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A chain reaction…

Justin Lifflander

(Interview with Maria Eliseeva, for April Issue of Aeroflot in-fligh magazine: on Beslan, and how to get bikers and ordinary people involved in charity)

The travel weary clown got in the front seat of my car, after I greeted him at Sheremetyevo, for the start of the November 2017 Russia clown trip.

I had already read David’s biographical statement:

‘I’m a French-Italian, teacher-actor-comedian. I've been traveling the world for the past year doing a documentary about laughter and being a volunteer.’

An interesting, but not necessarily unique description of a humanitarian clown.

I asked the usual question as we headed toward the city center.

 “What made you decide to clown in Russia?” 

“Several things came together,” he responded. “First, I was flying through Russia on Aeroflot last year, and I read an article about Maria, Patch and the Russian clown trip. It inspired me…”

At that moment, I experienced the thrill writers get when they realize they’ve touched someone, made a difference, hit their target…

David spent the next two weeks in Moscow and St. Petersburg, working his magic, bringing joy and creating material for his documentary. And I was inspired to pitch Aeroflot about another article: this one about Maria’s involvement with Beslan – the city in North Ossetia where a school was attacked by terrorists in 2004.