The Wise Fool & Jan Henderson

Dear friends!

Geraldine Carr here, filmmaker in Edmonton, Canada. I’m excited to tell you that I’m currently in production on a new project called “The Wise Fool”, a 60-min. documentary celebrating the internationally renowned clown and mask instructor and director Jan Henderson, and her return to the stage after a 25+ year hiatus.  I’ve been passionate about doing a doc on the amazing Jan Henderson for years now because she possesses great insights on “the fool”  (a.k.a clown) and her impact is profound for all who have worked with her. With her imminent return to the stage this month (Nov. 2017), I want to share her story and give you a glimpse into her insights, wisdom and expertise. I need your help to bring my project to fruition - my goal is to raise $4000 for production expenditures. And with your help, I believe I can get there. Let me tell you a little more …

Jan Henderson believes that the “fool” has much to teach us about life. Famous for her annual clowning workshop, which attracts students from around the globe, Jan also has a distinguished pedigree as a performer. Her company Small Change Theatre toured internationally for seven years from 1982-1991. As a teacher and director, Jan has worked with hundreds of actors and individuals from across Canada, individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. This month, and yes after a 25+ year hiatus from performing, Jan will once again tap into her clown experience to perform in a new physical comedy called “Over Her Dead Body” produced by Small Matters Productions. 

Production on the documentary “The Wise Fool” began in July when we filmed Jan’s annual clowning workshop. This past week, we interviewed Jan on camera just before rehearsals began for her. We plan to document Jan’s journey and her destination! We will document: Jan’s philosophy about fools throughout the ages; the role of the fool in today’s society; the process of creativity as she teaches it; her journey of preparing to perform; as well as her performances. And we’ll follow up with Jan after the show is wrapped, to see what new insights she garnered from the experience. Venturing into performance before a live audience after such a time away, is no doubt daunting, but courageously “foolish” in the best sense. And so it is. The wise fool knows, as any other genuine fool does, that you have to do what you have to do. Authentic, honest, truthful performance is at the core, and all along the way with heart. The stakes are high. After years of teaching and urging students to take risks, Jan has decided to put her own philosophy, talent and experience on the line in this very public forum. 

“The Wise Fool” offers a hopeful outlook on the world and ourselves in this increasingly anxious age. Accessing the wisdom of the fool as seen through the eyes of a contemporary clown, viewers will gain a new perspective on vulnerability, hope and laughter. It is a charming piece that people of all ages and all walks of life will relate to - a piece that demonstrates that we must trust our process, embrace the vulnerable playful self within, and forge forth with truthful action.

For anyone who knows Jan, we are in for a real treat. And for those who don’t, just wait – you’ll love it all.

Thank you in advance for your support – it means a great deal to actualize this project that I am so deeply passionate about and has stuck with me over the years.

Oh, and stand by for wee excerpts from our conversations.


PS Please share this campaign widely – thank you xoxo
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Geraldine Carr 
Edmonton, AB
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