In my microbiology class at natural medical school, we were told to close our eyes and think of something that makes us truly happy, a place where we feel the most “alive.” It has been scientifically proven that in doing so, your natural immune response is stimulated to help restore your health, down to the individual cells in your body. I immediately thought of clowning at Electric Daisy Carnival and could not help but smile. It is literally my happy place.
My journey toward health and naturopathy has been steeped in obstacles, and I owe a big chunk of this spiritual transformation to becoming an EDC clown. I hit rock bottom with my health a few years ago and never thought I would get here. I fought my way out of a wheelchair and onto the stage in front of Insomniac’s Entertainment Director, who gave me the chance to clown all over the world, and it brought me back to life.
I was fortunate enough to go on tour with EDC last year—performing in Orlando, Puerto Rico, Mexico City, New York, Las Vegas, and the UK—and I am continuing in the same fashion this year while in school. I feel better with each adventure and never imagined all the positivity that would ripple throughout every aspect of my life. My family comes to as many shows as possible and can see my transformation. We hold a lot of gratitude for Insomniac creating such a special atmosphere to share in the magic together.
No one sees all the work that goes on behind closed doors, but performing is an intense, adrenaline-fueled marathon of fun for 12–18 hours. I stay mindful and listen to my body, because practicing self-care is absolutely necessary in order to maintain the endurance required. Not only does the show take a physical toll, but the mental stamina, strength of will, ability to adapt, and positive attitude that are required to persevere through the weekend is what sets Insomniac performers apart. Preparation is key, so I always pack tons of survival supplies, from first aid to food, which led to my clown name, “Snax!”
I clown because it sets me free. Improv dancing to new music and interacting with my teammates onstage in front of thousands of people is a whole new level of empowerment. I let the music live through me and completely take over my body, feeling nothing and everything at the same time—no pain, just bliss. The looks of judgment from using a wheelchair used to haunt me, but they have now been replaced with memories of pure joy on Headliners’ faces when they first see me in character.
“Working the barricade” is my favorite, because not only can the energy of the crowd be felt all around me, but I can reach out to the front row and touch it with my bare hands. Getting a glimpse at what it is like to have a positive impact on someone’s immediate experience reminds me of why I work so hard in school. I believe that each personal connection made in the present moment does make a difference. EDC holds the space for us to lift ourselves up and live authentically, giving each other permission to find meaning outside of society’s constructs, and ultimately be supportive of one another without judgment.