Philippe, my clown teacher is was French. With the second war in Europe on his mind, he constantly mocked the Germans. According to Philippe they had terrible boundaries and were grossly inhumane and insensitive as a people. When it came to the Germans, Philippe held nothing back.
With this in mind, when describing the worst situation for a clown or performer, the culprits, the threats were always the Germans. One classic Philippe exercise involved pretending to perform for a group of German rugby players. They were drunk and expecting strippers. As the clown you need to make them laugh in order to save the furniture.
The others in the workshop had to pretend to be the drunk Germans. If you were not funny while performing, the audience was instructed to begin stomping on the floor and chanting ‘money back’. If this happened twice during the exercise, you were required to ‘finish the show’ as quickly as possible. As Philippe put it, By then, save your neck. To hell with the furniture.
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