To mark Stress Awareness Month (April 2022) London based performer, speaker and ‘Corporate Clown Coach’ Emma Stroud is asking people to embrace their creativity and unmask serious truths with laughter to inspire happier and better lives for themselves, their family, friends and colleagues.
Em Stroud, 43, who is a performer and speaker classically trained in clowning, regularly coaches a roster of CEOs of SME and global businesses in the capital, employing pioneering techniques that force leaders to ‘take fun seriously’ at a time when ‘it’s never been more important to find joy.’ It’s worth mentioning that her crucial lessons were co-authored by one of her clown alter-egos; Orange.
With everything going on in the world and anything cropping up in between, Em has crafted lessons in happiness mastered from the art of clowning. Not just an antidote to stress at work and leadership challenges, particularly since the pandemic, she calls on people to ‘work well, play harder’ by providing a route towards sustainable approaches to happiness, careers and wellbeing. It feels a very timely and realistic addition to counter ‘work hard, play hard’ hustle culture, that is becoming increasingly, well, less ‘play hard’ and more ‘work hard, work harder’.
5 critical steps to a happier life
Em’s new book, Lessons from a Clown, documents her own journey to discover her inner clown alter ego, and outlines teachings and insights acquired from 20 years of coaching, workshops and public speaking.
The book offers five lessons, which, taken together, have the potential to change lives for the better, filling them with laughter, through clowning practices that are often misunderstood. They are:
Em says: “In order to be seen by others and ourselves we must first be vulnerable and find joy in that process. It can be daunting however it really is the starting point. I help people I work with to unmask truths and get to the core of your own purpose and truth – that is then recognised by others.”
Em says: “Kindness is a limitless currency sometimes lacking in the commercial world but Lessons from a Clown helps connect you with kindness as a human being – to self and others. Its impact is far reaching and even small daily acts can be a bridge to happiness and make you feel good about yourself too.”
Em says: “Easier said than done in a world full of distractions but my book highlights how the physicality of the clown can support your mind and body to truly live in the moment, appreciate the situation and create space to enjoy even the little things.”
Em says: “Acceptance is an awareness that requires daily practice and Lessons from a Clown will provide methods to observe emotions and make this part of your happiness toolkit.”
Em says: “We’ve heard the phrase ‘work hard, play hard’ like we somehow need to ‘earn’ enjoyment, but I’m here to tell you that it is possible to live each day with a sense of joy that you can own simply by showing up for yourself and building confidence and creativity using clowning techniques.”
Em is keen to stress that the recent challenges to workplaces in the last two years have created a watershed moment where people can feel empowered to bring joy back into their lives without compromise. She says: “Regardless of your job title or how you are feeling about your life right now, there is always room to laugh everyday and allow more joy into your life. Clowning is an art that is often misunderstood; but, in Lessons from a Clown readers will learn how applying this craft really can affect their lives at home and at work.”
Lessons from a Clown is available to purchase in paperback from Amazon. Em also hosts the ‘Clowning around’ podcast. For more information visit https://emmastroud.london