Warm ups and cool downs at clown performances – how and why
One of the basics about clown performances that often bet overlooked is the need for warm-up exercises beforehand and cool down exercises afterward. Athletes know about the need for both warm up and cool down exercises – and we don’t typically think of ourselves as athletes, but a clown performance can be just as physically demanding. When clowning, we tend to use muscles that we forgot that we had — and those muscles tend to remind us of that fact afterwards. In addition, there tends to be a lot of bending, stooping down to the children’s height, etc. — and if our muscles aren’t ready for that, they’ll hurt afterward.
In order to prevent that, we need to do warm up exercises before we clown, and the same muscle-loosening exercises after, in order to cool down. Basics include standing upright, feet apart, and stretching your arms above your head, bringing them down to shoulder height (making a ‘T’ shape), rolling your neck around, bending at the hips and again rotating your torso around in a circle, bending at the knees, etc. If you’ve somehow managed to get past Physical Education in high school without learning how to do warm up exercises, you can read all about it at How Stuff Works.
Something that we tend to forget is the need to again loosen those same muscles after a performance – the cool down exercises. Fail to do that, and your muscles will lock up just like mine did yesterday. As Ben Franklin is purported to have said, you have to learn from the mistakes of others, since you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.