1. When I first arrive at a party, I am more likely to head toward—
- the food and/or drink
- the bathroom
- Did I go to the bathroom before I left my house? Have I eaten recently? Contextualize! Then we’ll see if I’ll take yer stupid quiz.
2. I prefer to be in charge.
- Again, this feels pretty situational. You might be over-simplifying. It’s a comedy blog not Cosmo; please give us some credit for being more nuanced takers of quizzes.
3. I like—
- being tickled
- Who’s asking? How tall are you, anyway?
4. I would rather die by—
- Don’t let me die!
5. I would most like an audience member to say this to me after watching me perform:
- “You are so lovable!”
- “You freak me out!”
- Wait, is this audience in Calgary?
6. The audience is—
- a new community, a group of great new friends just waiting to happen!
- a pack of mindless sheep who will never fully understand what’s so special about me.
- Did we establish whether this audience is in Calgary?
7. I perform—
- to give love
- to get love
- for fun, shitface.
8. I am more interested in—
- bodily functions
- political satire
- I’m sick of this quiz. These distinctions feel arbitrary. You are pointlessly, patronizingly reductive. Give me a cacao nib.
9. How would you rather be seen?
- Open, generous and peaceful.
- Smart, strong and focused.
- I’m not taking this quiz anymore! La la la la la! Cacao nib!!!!
10. The love of my life—
- makes me laugh
- thinks I’m hilarious
- wrote this quiz, HAHA JK WHERE’S MY CACAO NIB
If you selected mostly “a”s, congratulations! You are a clown!
AS A CLOWN, you are an open-hearted and giving person, who likes others to take the helm. You want to go where the audience leads you, and you are perfectly content doing fart comedy. On stage, you are what we like to call “stupid”; that is, you are human. You love Gene Wilder and the color blue, and you like it when someone else kisses first, because that is the universe fulfilling its wish for you.
If you selected mostly “b”s, behold! A bouffon!
AS A BOUFFON, you’ve got a mission: to fuck shit up. You are angry and rightfully so, you have a point, and the audience will be better for you having made that point. You don’t suffer idiots, don’t wait for the phone to ring, and pay for your own margarita. You find Jerry Lewis fascinatingly disturbing, like a car wreck. And, bitch, you love olives.
If you selected mostly “c”s, Whaaa? YOU ARE THE MESSIAH!
AS THE MESSIAH, you instinctively understand that the distinction between clown and bouffon is more like a spectrum and less like a binary interactive comedy formula. We are all complicated performers with complicated relationships to the audience. Now, here, you—a trailblazer in a new era of naked comedy—you are one of those confoundingly brilliant performers who defies categorization. Please carry my babies.
Maybe some of my personal interest in the spectrum idea comes from the fact that no one seems to agree what to call what I do on stage. Some say, “It’s bouffon!” and I say, “No, actually it’s more clown, with some aspects of bouffon,” but really, who the fuck cares. That’s the point here. Who the fuck cares.
Because most people are somewhere in the middle anyway, somewhere on that spectrum between Loving and Needing the Audience as Our Best Friend, and Hating the Audience And Wanting To Hurt Them A Little. We are all scraps of dark and light. We are all interlocking knots of hope and cynicism. The most important thing is awareness about one’s own totally unique relationship to and feelings for the audience, and that shit can shift. The point is to stay on the horse, and keep dancing.
This I know: using either of the terms “clown” or “bouffon” in front of people who don’t know what they mean is a bad idea. People who don’t study/perform clown/bouffon always assume the worst. When you speak to others about what you do, call it “comedy”, call it “this weird shit I do on stage”, call it “fucking crazy, you have to come.” FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T CALL IT CLOWN.