Evelyn Citroen – Clown Bijouxxx
In 1968 I Started to study Education theory and creative therapy at University to learn to work with children as an Educationalist and a creative therapist. Afterwards I worked in a psychiatric childrens clinic. I worked with children with physical disabilities and other special needs. I discovered how very important humour is in working in these situations. I also found Humour was a great starting point, especially in making contact with autistic children.
I started to study clowning in 1995.
I studied with different clowning teachers. I did many clown workshops in Holland and an intensive 2 month long course in Ibiza, Spain. I learned how to improvise. This is very important for working in unknown situations.
I met Patch Adams in 1997, at a conference about spirituality in hospitals. A desire in me was born to work as a clown with children in hospitals.
My first experience to work in Hospitals was when I worked with the Rainbow Tree Charity. (Stichting De Regenboogboom).
During this time I have got a lot of experience in working and playing with sick children in many hospitals in Holland.
In November 2001 I travelled with a group of 30 international clowns, organized by and with Patch Adams to Moscow and St.Petersburg. There we visited during two weeks, 5 orphanages, 7 hospitals and 2 old peoples homes.
This was such a wonderful experience that I decided that this will be my work from now on.
In August 2002 I travelled again to Russia. This time to Siberia to work for two weeks in 6 cities between Moscow and Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Again we visited many orphanages and hospitals. This time our group had 15 clowns and Patch’s assistant Beach Clown was the initiator of this tour.
The giving of attention, love, humour and distraction stimulates the healing process with sick children. It helps to forget pain for a while.
This contact is very helpful for orphans to feel self respect again, to feel who they really are.
It makes me very happy, that I can help in this healing process by offering and sharing love, attention and humour.
By being a clown I often act like a mirror to people. I like people to experience again how it is to look at the world around us in amazement and surprise. I like to let people experience how it is to see things we think are very ordinary, as if it is the first time you see it.
My first clowns teacher, Lex van Zomeren, called his workshop: “The magic art of clowning”. For me“clowning”is magic. Every moment is new. When my heart is open, I hear, see, feel and smell much more. Every new moment is a chance for inspiration and contact.