Words about Clown. Marceline of the Excentricos

This conversation about clown took place in the kitchen of the Excentricos’ house on Nov. 5th, 2007. Marceline, along with Zaza and Josep are the Excentricos tour their show ‘Musica Maestro’ around Europe, and the world. They are in the process of creating a new show ‘Rococo Bananas which will premiere early next year. I first met Marceline and Josep in 1983-84, when they were the duo ‘Marceline and Sylvestre’, and we both performed in Barcelona’s Plaza del Pi. this conversation took place in French. Despite my best efforts, certain words, phrases, expressions just don’t translate that well, so  I have posted the original interview (including all my spelling mistakes) below the English translation.

Moshe: So for you, what is woman clown?

Marceline: It’s carrying a lot of baggage and running behind the guys.

Moshe: And a medium length definition?

Marceline: It’s a lot of sacrifices…. But it’s formidable (wonderful), I can permit myself a liberty with the idea of woman. That’s the positive side of the story.
You see, when I created the number with the vacuum cleaner (which veers out of control and starts attacking Marceline who is in evening gown and jewelry ), it wasn’t specifically for women, that was unconscious, almost. You know the stories (about life) that you’re obliged to be cute, obliged to be this, that….when I fall on my ass, everybody laughs. It gives a great freedom in relation to the roles of women, and where you are placed in society. I represent someone who wants to do everything, yet I am the most incapable. You see, they play music better than me. The men go straight whereas the woman take a more global look, looking at the surroundings, whereas men go straight for the goal.

I want to do everything, and that is special to show a woman capable of doing everything.

Moshe: It comes back to the story that the clown permits people to laugh about their own problems and constraints in life; and what I am hearing is that you are on that pathway.

Marceline: Because I see it in public. When I was doing the street (performing) I saw that the neighborhood women loved me, and that is special. For me it is really special. And that also drew the line that I took. It is true that clowning is to find oneself, and to play a little with ones complexes, and that encourages that a lot.
In the end it’s true that people project themselves. The laugh about you, but it is really themselves and that is special. I found that nice.
For women it is truly important, because they feel behind men a lot despite everything. One can easily say that we (women) are liberated and this and that. I don’t think we have that audacity and are that liberated. You are still expected to be cute, to be pretty; and I like to be good. I am well dressed, you have seen my costumes. But I am clumsy in them, I like that. I like that!

It pleases me that I have the women with me. It is a ‘spectacle populaire’ , we like to play for everyone. It is moving when the women laugh a lot, all of that moves me.

Moshe: I think that is what you are talking about when you talk about ‘plastic clowns’.

Marceline: Because you don’t touch the heart. It doesn’t (the plastic clowning) touch people emotionally. You (on stage) are in the light and you have three hundred people in the dark who don’t know each other. You have to touch them, if possible, all of them. It is a beautiful adventure. It is not like looking at an image at the movies. And when they laugh like crazy, it is very moving. I mean, you are there, it goes both ways. We get really excited. We have fun like crazy now in the show. We have fun with them, it’s WITH them. That is so special. It is what is truly beautiful in this work.

Moshe: I think about the depth, where is that spark of humor that is somewhere inside that lights up the possibilities…

Marceline: Well it sure is extraordinary when it comes, when it flies.

Moshe: ah it’s beautiful

Marceline: Yes.

Moshe: thank You Marceline….

——————-

Moshe: Alors pour toi femme clown c’est quoi?

Marceline: C’est porter beaucoup de baggages et courir derriere les mecs.

M: Et la definition moyenne.

Marceline: C’est beacoup de sacrifices….mais c’est formidable, je peut me permetter une liberté avec l’idée de la femme…ca c’est le coté plus positif de l’histoire.
Tu vois j’ai fait l’histoire de l’aspirateur, au depart ce n’etait pas (specifiquement) pour les femmes, c’est inconscient presque. Des histoires que tu est obligé d’etre mignonne, obligé d’etre ceci…. quand je me casse la guele tout le monde rigole. Ca donne une grande liberté par rapport aux roles des femmes et ou c’est qu’on te met dans la societé. Je represente quelqu’un qui veut tout faire, c’est moi la plus nul dans le spectacle. Tu vois ils jouent mieux de la musique que moi. Les hommes y vont tout droit, les femmes prennent un regard plus globale, qui regarde ce qui est autour, les hommes vont droit au goal.

Je veut tout faire, et ca c’est chouette de montrer la femme capable de tout faire.

M: Ca revient a l’histoire du clown qui permet au gens de rires des problemes, des contraintes dans la vie, et ce que j’entends justement c’est que tu est sur cette vois.

Marceline: Parce que je le voit dans le publique. Quand je faisait la rue, je voyais que toutes les femmes du quartier m’adorée, et ca c’est chouette. Pour moi c’est chouette. Et cela a aussi dessiné la ligne que j’ai prise. C’est vrai que etre clown c’est ce trouver soi meme, et un peu jouer avec ses complexes et ca encourage beaucoup. A la fin, c’est vrai que les gens ils se projetent. Ils rigolent de toi, mais ils rigolent de eux et ca c’est chouette. Moi j’ai trouvée ca bien.
Et pour les femmes c’est vraiment important, qu’elles se sentent derrière les hommes beaucoup malgres tout. On a beau dire qu’on est liberee ci ca, moi je crois qu’on a pas cette audace et cette liberté. Il faut etre encore bien mignonne, bien jolie, et moi j’aime bien etre bien, je suis bien habillée-tu as vu mes costumes. Mais je suis maladroite dedans, j’aime ca, on aime ca.

Moi ca me plait que j’ai les femmes avec moi. C’est un spectacle populaire tu vois, on aime bien faire pour tous le monde. C’est émouvant quand les femmes ririent très fort, tout ca ca m’ému.

M: Je pense que c’est ca quand tu parles des clowns plastiques…

Marceline: Parce que ca ne touche pas le coeur. Ca touche pas les emotions. Toi tu est dans la lumière et tu as trois cents personnes dans le noir qui se connaissent pas et il faut les toucher, si possible tout le monde. C’est une belle aventure. C’est pas comme regarder une image aux ciné. Et quand ils rigolent comme des fous, c’est émouvant, quoi, t’es la…c’est dans les deux senses. Nous on est vachement excité. On s’amuse comme des fous maintenant dans le spectacle. On s’amuse avec eux, c’est avec eux. Ca c’est tres chouette. C’est ce qui il y a de beau dans ce metier.

M: je pense que ce profendeur, ou est cet étincelle d’humour qui est quelque part qui allume des possibilités…

Marceline: Oh ben c’est extraordinaire quand ca vient, quand ca vole.

M: Ah c’est beau.

Marceline: Oui!

M: merci Marceline.

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One thought on “Words about Clown. Marceline of the Excentricos”

  1. Very interesting aspects … have to think more about it. There´s so much creative energy to be wakened and used, sometimes it´s a completion.
    Too bad that my french is a mess.

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