What Is It?
Say it to a clown is a simple service full of Love.
You know a person who feels lonely, who has lost hope in other people or who simply could use a conversation with a caring stranger.
You put that person in contact with me and we have a 40 minute caring video conversation in which the focus is Listening. Because when we are listened to we open up, share and feel part of the world that surrounds us.
And that person, of course, can also be you.
But “Say it to a clown” offers also another service:
Say it with a clown.
You write a message or a letter to a person you love and put it into the hands of a caring stranger, which in this case is me.
The caring stranger delivers those words to the beloved person during a video conversation and, with their permission, records thei reactions and delivers them back to you.
If you wish to know more click on the button below here:
Say it to a clown is only possible thanks to people’s donations, but money doesn’t have to be the reason why you decide not to reach out, especially while Covid-19 is keeping us so distant from one another.
So if you can’t afford a donation, I offer it to you as a gift.
Why a clown?
A humanitarian clown is different from the traditional circus clown.
A humanitarian clown doesn’t do shows, they might perform a character, or more characters, but not necessarily. For the humanitarian clown the costume and the props are a means to bring love and care closer to the person (or persons) they are interacting with.
A humanitarian clown notices what the person loves and emphasizes it. They listen, ask questions through language or play, they consider every person a friend, and as a friend would do, they honestly care about you, and also need to be cared for by you.
And finally, they don’t judge. They are aware of human vulnerability, they know their own imperfections and have learned to love them, thus they love people’s imperfections and welcome them with curiosity and care.
They live in the now, and what is shared with the clown, no matter how intimate, remains in the now and with the clown.
Who am I?
My name is Dario and I am a humanitarian clown.
I’ve been working with Patch Adams, MD and his organization Gesundheit! Institute as an organizer, teacher, performer and humanitarian clown since 2008.
In 12 years, I’ve been performing as a caring clown for many thousands of people in a number of countries, including USA, Italy, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark…
In locations like general hospitals, children’s hospitals, mental healthcare facilities, nursing homes, addiction centers, minimum to maximum security prisons, endangered communities, shelters for people with mental and physical disabilities, foster homes for women and young people whom were victims of violence, schools for people with special needs, public schools, and in public spaces like the streets, markets, university campuses, and more.
I love people and I love to care. And I’ve learned that connecting with others with respect, no matter the circumstances, age, cultural background or deeds, is what I’m best at doing in this life.
And that’s what I want to contribute to the world.
If you wish to learn more about some pieces of my story, here is a short documentary I had the honor to be portrayed in.
“Change”, directed by Carlo Crapanzano and Alessio Salvato
Why do I do it?
I don’t think we need Social Distancing.
We do need to practice Physical Distancing to help humanity heal from Covid-19, but we need Social Closeness more than ever.
Staying at home is the best thing to do for most people, but there are millions of people for whom staying at home makes them safe from the virus, but exposes them to in many cases even more dangerous conditions: violence, depression, loneliness or lack of self-care.
Many of us have plenty of free time at the moment, so I want to offer the possibility to occupy part of that free time with a conversation with a caring stranger.
Why would you try it?
Maybe you know a person who feels lonely, who has lost hope in other people or who simply could use a conversation with a caring stranger who has been accompanying people with his care, presence, words and play in all sorts of contexts and circumstances for 12 years.
Maybe that person is you.
Although the service may have therapeutic effects, this is not a therapy and I am not a therapist.
it is free,
if you can’t afford to donate.
You don’t have to pay in advance. I have a conversation with you or with the person you put me in contact with. And if you afterwards think the consequences of my intervention were desirable you are welcome to donate to support me.
I don’t want money to be the reason why you decide not to reach out, especially while Covid-19 is keeping us so distant from one another.
So if you can’t donate, this is as a gift from me to you.
Why would you trust me?
In addition to Patch Adams, MD and Carl Hammerschlag, MD‘s recommendations in the videos at the top of the page, here are the words from some of the many people from around the world I had the opportunity to work with.
Maybe that person is you.
Recommendations are extracted from Say it to a clown facebook page.
Reserve your conversation
In the form below, make sure your timezone is correctly selected, then select a date and choose an available time that works for you.
I’ll contact the email address you provide confirming the date and sending a link to a secure password protected online meeting room.
The conversation lasts 40 minutes. Then we say goodbye. =)
For any further question or clarification, you can contact me directly by clicking here.
Important: if you are reserving a conversation for a third person, please make sure to notify the person and that they agree.
When filling out the form, in the field named “Notes”, please write:
1. a brief description of yourself (or the person)
2. share what you expect from the conversation
This is essential for me to prepare to our conversation and so that our time together is entirely focused on that which you wish to talk about.
If none of the times below work for you:
In case the available dates/times in the calendar below don’t work with your schedule, I’m sure we can find an alternative. Please let me know by clicking here.
As for many other people during the Covid-19 outbreak, my regular job has been substantially affected.
The humanitarian clowning programs I organize with Patch Adams, MD and the School for Designing a Society require staff members and participants to travel, and it is still uncertain when that will be possible again.
Say it to a clown is the way I found to continue doing what I learned I’m best at: caring for people.
Depending on what you can afford, this is how you can make a difference:
€1 to €45: “Thank you, Dario!”
€50 to €75: “Our conversation helped me, and I wish to donate for the time you dedicated to me.”
€80 to €140: “I believe another person who can’t afford donating should have the opportunity to talk with you. I’ll donate it forward to them!”
€150 and more: “I wish to contribute so that you can continue doing the work you are doing!”
By clicking on the Donate button below, you’ll be able to donate via PayPal or credit/debit card, and also to make a recurring donation.
You decide the amount, I say thank you.
In October 2017, I receive an email from a man who says he is interested in participating in one of the humanitarian clown programs I organize, but first he would like to have a phone call with me to share relevant things he was dealing with at the time. We have an internet phone call.
Afterwards he decides to participate, we become friends and his name is Benjamin.
Years later, on April 7th 2020, Ben writes me an email sharing beautiful things happening in his present life, and among other things he writes:
“Thank you Dario for all your loving kindness and understanding. I will never forget the
conversation we both had when I stood on a railway station in Sri Lanka, on my birthday, having decided to separate from my fiancée the day before. To say I was sad, lost and
vulnerable would be an understatement. Along with family and friends, you really helped me get some perspective and get excited about the future again. So bless you, thank you and don’t ever stop doing those calls. :-)”
Say it to a clown is what I’m doing to follow Ben’s invitation.
My deepest gratitude goes to my ingenious, patient and loving brother, Mario, without whom this webpage wouldn’t have been possible, to my precious friends Mo and Ana for their feedback and for helping polish the English and Spanish texts, to Mauro, Giacomo and Veena for their loving support and ideas, to Vincenzo for his graphic design wisdom, and to my wife Line for her support, enthusiasm and invaluable feedback. Finally to Patch Adams, M.D., Carl Hammerschlag, M.D. and all the people who shared their recommendations and supported me and this project.
Photos courtesy of Alessio Salvato, Carlo Crapanzano and Vincenzo Cammarata.