For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
Display screen shot 2016 04 29 at 7.47.18 am
Apr 29 2016
by Jaclyn Imai

An Open Letter to My Clown Class Teacher

By Jaclyn Imai - Apr 29 2016

To my clown professor, 

I didn't know your class was a clown class. None of us did. When the label on the course is, "Advanced Movement Through Improvisation," it sounded a lot cooler than, "Clowning." 

And yeah, when we played Red Light Green Light to warm up for class and to focus on spatial awareness, my parents both said, "This is what we're paying $60,000 a year for?" (jokingly...for the most part). I'm pretty sure the seniors weren't excited because they thought this class would be an easy A.

But I love the way you teach. Maybe it's because you're from the UK so grades aren't nearly as important. The way you taught us put the emphasis on learning and fun. Not just, "Oh, let's put on a red nose and be funny."

Clown is about pleasure to be, with whatever given circumstances you have or whomever you have to work with. It's about working with mistakes and making then your strengths. Clown is about using your imagination to break down the limitations of your associations. I've seen a tie become a trumpet, a box turn into a washing machine, and a scarf turn into a really poor hula hoop. The possibilities are endless in clown.

I learned to let things go (*and cue the Frozen throwbacks; I'm sorry I went there). You have to embrace your mistakes, physically and in character in clown. One of the first things you taught me was that failure reveals the most about your character. You can ignore it, be in denial, be upset about it or laugh it off and move on. The last option of that list seems pretty good. Once can still be competitive, but have fun with the game that is life, and forgive yourself. 

Thank you so much for the better actor and better person that you've made me. I can't wait for your future students to see that, too.


The saddest, sassiest clown you have this semester.

Lead Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons // Chubstock

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Jaclyn Imai - University of Southern California

Jaclyn Imai is a freshman Theatre Acting major from the University of Southern California with intended minors in communication and cinematic arts. She has has written comedic and dramatic pieces for theater in high school. She loves food, trying new things and traveling anywhere, even if that "anywhere" is just walking ten minutes to get more food. She hopes people enjoy her sassy writing, and that her serious writing makes people think.

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