The “Soda Pop Machine” comedy mime was written and performed by Randy Christensen.
In the Fall on 1980 I learned how to juggle while in college. That brought me into the world of amateur clowning; which brought me into the world of children’s programming, education and entertainment.
I never imagined that here, decades later, that I would find myself performing literally around the world. At this point I’ve been in Indonesia, Ecuador, Spain, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore, England, Thailand and across the United States.
Riding in a tuk tuk down the streets of Bangkok, in a beach resort on the Atlantic, on stage in front of 2,000 homeless street children in Bangladesh, standing on the Equator in Ecuador, and eating durian (the “King of Fruits”) in Kuala Lumpor at an open air street cafe….wow. Who “wudda thunk it?” I’m amazed at the doors that have opened for friendships, collaborations and travel.
One thing I’ve found is that children around the world laugh at the same things that children in America laugh at. “Funny” is funny around the world! …at a birthday party in New Prague, Minnesota or on a circus stage in Sarabaya, Indonesia
I’m not done yet! There’s more to do! And I’m thankful for every opportunity and count each one as a blessing. Thank you for your support, prayers, and cheers along the way!
In the video below, Randy demonstrates professional make-up application for clowns.
This is a segment from his “Clown Training” DVD.
It’s summertime and bugs have arrived in Minnesota where I live. Children enjoy the discovery of these tiny creatures. So, this summer I’ll be doing a number of library shows on the theme “Catch the Reading Bug!” These fun-filled shows include magic, juggling, stories and audience participation fun. Most of the shows are in south central Minnesota this summer. If you’re in the area, join me! It’ll be fun for all ages.
Randy shares a laugh-filled experience called “Animal Antics” with a crowd of grade-school kids! Watch here to see highlights of this community show that kids love.
I do various school assemblies. Some are educational and full of fun! Some are simply fun-filled! It just depends on what the local school is looking for. If they want educational messages, I do those. If they want just an entertaining experience for kids, I provide that too. I know this, people learn quicker and easier when they are enjoying the learning experience. The brain opens up and the synapsis across the brain start “popping” when the learning experience is exciting and enjoyable. So, that’s part of my goal. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to teach kids when they WANT to listen! So, I’m committed to doing stuff that will grab and hold their attention throughout the assembly. Here’s a short video with numerous clips from a recent fun-filled school show. Enjoy!
Randy’s Classic Magic
As a 10 year old boy, Randy received his first magic tricks when he ordered Marshall Brodien’s T.V. Magic kit. He stayed focused on this captivating mode of entertainment for a few year as a child, actually doing some short shows for friends. Later, while in college, Randy once again began working on illusions and sleight of hand. He was mentored for a while by another award-winning magician and found that when performed well, the magical illusion may create a sense of wonder and joy in an audience. Randy has performed magic for all ages at kids shows and also adult banquets, fairs, and a cruise line. He performs close-up magic and also stage magic events. On this video, you will see Randy perform his version of the ancient illusion called the Chinese Linking Rings for a family audience. Enjoy the wonder.
It is our goal through the professional clown comedy tutorials to provide instruction on physical comedy for clowns. Safety is our primary concern. Know you limits and take the necessary safety precautions. None of the instructors are responsible for any injury incurred while trying any skill demonstrated or taught.
Randy and his team are now booking this “Laugh Out Loud” family-friendly, comedy tour for the Fall season. This knee-slapping, gut-busting show is full of circus skills, magic, ventriloquism, world-class juggling and clown-styled comedy. Here are a few favorite “snap-shots” from the show. More info in the “Shows” section here at qualityprograms.net.
Clowns, comedians, and funny folk bring something to our lives that can go deep into our souls. Often we think of laughter as something that’s flippant and short-lived—something that’s momentary and fleeting, but it accomplishes something that can be healthy and long-lasting. Laughter brings comic relief to counter stress and tension. In my life of family-friendly entertainment and programs infused with humor, clown comedy and creative methods, I’ve found that use of humor helps audiences in numerous ways—whether that be at a school, hospital, church or corporate event.
Laughter lightens the heaviness of one’s heart and deflates the power of pain. Laughter shines a light into the darkness of a situation and one’s soul. If a person can laugh when in a tough condition, that person can conquer it. Viktor Frankl, Nazi Death camp survivor, states, “I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.”
Historic American storyteller, Mark Twain, stated “The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that’s laughter. The moment it arises, all our hardness’s yield, all our irritations and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
Laughter ignites hope in the psyche as people’s stress fades. They have a new vantage point to look down on their problems, rather than trying to stand up underneath the pressure of them. Laughter brings lightheartedness which allows them to climb above the struggles – and potentially soar!
Emmett Kelly, Sr. performed as his lovable hobo clown character, Weary Willy, for decades in the mid 1900’s. He stated, “By laughing at me, the audience really laughs at themselves and realizing they have done this, gives them sort of a spiritual second wind for going back into the battles of life.”
Besides emotional, psychological and spiritual benefits to laughter, there are also physical benefits. When a person laughs, the lungs expand and the airflow increases, thus helping clear the air passage. Some have referred to laughter as “internal jogging,” because the stomach muscles and diaphragm are activated, which also improves digestion. The heart rate increases and blood pressure raises and then lowers below the previous level at rest. Physical stress in the muscles is relieved. The natural chemicals known as endorphins are released into one’s system which acts as natural pain killers. The physical benefits of laughter have been scientifically measured and are medically proven.
The writer knew the truth when he penned Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good like a medicine.”
I’m happy to be a “doctor of merriment,” a comedian, a humorist, a clown…one who brings comic relief.