acts as a rediscovery of how to speak your truth, play mentally and physically and chip away psycho-social rigidity with in society. However, rigidity is still often found in fluff or precious theatres sought out by by 2% of society. Cliche, mask, rigidity and arrogance of power are taught to medical professionals. My experiences in theatre and psychotherapeutic education have lead to stripping away cliche layers and masks. My experience includes working with social service providers with clients having to go through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) etc.

My love of personal clown was reborn after graduating from Ryerson University, School of Disability Studies. I also graduated from George Brown College and Psychotherapy with the Gestalt Institute of Toronto. These disciplines have a unique way of leaving you with a raised consciousness and removal of societal cliche layers and masks.

Last year I had cancer, before I went for chemotherapy I was very tired. This per-cancer condition ended my case manager position. Chemotherapy sessions were successful and ended in August 2013 at PMH. Since then I take work where I can get it. I have also taught acting, clown, scene study, improv, mask and Commedia del Arte in Toronto. In May 2014 I performed at the Toronto Festival of Clowns. I volunteered as a facilitator/Instructor with Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto. If you want to really get past your cliche layer and remove a mask, explore your personal clown. My experiences includes annual educational counseling and psychotherapy. Motivational Interviewing, CAMH. Harm Reduction, CAMH. Methadone Maintenance Therapy Counselling, CAMH. My experiences and education have lead to a stripping away of the cliche layers and masks. CAMH Outreach, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Graduate four year Psychotherapy Training, Gestalt Institute of Toronto, 2001-2005 Graduate four year B. A. Ryerson University School of Disability Studies, Toronto. 2005-2009. Graduate two year Diploma, Mental Health & Addictions, George Brown College. 1995-1997. Annual educational Counseling/Psychotherapy Training. Motivational Interviewing Training, CAMH. Harm Reduction Training, CAMH. Methadone Maintenance Therapy Counsellor Training, CAMH.

My experiences and education have lead to a stripping away of cliche layers and masks. I have also been immersed in theatre for close to 30 years. I have investigated the process of physical theatre and has experience as director, teaching acting, mime, mask, Commedia dell’ Arte, personal clown, monologues, scene study, audition classes, movement and improvisation. Studied theatre  in the European Traditional Mime/Clown Lecoq pedagogy. Suzuki Method Actor Training with Marcos Martinez – California. Neutral Mask Workshop with Paolo Coletto-Chicago School of Physical Theatre. Native/European Clown/Mask Workshop with Richard Pochinko. Circus Academy Circus Arts, Toronto Clown, Buffoon, Vaudeville, Slapstick and Commedia dell Arte. Actors Ensemble Workshop with Ravi Jain of Why Not Theatre and Adam Paolozza of TheatreRUN Toronto. Mike Petersen, Mouth Puppet Workshop at Puppet Mongers, Toronto. Ryerson University Theatre Act Two Studio, Boston Arts Group Acting Training, Boston,  Ron Jenkins Mask, Boston, Trent Arterberry, Mime Boston New England Mime Theatre Mime and Mask, Boston. Canadian Mime Theatre School Mask, Clown, and Commedia dell Arte. Jeu and Boufoon Workshop with Adam Lazarus. Directorial credits include: Bonjour La Bonjour, Hedda Gabler, And Never Said a Word, Doctor’s Dilemma, Man, In the Jungle of Cities, Antigone, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mother Courage and her Children, The Jewish Wife, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, On the Harmfulness of Tobacco, Doctor Faustus, No Exit, The Wall, Death of a Salesman, Glen Garry Glen Ross, Macbeth, Betrayal, Come and Go, Act Without Words 11, America Hurrarh, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and The Ecstasy of Rita Joe.

Find your own uniqueness through your personal clown experience. Discover personal awareness of being present with your personal clown and how your clown interacts with the other and how the other interacts with you. Personal personal growth and development experiences and education includes my experience with Ryerson University, School of Disability Studies, Case Management, Psychotherapy and Personal Clown, have all been part of a process and stripping away cliche and masks perpetrated in society.


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