“The function of the buffoon has always been therapeutic. It’s a therapy for power. From ancient times, the buffoon was used to parody power and so prevent it from acquiring divine airs. There is therefore a hygienic aspect to play-acting, whether the person doing it is called a buffoon, a clown or an actor. ”
– Albert Boadella
I’m a member of the Sydney Clown Doctor team for The Humour Foundation, a charity dedicated to promoting the health benefits of humour. We laugh at disease, not the medics. Humour is a loaded gun; it works best when you aim it at yourself.
We deliver doses of laughter to help relieve fear & stress for very sick kids & elderly patients. In over 15 hospitals & nursing homes, I’ve made kids & families laugh in ICU, wards & emergency departments. We also visit Bear Cottage, a beautiful palliative & respite care centre for kids.
I am lucky to have a day job that gives me a chance to give back to my community and remind me what is important in life. What I’ve learned from working with very sick children is that laughter, hugs and joy are what humans need every day. No matter what religion or nationality, we all want a happy, healthy family.
I featured in Laughter is the Best Medicine, a book by the co-founder of the Clown Doctors. I worked closely with the author on stories that give an insight into our work. I was also involved in a study involving dementia patient care conducted by UNSW. The Sydney Multisite Intervention of LaughterBosses & ElderClowns (SMILE) pilot study assessed the feasibility of conducting humour therapy intervention at aged care sites.
My greatest teachers have been the clowns & kids I‘ve worked with over the years. Often seen as the cheap end of the entertainment market, I regard my work as a fool as some of the best performance experiences of my career.