@bowie
Bowie Rowan
@bowie · 0:37

#AskAFailure | From journalist to Post-Soviet Jewish clown, let's talk to Danielle Levsky

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Danielle Levsky is a post Soviet Jewish clown, writer, instructor and producer who seeks to bring more discovery, wonder, joy and truth into the world. I absolutely love that bio, Danielle, and I am so grateful that you are willing to come on to Swell to share your cellular story with with us about your transition from a once arts and culture journalist to now a professional clown. Thank you so much for being here with us

#askafailure #interview #writingadvice #theater #performance #teaching #lifestories #ama #art #community

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@bowie
Bowie Rowan
@bowie · 1:15

How did you get here?

And so I'd love to hear from you a bit just about the general trajectory of how you went from journalist to now clown and teaching and using clowning not only within, like, a theater space, but also I read on your website that you're utilizing some elements of it through your yoga practice as well. How did you get here? Th
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@bowie
Bowie Rowan
@bowie · 0:42

How do you think about failure now?

And what are maybe some ways you might see failure differently or maybe somewhat the same as you did when you were younger or first starting out in your career until now
@bowie
Bowie Rowan
@bowie · 0:39

Writing advice & #amreading

I know you're still a writer, and we have a lot of writers here on Swell and big readers. And I'm curious from all of your experience in various kind of writing spaces over the years now, what's some advice that continues to come to mind or has sticked with you over the years? Or maybe is a piece of advice that you now have have that you would share with someone because you've learned something through experience? We would love to hear that
@bowie
Bowie Rowan
@bowie · 0:49

Would you do anything differently & #whyimobsessed

Lastly, thinking about where you've been and where you are now and where you're going. Would you do anything differently? Or do you think failure has been essential to part of the journey and what may come next as well?
@critictoclown
Danielle Levsky
@critictoclown · 0:18

@bowie introduction to me - a #clown #writer #journalist #yogateacher

Thank you so much, Bowie. I'm so excited to be here with you, and I can't wait to talk about failure with you. One of the most important tenets of clowning that I've learned about is that you must always fail with absolute joy. So I can't wait to share more and learn more together
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@critictoclown
Danielle Levsky
@critictoclown · 4:51

@bowie Re-How did you get here? Part 1

And this DIY theater has really specific elements, but the broad strokes of it was that it would be artists supported, artist funded for the specific communities they were serving and not funded by donors that lived miles and miles away that got to decide their entire programs. So this was going really well. People were really interested in what we were reporting on and the people that we were talking to and the companies that we were covering. And I specifically wanted to do a big feature on the circus scene in Chicago
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@critictoclown
Danielle Levsky
@critictoclown · 2:02

@bowie Re-How did you get here? Part 2

Now, most of you might know what a consistent yoga practice means. It means getting on that mat, going through sequences with or without a teacher, breathing, breathing as you move. For clown, what that looks like is also getting into a sort of meditative state, putting on a nose and allowing yourself to explore and play whatever is around you and whatever you are feeling. And doing both of these practices consistently
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@critictoclown
Danielle Levsky
@critictoclown · 2:53

@bowie re: how do you think about #failure now? #curiousity #clown

I would just be excited to try again or laugh about it. Or maybe if I was upset, it would pass. I would allow myself to feel those feelings and then I would start having fun again. So clown asks the same of failure. Clown asks you to repeatedly go on stage and fail over and over and over again and to find joy. And that failure, to find the opportunities for exploration
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@critictoclown
Danielle Levsky
@critictoclown · 3:16

@bowie re-writing advice & #amreading #thistlefoot

Yeah, I mean, writing continues to be a centerfold of my life. Even if I'm not consistently writing articles every single day, I'm still using writing in my scripts, in the scenarios I create, and in the essays and poems that I still write nowadays. The writing advice that's been the most helpful for me in all of these years has been that writing needs to be a consistent practice, and it is a consistent practice. If you don't use it, you will lose it
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@critictoclown
Danielle Levsky
@critictoclown · 3:16

@bowie re-would you do anything differently & #whyimobsessed

So the connection goes all the way to the beginning of Jewish people, and I'm super fascinated by it and the implications of that and how spiritual and ancient clown practice is across all cultures. So that's what I'm obsessed with right now. I talk about it a lot. I do a lot of research on it, and I'm super excited to develop these courses that I have in my pocket. Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk to you today
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@bowie
Bowie Rowan
@bowie · 2:45

@critictoclown thank you!

Danielle, I cannot explain how much your responses made my day today. I am so inspired by your journey and by everything that you have learned so far and are exploring and also just thinking about clowning as almost as like philosophy for life and as someone who is so deeply interested in failure and all the ways that we can experience and think about and play with and subvert our ideas around failure. My brain is just, like, on fire right now
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