"Clown up your life!" proudly features
actress, director and applied arts teacher
Lee will return to Brussels this spring to run two workshops to improve your life by means of the Clown. Learn more why an encounter with your inner clown could be helpful to you, what you should know about Lee and how she sees the red nose clown. More details about the beginner and the advanced course are available too.
Lee Delong is an American/French actress who has been living in France and working in Europe and elsewhere for the past 30 years. Her training includes both formal education at West Virginia University’s Theatre Department and broader studies at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and at the Bouffes du Nord with Peter Brook.
Lee also writes, directs and teaches, and has given countless workshops and master classes for acting, directing, and writing students, for animation students and for professional actors, in various settings: Doha Film Institute; the Croatian National Theatre; les Gobelins, L’Ecole de l’Image, Paris; the University of Viborg Animation School, Denmark…to name a few.
Lee was acting coach on Jamila Zbanic’s movie "On the Path" and was Assistant Director/Choreographer/ Creator of background scenes/Lyricist on Jasmila’s film, "Love Island". She also played the role of Cruella. Lee has often played on the mythic stage, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
On screen, Lee has worked under many directors including Cedric Klapisch, Luc Béraud, Fabrice Cazaneuve, Julie Delpy, Luc Besson…. For Besson, Lee played Mrs. Kerman in Arthur and the Invisibles and The Revenge of Malthazar where she shared the screen with Mia Farrow. Just recently, Lee worked on Valerian for Besson, as well.
At 'Les Molieres 2019' with "Le Banquet" of Mathilda May (centre)
At 'Les Molieres 2019'with "Le Banquet"by Mathilda May (centre)
Lee played with Jean Reno in his TV series "Jo", and with Cecile de France in the series "Dix Pour Cent". Lee walked the steps of the red carpet at Cannes to preview her vehicle, "Kickback", which is the first French e-Cinéma film. Currently, Lee tours with Mathilda May's "Le Banquet" after a huge success in Paris, directs Dario Fo's "Mistero Buffo" for Kazaliste Grupa and Triko Cirkus Teatar Zagreb and shoots "Family Dust" by Nina Violic for Movens Spiritus Productions. Last but not least, Lee directs Ralf Wetzel's solo mask show "Absolutely Reliable!", which now has been displayed athe Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019!
Trailer for "Kickback" 2015
Lee and her view about the red nose clown*
The clown has no past and no future, clown is all about now. Can you say something about that?
One of my main jobs, when I am teaching the clown, is to be very vigilant and watch very closely all of the participants to make sure that they are not responding before something happens; that they are reacting to something that happened that very moment.
It is the most important thing to learn about the clown: it is about the present. It is not about the past, not about the future… clowns cannot say, “when I was a little girl and when I grow up”, that’s part of another world.The clown simply cannot exist outside of the present. Clown teaches you about the present.
It is very difficult to do, it is very difficult to teach and it is very difficult to define. I think it’s one of my hardest jobs, watching out for people remaining in the moment.
As it is for good acting, also it is for good life. It is about the present and being here, reacting to only what is there, reacting truthfully only to what is happening. When you are not in the moment, all you do is worry about the future or mourn over the past. If you are in the moment you can’t do either of those things.
Shot taken from Mathilda May's "Le Banquet" 2018, currently touring France"
* The interview has been taken from a longer discussion of Lee with the blog "The Art of Now". You can find the full piece here.
Directing "Mistero Buffo" with Drazen Sivak
Why is laughter so cleansing and is laughter today underappreciated in the artists’ world?
I think laughter is underappreciated everywhere, in all worlds. For example, I had cancer. When I got cancer, I read lots of books about people that had cancer and I followed some advice from a guy on curing oneself with laughter. I bought all of the “Absolutely Fabulous” videos, the Marx brothers, Charlie Chaplin and “I Love Lucy” tapes. Every day, I watched all this stuff and laughed and laughed.
My friend got me a kitten, a little, tiny kitten. I played so much with this hilarious kitten, I laughed all the time. I knew it was my door to health. I believe laughter is a doorway to health. I know the power of laughter; it is the strongest medicine in the world.
People think that laughter means not being a serious person because we live in a world which is so technically minded and so competitive. If you are not a serious person, you are nobody, you are just not gonna make it. Steve Jobs did not become the head of Apple by laughing. That is the kind of thinking we are up against.
Laughter is underrated and much theatre has become intellectual. Highly appreciated and talented theatre people do this very dark work which is a reflection of our society, but it doesn’t help us much to deal with that society.