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  • Viva Sarah Press

A different version of myself

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

Two years ago, I crossed the lines of writing about the arts -- which I’ve done for over 20 years as a journalist -- to being in the world of the arts. At first, it was a very strange, curious and out-of-my-box experience to be on the other side. It was Oshi, my clown alter ego, who took me to the other side.

Of course, that’s one of the key things an alter ego is good for: to do something completely out of your box.

And clowning – medical, educational, social – was definitely way out of my box. It wasn’t just thinking out of my box but also doing out of my box.

The thing is, I never set out to create Oshi. I went to study clowning because it interested me.

But Oshi developed into my alter ego.

And now people refer to me interchangeably as both Oshi and Viva. It’s amusing.

The clowning course was nothing like what I expected. It was not all fun and games. Although, there was fun and there were games.

I’ve written about my studies on this blog so I won’t repeat.

Loifers was the embryo stage of my clown alter ego.

But Loifers didn’t last. The name, many told me, was too complicated.

I needed a new name in order to continue my clowning endeavors.

Oshibka was given to me. It means ‘mistake’ in Russian. But I couldn’t remember the word. As such, Oshi was born.

Oshi evolved from student of clowning to clown. From clown to clown blogger.

That was categorically not intended. After all, I already blog on my own site.

It seemed the world of clowning didn’t just interest me. I found people not connected to this art form who wanted to hear more about its practices and effects. And requests came in that I write from Oshi’s perspective.

So, I launched a blog from Oshi’s viewpoint.

Oshi’s blog, funnily enough, created a need for me to upskill on social media. I say “funnily enough” because it would make more sense for me to have upskilled in my role as a journalist.

But then everything about Oshi’s experiences have been completely unexpected.

It would seem, that just as Oshi is my alter ego, I’m Oshi’s alter ego.

As such, it makes sense that Oshi would become a clown blogger.

My blogs on clowning mix my thoughts with those of my alter ego. And vice versa.

There are many clowns – especially medical clowns – in Israel, who are far more experienced in this theatrical art form than I am. The theatrical side of clowning still interests me but the impact the language of clowning has on different environments fascinates me all the more. Oshi's blogs are meant to highlight the impact clowning has on communication whether in the realm of parenting or a school environment. Nothing about Oshi is or was planned or intentional. She is changing all the time.

Where is Oshi headed? I’m not sure.

In the meantime, having an alter ego has opened my eyes to another world. And it has been an out-of-the-ordinary learning experience thus far.

Update: I clowned in schools from 2018-2019. I now give talks and blog about this extraordinary experience.

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