FEEDBACKS FROM PARTICIPANTS OF VARIOUS CLOWN TRAININGS
If you didn't do the last clown workshop, come do this one. Give yourself the gift of studying with Giovanni, and laughing your ass off, and finding some of the most poignant and prophetic and simple theatrical/human moments possible. I can't say enough about how useful, enjoyable, and incredible this training is. Endless insight and inspiration witnessing your colleagues transform, and watching your clown come out of hiding and begin to dance the Bugaloo in the light of day.
Elizabeth Baron (USA), Boulder Trainings 2004-2005
When I walked into the room to begin Giovanni's clown course, I was properly terrified. But within five minutes, my fears had not only been addressed, but had disappeared. Giovanni is so naturally heartfelt and instinctual in his teaching that it is impossible not to relax and have fun. The work of clown is intimate and vulnerable, but Giovanni responds by creating a very safe environment for the very serious business of exploring silliness! By the end of three weeks, my heart was so full I almost couldn't stand it. Whether an actor or not, I would recommend this class to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the terribly delicate, demanding, foolish, crazy variations of human nature.
Lucia Rich (USA), Boulder Trainings 2004-2005
Giovanni has an extremely precise way of leading each person in a group to their clown. In his workshop you learn to see how your particular imperfections are manifest in your body. When you become in touch with these and allow them to come to the surface, out pops your clown and you are immediately rewarded by the laughter of anyone who happens to be watching (generally your classmates). Instead of attacking what is not the clown and cutting the actor down until he has no other option but to reveal his vulnerability (as is the case in many clown workshops), he brings you face to face with this tender part of yourself and then supports and encourages you to show it. It is extremely rigorous, difficult and painful work but Giovanni manages to lead you past your limits with positive support instead of "tough love" attacks. Every single person in the workshop I did with him touched on their clown during the 3 weeks.
Peter Sweet (USA), Boulder Trainings 2004-2007
Three weeks of intensive clown study is no small endeavour for an actress/actor, and Giovanni is the perfect guide. Over the 3 weeks Giovanni led each of us gently into a safe space where we could explore the dynamics of our own inherent physical and psychological comedy. In this workshop we were encouraged to discover the beauty that lies deep within ourselves and express our unique worlds through the universal language of laughter. I have never laughed or cried so much in any training I've undertaken, nor come more closely into contact with my potential not only as a clown but as a performer as a whole.
Annouchka Bayley (UK), LISPA 2005
I found Giovanni a focused, nurturing and expert teacher. He provoked us to move beyond our fears, to embrace that which we didn’t want to acknowledge within ourselves and to see the real beauty and humanity within ourselves regardless of how ugly we thought it to be. I trusted him implicitly and felt safe within his instruction. He is a master in his field and truly loves his work. I would love to work with him again, he left me wanting more.
Mariko Kaonohi (USA), LISPA 2005
It is a silly invitation, isn't it - the nose, and the costumes - to bring you to a place that requires such a beautiful display of courage and trust. I imagine most people go in expecting technique and the routine - and then all of a sudden, there is a moment as a clown where you realise, despite yourself, you have drawn a line in the sand with your own oversized shoe, and to step over it is to experience authentic presence, truthful connection, and real humanity. So thank you for being the kind of teacher who can make that space possible. Your pedagogical approach creates a disciplined structure around a wonderful open space of discovery.
Kelly Wade (USA), Boulder RED NOSE training, 2005
Giovanni lived up to all his recommendations and more. He has so much passion for clowning and movement in theatre it is inspiring. Even if I you are not pursuing a career in clowning I recommend his classes. Your time with him will open your heart and build confidence in just how beautiful your inner clown can be. When ever I get the chance to perform my clown either on stage or just in my bedroom because I miss her so much I feel truly happy.
Jacqueline Heimel (USA), Boulder Red Nose Training, 2005
Giovanni is the kindest, most caring teacher you'll ever find. While that's usually a turn off for me, (I'm French, teachers are supposed to be tough, right?) I was taken on a ride where I felt completely trusted and uninhibited for 3 weeks. Meeting my clown, and seeing other people meet theirs, has made me a better actor, artist, and human being. Everyone on the planet, actor and otherwise, should take this clown workshop. Clowns are the simplest, most vulnerable versions of ourselves and if the whole world were in touch with that version and saw it in others, I know that world peace would be right around the corner.
Elise Langer (France), Boulder Red Nose Training 2005
Giovanni taught me in a three week long clown workshop at LISPA in 2005. This was my first experience of learning clown, the first time I was introduced to my own clown, and the first time (though I hope not the last) I had the pleasure to work with Giovanni. The work with Giovanni came at the end of a two year physical theatre course, and was the last in a series of theatrical ‘territories’ (genres) that we looked at. Our journey at LISPA begun with the ‘neutral mask’, in which the performer and human being is challenged to see all her learnt idiosyncrasies and try to release them in order to come back to the neutral, clean slate. So it was appropriate that the journey should end with the red nose, the mask at the other end of the extreme, which celebrates those idiosyncrasies and asks the performer to allow her extreme off-balances - those experiences which have conspired in her body and mind to make her who she is – to live in the space.
Giovanni’s method is clear, precise and detailed. He is clearly an extremely experienced clown teacher and an expert in his field. He led us expertly through detailed, structured exercises to discover our clown’s physicality, vocality, relationship with objects, status in a group and special clown skills. He led the work with a good pace, with an excellent balance of hands on direction and space for our own discoveries, and always with unflinching attention and humour.
But more than this. Giovanni’s presence and leadership was not just technically flawless: his poetic beauty, his profound understanding, his strength, his openness, his sense of justice, and his undisguised love of the clowns and the humanity they express was an inspiration for the work and for life. I remember during one improvisation when we had worked on the clowns’ physical state and presence, we were asked to walk - just once - across the stage, wearing the red nose. In former improvisations, my clown had found a rapport with the audience, so I entered the stage expecting a response. The audience was silent, and I knew that my expectations had interfered with my job of simply being present in the red nose. I tried again, and failed. Before my third entrance, Giovanni spoke: ‘Lootie, this is not just an entrance on the stage, this is a metaphor for life.’ Giovanni’s message through the clown is profound - I got three chances to do my entrance; in life we get just one chance to be here, to be alive, to be present. For me, Giovanni brought a profound understanding of the relationship between discipline and spontaneity: in crystallising the deepest respect for clearly defined structures, forms and boundaries, he led us to the places where we begin to uncover true depth, meaning and liberation. This was also his metaphor for life. Only when we respect and celebrate what exists here and now, without trying to hide from it, change it or resist it, can we understand how freedom is possible in this life. To be a true clown means to risk showing the depth of yourself on the stage; to be fully alive means to risk confronting your own mortality.
Giovanni’s lessons of the clown stay with me. I am profoundly grateful for his teaching and for his loving determination, and I would urge anyone who hungers to know more about life to seek inspiration from Giovanni.
Lootie Johansen-Bibby (UK), LISPA 2005
I have studied clown with Giovanni Fusetti, a most wonderful and acute teacher that one may be able to find in this field, Mr Fusetti's approach to his work is thorough and concise, at once heart felt and technical. He is a trusty guide and it feels as if his knowing glance searches your character on many levels and fishes out something very precious that you might have disregarded or forgotten is a part of you, something you won't be able to live without from now and for the rest of your life. The clown work which rests just before the finish line of the two year Lecoq program is considered by many the most difficult and at the same time most rewarding territory of the course, it is difficult because it reaches into the most personal and sensitive regions of your being and beckons them to come out from hiding it asks the question who are you? where have you been? why are you hiding ?If in our society real feelings are taboo, then clown theatre is the zoo of forbidden animals. We begin by building the clown from the body, we study each others walk and individual patterns of movement, the rhythm and tempo and posture, by enhancing our own patterns we find the body and space of our own unique clown, through a series of exercises we find our new voice, we begin to speak, and a search of what to say, it is a road of failures and flops, light madness and beautiful and odd lunacy, and sometimes unexpected triumphs. Giovanni is an unordinary clown teacher and is in my heart because this is the place he opens in us. The clown work with Giovanni has left an intense imprint inside of me and a puzzling riddle I will be solving over the years to come, it spurns me to go deeper into my idiosyncrasies, mysterious idiocy and truthful sensitivity to reflect the world around me through my little magnificent friend, the clown.
Sandro Garibashvili, LISPA 2005
Okay so my clown experience was a revelation, the doors that you opened up for me were tremendous, it seemed to me then and still now that clowning is a magical state of being, a perfect state of being for humans to touch on even if it is just once in their lives, I was reading a book on buddhism at the time and for me the links between red nose clown and the practise of certain areas of buddhism are all too plain... but I digress, I simply wanted to highlight the beneficial qualities that red nosed clown can have on a person! What a joy that state is! Clown with you also introduced me to the beginnings of another vision of the world and life , a whole way of rewriting and looking at the world, I felt frustrated however as I wanted to know more, go further with the exploration of this world and the fact that we had to stop our exploration as it were and go into making clown numbers threw me somewhat. I guess you have to start performing at some stage but there was a whole depth to clown that I felt we didn't have time to explore, we kep touching on it and then not going there. I found this quite frustrating, it was as if, after the depths that we had touched on we went straight to the surface again and this was disappointing, though in the time that we had of course I understand this structure, could there have been a way to keep going, not trying to reach a finished product? As a person, your gentleness, enthusiasm and humanity was very moving, being guided by you felt safe and the possibilities immense, you seemed to never tire and gave your full attention so acutely to each one of us that you were an inspiration. I find it extraordinary when looking back at how deeply personal for each one of us the workshop was and how revealing the process was in teaching us about ourselves and the landscape of our creative worlds, together with the gentleness of humanity that is revealed with this type of work, you knew how to push the right buttons in us all! What an eye! It was tremendous work and I hope one day to have the opportunity to come across it again.
Serena Brabazon, (Ireland), LISPA 2006
It was a pleasure to learn from you. I felt very alive those three weeks working with you. It is an incredible gift to be around a teacher that makes me want to be more; and at the end of it I felt I wanted to perform in a way I hadn't done all year. I was particularly drawn to the first week and the simplicity of being open and vulnerable on stage.
Hofan Chau (Hong Kong), LISPA 2006
I have no illusions that I am finished on my journey with clown, but my work on the red nose with you was a really amazing and enlightening experience. it opened a wonderful world of comedy, but much much deeper than that it allowed me to look at myself - particularly through the work on movement analysis - and revealed what has really been a theme underneath much of my work throughout the last two years, in work and life, which has been a marvellous insight and has positively confirmed and validated a direction for my creative work in terms of themes I wish to continue to explore at the end and after the school, at this point in my life. To see the work of my fellow classmates was also a beautiful process, bonding us very tightly as a class (I don't think we thought we could have got any tighter!) and the clown work that was developed into our public presentation were really well received, and added a wonderful flavour to the night! I have been inspired creatively and personally, as an artist and as a human being, and can say with all honesty that the work on the clown has opened my eyes to so many things, and I am very very grateful! I would recommend this work to anyone with a soul, and look forward to my own next encounter!
Robin Edwards (UK), LISPA 2006)
I loved your clown workshop. I felt that you were very respectful and trustworthy, which I realize is a revealing comment coming from someone who's clown is a suspicious vigilante. But I think it's important for anyone's clown--in what can be such sensitive, personal work--to have a teacher who creates a safe, respectful space. And you did that very well, and in such a short amount of time. You also have an incredible intuitive gift for reading people, and nudging them to discover their edges. In a school where I had two years filled with personal revelations, I felt like your clown workshop cracked me open deeper, straight down to my heart and guts, and I could look inside and see, 'that's why I do that!' And I could let go of some unhelpful habits. And even lately, when I'm feeling anxious in this crazy transition of leaving school and moving cities, I just tell myself to breathe in my belly and be present, and it really helps. That's from your workshop! And of course the same works for my acting--I feel more honest, more genuine and present since taking your workshop. The clown work cleared away some bad acting habit cobwebs--defences and tension that arose when I got scared and therefore in my head. Clown helped/helps to keep me in my belly.
Charlotte Ford (USA), LISPA 2006
The work with the red nose enabled me to go back to the very beginning and remember why I loved to perform in the first place. Your honesty, openness and humour was embedded into the atmosphere of the class, making complete freedom possible. I will never forget the awful joy of finding what exquisite demons breath within us.
Jennifer Graham (USA), LISPA 2006
The time you spent teaching us I laughed and cried so much the insides of stomach hurt in a good way! You reminded my soul how important my laughter is for so many reasons. Mainly, I am just happy that our paths crossed and hope to be in one of your classes again soon.
Karen Imas (USA), LISPA 2006
In the aspect of performer training, what the clown work has done to me is that it validates me as an individual performer. For a while, I was doubting myself as a performer as to what I have to offer. I was always aware that I was operating on a very different rhythm than everyone else. I was always trying to catch up with the other people. but you made me realise that each one of us is valid and does have something to offer, myself included. instead of trying to catch up with other people, I should acknowledge myself as an artist and make an art of it. For once, I realise I can follow a muse that is within me, my inner self and I did exactly that for my final graduation project at LISPA. I wrote a 23-minute play, and the process has been joy, joy, joy. After the clown work, I somehow relax and open up and become more free both as a person and as a performer. And because I free myself up, I seem to listen to myself better, in both aspects of art and life.
There is still a lot to explore, the mystery of clown, the mystery of theatre, and the mystery of life, and the mystery of one`s potential. When the spirits are down, I think of your very first few words with us: when I ring the bell, the time is gone, the precious three minutes of you on stage is gone forever... I take it to a personal level too and value each minute in life more.
Liya Whu, LISPA 2006
I attended the London International School of Performing Arts in 2004-2006. To put into words the impact Giovanni's presence has had on my training and my life has taken me a full year to comprehend. The sacredness of the space, the complete idiocy of simply walking out on stage with a red plastic sphere on my sweaty nose (the elastic always slicing into my cheeks), the feeling of being that is both terrifying and blissful sometimes simultaneously , the huge mystery of life and the awareness of it, the very words he used held a significance and an etymological history which informed the work. He had brought me back to my body, its history, its genetics, the stupid and the sacred, freedom and questions, back to earth. But the grandest of them all, which has been repeated in the past year since learning about clown from Giovanni, is that act of returning to the profound present moment, a place where there is no danger, and elation and love saturates. Mahalo nui loa a me ke aloha pumehana.
Marcus Quiniones, (USA-Hawaii) LISPA 2006