Minna Puolanto is also known for her joyful feminist clown figure Babylon.
At the Clown Theater the clown characters are born, and the character remains unchanged throughout the actor’s career. There is also a “midwife”. It is the midwife’s job to ask questions like what the character’s name is.
When Minna Puolanto gave birth to his clown Babylon in the early 2000s, the midwife was his own teacher, the theater’s legendary clown and mask theater teacher Philip Boulay.
The fact that Poland was really waiting for its firstborn brought extra layers to the birth.
“The name Babylon probably came to mind from my pregnancy because of‘ baby ’. In part, it was probably related to my Christian background, ”Poland says.
Kokkonen, a relative of Poland’s own family, worked as a music teacher at the Parish College and his mother as a deaconess, so Biblical the story of the harlot of Babylon came to mind from some subconscious.
In the clown theater, the clown character allows things to be viewed and questioned from a new, humorous point of view. Babylon, a clown that sovereignly takes over the stage and revolves around its own pole in its storytelling, has since been seen in the performances of the clown theater Red Nose Company Babylon (2018) and REVolution (2021).
Clown Babylon’s stories have also ignored Poland’s own life, childhood gymnastics and various situations of exercising power, for example in working life.
“Babylon is some part of me that is brazen and palate in its endless need to fill the space. I recognize traits in myself in the character, but in everyday life I think I am at least more listening, ”Puolanto analyzes and sips tea quite harmoniously.
Klovner became the savior of Poland, which was originally trained as a dancer.
“Even though I felt my body, at first I couldn’t utilize it in my acting. I felt like a mere talking head on stage. ”
When the Red Nose Company applied for new members in 2013, he applied for the group.
“I felt like there was a dive in my own acting at the time, a lot of development. Through Clownneria, I understood how I can introduce my own dance in all my acting. ”
Poland siblings are also in the emerging field. Little sisters Pauliina and Terhi Kokkonen oriented to music, Poland early to gymnastics and dance.
“As children, we sisters were often put to sing at nursing home Christmas parties and various family reunions. We have been encouraged and not prevented from choosing our own paths. ”
A personal approach has been characteristic of Polish work. He has been a freelancer throughout his career and often also a screenwriter of his own performances. He tackled a painful topic in a 2010 tragicomedy Death repairs sleep debts. It told of a mother on the brink of despair due to insomnia.
“I had two small children and had been practically sleeping properly for five years,” she recalls.
“Too little sleep was the most traumatic experience of my life so far. The most beloved people in the world, that is, their own children, caused a state of torture. I was already so deep in that crook that I couldn’t get help anymore. ”
Subject was in contrast to a great theatrical performance. Poland therefore considers that his most important task is to provide the public with experiences of identification. On stage, the personal becomes commonplace.
The popular show toured for four years, including overseas such as Israel, Estonia, Lithuania and the United States.
“The reception was a bit exciting because the motherhood is so different in different countries and the performance was pretty rough in a feminist sense.”
The reception was good, and the performance was also listened to by Yle in 2014. There would have been enough demand, but the freelancer’s double role as both a performer and a producer of the performance was unnecessarily heavy.
Acting was not an obvious choice for Poland. Kimmoke ignited it from his first film role Jaakko Pyhälä in drama A time of grace (1999). It told of an island used to isolate lepers and the mentally ill in the 18th century. Poland played the role of Anna Norman, who played the main part of the woman due to her father’s heresy.
“Jaakko said that if you know how to dance, you can also act. Then just the same picture Esko Salmisen with.”
For a long time, Poland had believed that he would not be an actor, even though the profession attracted him. The turning point was the spouse, the actress Jouko Puolannonwith a presentation made in 2000 Blanket, where they changed their professional roles. Jouko Puolanto danced, Minna acted.
“It just got crushed, and my acting was compared to Uuno Turhapuro,” Puolanto says and laughs.
Spooling up. He was 28 years old when he got to study at the Theater Academy for the second time, now at the Department of Acting.
Fifty despair over the power of many actresses. Poland praises Clowner for being ageless and asexual.
“I would like more courage from theaters that Actors of different ages could play characters of many ages.”
Born in 1972 in Helsinki.
Master of Dance Arts 1995 and Master of Theater Arts 2005, Theater Academy.
Part of the Red Nose Company clown theater.
Freelancer, performed e.g. Kotka City Theater, KokoTeatter, Takomo Theater, Joensuu City Theater and Lappeenranta City Theater.
Performed e.g. in the movies A time of grace (1999), With all love (2013), in TV series Venny (2003), Rotten apples (2020), Roommates (2022) as well as in the listens Death repairs sleep debts (2014) and The secret of a long union (2017).
Written and presented by Poland Death repairs sleep debts was awarded the Pärnu Fringe Festival Award in 2013 and the Monomaffia Festival in Pärnu in 2012.
Lives in Helsinki, married actor Jouko Puolanto, two children.
Turns 50 on Friday, March 4th.
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