Currently the clown coach for Cirque du Soleil's 8 resident shows in Las Vegas and Orlando, Shannan Calcutt is one of the world's leading instructors in clown, creativity and devising theatre. She has conducted workshops throughout Canada, Australia, Europe and the United States.
Celebrate Your Ridiculousness!
It's time to risk being seen in all your glory! Come explore the world of play; live in the moment - and react in the moment; follow your impulses; think on the outside; connect with your audience; learn when to exit - always a good thing; improvise from your heart; play at the height of emotions - more, more, more; reveal your vulnerability; discover why something's funny - or not; take big risks; flaunt your faults; laugh in failures face; experience the power of the ensemble; create honest and engaging performances. Most of all, experience the freedom & joy that comes from embracing and celebrating your ridiculousness!
I’m With Stupid: Clown Duos
When we think of our favorite comedy duos, they’re all made up of a Boss & his (her) ever devoted Idiot Sidekick: George and Gracie, Lucy and Ricardo, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, The Smothers Brothers, French and Sanders, and so on…
In this class you’ll play both roles: The Boss who thinks she knows best, has extraordinary confidence, immense knowledge, gives constant orders, lives to delegate & loves to be worshiped. And the Idiot Sidekick, who aims to please, follows every impulse, worships his boss, is vulnerable, plays with innocence, is easily manipulated, easily distracted & takes everything at face value.
While you might find you have more fun in one role versus the other, ultimately you’ll discover that your personal clown embodies both roles, as within all of us is the leader & follower, the planner & the impulsive, the thinker & the idiot. Come Make a Fool of Your Self – and Enjoy it!
Photos by Ginger G Photography.
Make ‘em Laugh: The Art of Creating an Act
Internationally recognized companies such as Cirque du Soliel, Spiegelworld, La Soiree, Teatro Zinzanni and Circus Oz, all seek the same thing – memorable clowns with polished, hilarious and engaging comic acts! It’s a common mistake for an artist to design a comic act before they’ve discovered their clown or character. As a result, the act often isn’t engaging or funny at all. A clown should always be more interesting then her material. We remember Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett for their characters more than their sketches. We tuned in every week to see what crazy thing they’d be doing next! In “Make ‘em Laugh: The Art of Creating an Act,” you’ll be coached in improvisation to create a solo, duo or trio act suitable for your personal clown. You can come with an idea or nothing. Either way, be prepared to sink or swim! As a clown cannot exist without an audience, this workshop will culminate with a public performance. You'll present your act(s) in a fun and safe playground that promotes risk and creativity. Every comedian I know that works consistently in the industry does so because they’ve devised their own material. Whether you tour your solo show, or get cast on a new creation, it’s an incredible vehicle for exposure and growth. I look forward to directing you and will encourage feedback from our ensemble. In addition to growing as a performer, this provides an opportunity for you to further develop your skills as writers and directors as well.
Mask: Neutral and Character, and Clown – Oh My!
Creativity, innovation, and the need for inspiration and personal growth apply to all of us. This workshop has been a catalyst for creative awakening for people in all walks of life & professions. In this 3 week intensive each student will identify their own creative process through the exploration of the neutral mask, character mask & finally the smallest mask, the clown nose. This class provides a unique opportunity for students to discover their personal clown, through mask. In this class each student will:
Cirque du Soleil | Crazy Horse Paris | MGM | Vegas Theatre Hub | Vegas International Variety Act Festival (Viva Fest) | Red Bulls High Dive Team | University of Nevada, Las Vegas | University of California, Irvine | United World College of the American West
The Weimar Room | Circus Monoxide | Circus Wow | Legs on the Wall
The Banff Center | The National Arts Center | Drama Works, Theatre Alberta, Citadel Theatre | Ottawa Fringe Festival | The Globe Theatre | 25th Street Theatre | Nakai Theatre | University of Victoria | University of Regina | Lester B Pearson College of the Pacific | St. Michael's University School | Winnipeg Circus and Magic Partnership Program
"I have never had a teacher like Shannan before, and I am so thankful that her approach to life and clown has been introduced to me. She expected us all to bring our best, whatever that meant to each performer. It was the best example of kindness I have ever seen. No bullshit. No sugar coating. And yet the most safe and free rehearsal / workshop room I have ever been a part of."
"I don’t think that I have ever been pushed with such careful force into the roaring fire, only to discover that we have been given a protective barrier to the pain - Shannan is the push, the fire and the protection all at once and we become the immediate ensemble as a result, able to go where we could never go on our own."
Artistic Director, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop
"Shannan is an amazing teacher who really drives her students. With sharp wit and whip in hand, Shannan cuts to the chase, empowering her pupils to discover honest performances and opportunities to respond to their audiences."
Filmmaker | Animator | Media Artist
Shannan carefully pulled me out of my comfort zone. I was able to not only
embrace my fragilities, but push past my fears and mental blocks and
release them! This workshop was liberating, fun and felt like the
equivalent of $10,000.00 worth of therapy sessions! There's something for
EVERYONE in this class!"
- Melle Vasquez Singer-songwriter, Musician for Cirque du Soleil, Cyndi Lauper, Pink (Tina Turner, Cher and Lenny Kravitz tours)