I read Angels Can Fly after watching the film ‘Courting Chaos’ and I have to say that I was more than happy to realize that I got an extra dose of my favorite characters in this book. Admittedly, this is what I was looking for more so than the learning aspects of it.
Whilst there are instructional parts of this book, I found the way that Alan Clay wove them all together with a mixture of fiction to be an easy and fun learning process. This read more like a book that you didn’t want to put down, and before you even realized it, you were learning all about clowning through the characters and their misadventures. Each performer in this story is struggling with their own issues and learning from their peers as they watch on from the sidelines or engage in conversation.
I think all of their struggles would be relatable on some level or another to anyone who does this type of street performing, and though I don’t myself, I just really enjoyed this world and the characters in it. It isn’t really something I ever thought much about before, but next time I see a street performer I will surely think of Chaos and Madona, Dancer or Hannibal.
As well as the fictional characters, we are also given anecdotes from people in this chosen profession. I found them to be very interesting, and I enjoyed learning about their individual journeys. Amelia’s journey in Ibiza was one that particularly resonated with me.
In general, I think the philosophies presented in this book on everything from breathing to yoga to mental thought processes would not only be useful in clowning, but also in all aspects of life.