Described as ‘the face that could launch a thousand laughs', Jean-Paul Bell brings laughter and entertainment to audiences while delivering powerful and informative presentations.
One of Australia's great 'Humour-manitarians' Jean-Paul Bell believes that humour helps put life into perspective. It helps us understand the orthodox, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and survive the unbearable.
Since creating and co-founding the Humour Foundation and their Clown Doctor Program in 1996, Jean-Paul has been showing the world that laughter is the best medicine. In 2010 he wrote Laughter is the Best Medicine which chronicles the experiences of a number of Clown Doctors as they do their rounds in children's hospitals around Australia.
Jean-Paul Bell is a great choice to open a conference or seminar or to take on the risky challenge of after dinner speaker.
As one of five children, Jean-Paul moved more than 118 times, confronting change and upheaval on a regular basis. This early life experience caused Jean-Paul to develop resilience and flexibility and to thrive on change and its possibilities. His insight in how the human species adapts to change and flourish is very valuable listening.
In the award-winning ABC documentary Honeymoon in Kabul, Jean-Paul takes his physical comedy to war-torn countries like Afghanistan and East Timor. He proves that the more stressed or threatened people are the greater the potential for laughter: "Humour can have an effect similar to an 'out of body experience', where you look down from the position you are in and embrace the absurd and the ridiculous. Comedy in these situations is more like an extreme sport!"
Jean-Paul Bell's great passions are health and education. He is now creative director of the Arts Health Institute which provides national programs, education and facilitates research to bring the arts into health and aged care environments. Its highly successful Play Up program involving humour therapy for elderly people suffering from the effects of dementia is now around Australia and incorporates the skills of over 60 performers in 70 Residential Aged Care Facilities. The acclaimed documentary The Smile Within highlights his innovative approach in applied theatre for people in aged care.
Jean-Paul has also spent more than 35 years working in theatre and education, performing for over half a million children. He teaches mime, movement and clowning to both teachers and children. He believes the performing arts are a great influence in child development making them more confident, articulate and creative as they progress on to their working lives.
In 2011 Jean-Paul fulfilled a long-held ambition to lead a group of physical theatre performers in The Roof Of The World Tour, performing and teaching workshops in schools built by Sir Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust. This was the first time Sherpa children had the opportunity to see Western-style clown, mime and acrobatic performances. The documentary of this journey, Stumbling In Hillary's Footsteps, was shown on the ABC Compass program in June 2013.
Since training as a mime in the early 70's Jean-Paul Bell graduated into comedy and has had a long career in theatre, cabaret, stand-up comedy, film and television. He estimates that he has performed for almost a million children to date.
Jean-Paul Bell is one of Australia's most humorous, most compassionate speakers and is in high demand not only in the health care industry but in the general community.
Jean-Paul Bell speaks about:
After a day of heavy discussion… we were delighted to have Jean-Paul Bell drag us into the land of laughter with his hysterical tales and mime. We laughed and laughed – some of us cried. Thank-you for an evening none of us will ever forget.
Australian National University
Jean-Paul is an exceptional speaker who speaks from the heart and captures the audience with his passion and humour. He has always been a popular speaker at our conferences, having the ability to relate to a diverse range of people and situations.
Thank you for connecting my heart to my brain.