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A clown for all seasons

When Pamela Joy applied to the London Oval House theater school, she did not know that she would leave there a clown. With a degree from the University of Connecticut in speech and drama, she&

d decided on this particular theater school because it was a good alternative to its more pricey European counterparts.

It was here that Joy met and dated fellow student Pierce Brosnan, a.k.a. the future James Bond: &

He is a really lovely person; totally gorgeous of course, but kind, not arrogant,&

says Joy.

The school specialized in clowning, and Joy found that she had a flair for the art. She went on to give numerous solo performances throughout Europe, making use of her strong improvisation skills. She spent one year, contracted by the City of London, performing as a clown mime and street performer at community events.

Joy, who was trained in the European Commedia dell&

Arte, the white clown style, teaches this style to adults and youth at workshops in Ashland. This is more refined and mime-like than the Bozo-like style that American circus clowns are based upon.

Since 1972, Joy has performed in the theaters, streets, arts festivals, fairs, schools, hospitals, retirement homes, art centers, universities, marketplaces, offices and homes of over a dozen countries in Europe and the Americas.

— — ARTIST SKETCH

— Name: Pamela Joy, a.k.a. Heartfool Hails From: East Coast — Age: 55 — Training: Degree in speech and theatre from University of Connecticut; — trained in London as a clown mime and street theater artist. — Niche: Clown mime. — Claim to Fame: Dated Pierce Brosnan in theater school, started and — ran her School of Creative Expression in Italy, and lived and performed — at the international community of Findhorn in Scotland for six years. — Inspiration: &

My 24-year-old daughter (Crystal Weber), young — children, nature, and when people tell the truth, particularly when it&

s — difficult.&

— —

In the &

70s she hitchhiked as a clown across Canada, from Toronto to Victoria. Later in Italy, she founded and ran her School of Creative Expression at a villa she rented. The popular school&

s primary focus was &

opening up their creative expression physically and vocal expression and then learning to do street theater,&

she says.

Students&

training included Joy&

s classes in meditation, massage and vegetarian cooking, which helped them to &

break out of their boxes&

and to be healthy, she explains.

After six months, Joy followed her intuition to return to the international community of Findhorn in Scotland, where she had lived and performed for six years. Upon returning, she met the man who would become her daughter&

s father. She currently serves as the Oregon resource person for this creative, spiritual community.

Joy&

s clowning supports her full-time volunteer work, including the Food for People program she started about 10 years ago. With her team of volunteers, Joy sorts through pull-dated expired produce and other foods from local stores and farms and distributes to people in need, around 1,000 in all. Joy also coordinates the Peace House-sponsored free community Tuesday meal.

&

We&

re looking for people who have gardens who don&

t use all produce, and for people who want to help with the community meal or Food for People project,&

she adds.

Last May she was given the 2005 City of Ashland James M. Ragland Memorial &

Volunteer Spirit&

Community Service Award. In 2003 she was awarded the Ashland Food Co-op&

s Angel of Ashland Award.

Joy also works with teens in Ashland High School&

s drama class and leads a mime troupe of teens. And, she delivers personalized singing telegrams.

Her clowning specialty is performing at birthday parties.

&

I give children positive messages about themselves,&

she says. &

Young children see a clown as a magical figure, so when I tell a child, &

145;You&

re smart,&

or &

145;You&

re full of creativity and love,&

this has a strong impact.&

Among her birthday party repertoire: Magic time (&

I tell the children that the magic can&

t happen without them&

), balloons, face painting, storytelling, songs, games and dress-up (&

The little really kids like dressing up as clowns and wearing the oversize shoes&

).

&

Being a clown gives such an opportunity to be heartful, to gift the people around them&

133;as clowns we can step outside the rules and sometimes make people laugh and sometimes make people think,&

Joy says.

&

And I love dressing up,&

she adds, a quick smiling again lighting up her face.

Pamela Joy can be reached at 482-5330. For information on Findhorn, go online to www.findhorn.org.