I’ve been re-reading the book The Clown Manifesto.
It’s a wonderful little tome (can you have a little tome?) about how to reliably create clown shows. As I’m creating a clown show right now, it made sense to revisit it.
It’s filled with nuggets of great advice. Unlike chicken nuggets, I never get bored of nuggets of clowning advice…
… though, just like chicken nuggets, you can consume too many advice nuggets in one sitting and it all becomes too much!
A great bit of advice was, “Intelligence is difficult to play.”
By that, Nalle Laanela (that’s the author) means it’s hard to come across as intelligent (or dumb) by trying to “act” in a particular way.
Intelligence is invisible. If I say to you “walk over that room in an intelligent way”, you’ll look at me like I’m an idiot.
How are you supposed to walk in an intelligent way? Walk while reading a book? That seems like a stupid thing to do.
As Laanela says “Ideas can come from the head, but need to land in the body.”
I try to explain this to performers and speakers all the time. Some of them get it, many of them don’t.
Most of us are far too “intellectual” in how we operate in the world. We approach problems with an attitude of “What do I need to THINK to be able to do this particular thing correctly?”
But thinking is the source of most of our problems. You can’t think your way out of a hole.
We have to FEEL and MOVE if we want to be able to operate in this world.
Every time I’ve learned to stop thinking about something, I have gotten better at it. Most of the times I have tried to think my way out of a problem, I’ve ended up miserable and unsuccessful.
There’s really no secret to it. Just stop thinking so much!
And if you want to come across as “intelligent”… the last thing you should do is try to appear intelligent.