Bucharest: July 23 – Cancer Hospital & Park Day

by Webmaster 23. July 2015 21:41

We began the day with visiting the local cancer hospital and giving a show in the children’s playroom. We took the elevator to the children’s floor and noticed there were clown smiley face stickers on the doors from last year’s visit. Our guide was so excited to realize it was us who had left the stickers, she had the clowns place an “Isus te Iubeste” sticker on the doors as well.

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The kids loved the clowns, especially David, Vlad, and “Bob” the clown. The guys would all play off of each other and the kids would howl with laughter. It was great because they complement each other well. “Bob” is goofy and quick to improvise, David engages the kids and brings them into the show, and Vlad plays a great straight man to their antics. And Vlad can read the audience and typically tell when it’s time to end their magic tricks. Unfortunately, my camera died before I had the opportunity to capture the moment but I looked out at this room full of children literally sitting on the edges of their seats with mouths open in awe of David and his magic tricks.

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“Bob” also added parts to the serious skits to help ensure that the kids could better understand what was going on. It was a trust exercise for me because I would start the music and he would grab a prop and briefly explain his idea. I often half understood what he was about to do before saying that he could do it but he was amazing. At one point, he grabbed the Bible to try to fit it through the heart (which didn’t fit). I think he was trying to show that religion will not fill you up either but it was a little deep for the kids.


Following the show, we began to make balloons and I looked up to realize most of my clowns had disappeared. Most of them had decided to visit the rooms upstairs. I asked “Bob” afterwards where he went and how it went upstairs. He said that it went well. He said, “We made balloons, gave out the books, gave out the stickers, and we made the kids laugh. They could understand my jokes and they laughed, so it was good. I really like being a clown. I feel like this is what I was made for.”


When it was time to leave, we took the stairs down and I would hand stickers to anyone not already stickered and blow kisses at the people near the stairwell waiting in chairs between hallways. Suddenly, I realized all of my clowns had gone ahead and I couldn’t remember if the exit was of Floor one, when the stairs stopped, or if there was a difference between the two. About that time, a nurse came up and after I gave her a sticker she asked me where I came from. I replied that I was from the US and she rolled her eyes laughing, “Obviously but where are you from in the US.” I told her I was from Seattle and we chatted about the clowns and the performance as we progressed down the stairs. About Floor 2, I had run out of stickers and sheepishly explained I wasn’t quite sure how to get out of the building. She laughed and took me towards the front entrance and dropped me off with the clown team.

We found Ana excitedly giving stickers to every person anywhere near her in the middle of the entrance. I grabbed a couple of her stickers and helped finish out the roll of stickers. One of those stickers was to an old man trying so hard to look stern but he was watching me carefully as I handed out stickers. I offered him a smiley face sticker and he grinned from ear to ear and excitedly pointed to his chest where he wanted me to place the sticker. It was like he hoped I would give him a sticker but he was guarded so he wouldn’t get his hopes up if I ran out or was only giving the stickers to younger people. You could literally see his entire body shift from weighted and guarded to joyful, like a child who just received a special gift.

After a break, we returned back to the church to get ready to clown again. The original plan was to clown in parks or the local neighborhood on Friday. However, the kids all stated that they would rather go back to the cancer hospital the next day because they really loved cheering the kids up at the hospital.

That evening we performed at three different locations in the area. The first performance was kind of near a park but mostly next to a group of older men sitting in park benches and talking over beers. Pastor Nelu asked us to start the show which made some of the kids a bit nervous as we would be performing for a lot of adults and only a few kids. We began the show and included a couple of the newer and younger clowns into the show. Simona told me that Ana Dinca thought the clowns had finished with one of their magic tricks and had forgotten all of the wands they distributed into the crowd. Thinking she was helping, she collected all of the wands from the kids only to have the clowns laugh and explain that they hadn’t finished their skit yet. I am a little bummed I didn’t get to see it but it made a lot of people laugh. In the end, it was not the best show of the day but I think it was great experience to minister to a different group.

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The second park was a favorite performance of the week for several of the clowns. Not only were there a lot of kids but they were engaged in the show. They weren’t wild but they were loud and involved – which is perfect.

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The show began as it normally did with one of the first skits being the haircut skit. As I tried to run away from the clowns who were about to cut my hair, I jumped onto the slide and got part way up the slide before allowing myself to slide down a bit. I did this for a few more times as if I couldn’t actually climb the slide but was determined to get away from the haircutters. As I slid down the slide the clowns caught me and “cut my hair.” When they took my wig and gave me a mirror at the end of the skit, I looked at Ana Dinca and shouted “You took my wig” which Ana was not expecting and immediately started exclaiming “Nu! Nu!” Her shock at being looped into the show made both her and the audience laugh.

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By this time, most magic tricks were performed by one clown and included “Bob.” It wasn’t long before the kids started cheering and chanting Bob’s name. He was their favorite and following the show, several of the boys would not take any balloons unless they were made by “Bob.”

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The final performance of the day was an abbreviated show as it was coming up on 9 pm. As I quickly explained the show schedule to Vlad, my counterpart for show preparations, I mentioned we would not be doing the haircut skit. He made a puppy dog face and asked if we could do that skit as well. I couldn’t say no and once again, I climbed/ran up the slide and slid down it for the amusement of the kids. It’s one of the few times when I woke up sore the next morning following clowning and I knew why muscles were hurting. Lol.

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Romania 2015

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Why Clowns?

Whether it is in a hospital, memory care facility, at a charity event, or walking down the street, that moment when most individuals see a clown they smile, regardless of age or culture. Clowns almost universally help create smiles. There is something about the gift of a smile and laughter that helps improve our spirits, relieve tension, and can inspire us to hope.

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