Yes, it really is that simple. Time and time again I have taught, directed and coached performers that paralyze themselves from making bold choices and diving into their character because they are too concerned with what their character is thinking. I began shifting to a more physical, ensemble-based style when I was unable to shake these performers loose from the grip of their own internal monologue. Years of experience as a performer and educator has taught me that when you are able to connect with the space, your body, and shift to an external focus to others and your environment, you as the character will know what to do. Physical ensemble training leads to greater empathy, whole body listening and following impulses with trust and care. As I tell my students, "It's simple. But it's not always easy."
Get out of your head and into your body.
A Brief History
Photo Credit: John C Hawthorne
With a BFA, conservatory training, and an MFA in Devised Performance (what even is that?) all from vastly different institutions, I have become adept at blending styles, methods and genres to personalize and expand my own definition of theatre and performance. My earlier years focused on Stanlislavsky, Meisner, Viewpoints and classical performance, while my later years have opened up a new world in ensemble training, LeCoq pedagogy, physical storytelling, and performance art. The result? A LOT of skills, methodologies and wild explorations.
Eager to share these experiences and delve into the unknown, I began teaching in the fall of 2015, as part of a team of 3 educator/directors at Spring High School just outside of Houston, TX. While I put a pause on performing, the creative juices never stopped flowing as I tapped into all of my performance and analytical tools to craft student-centered lessons that engaged and challenged students in an environment that fostered growth and empathy. I spent 3 amazing years with that program and when it was time for me to move on to pursue my Masters, I knew being an educator would be part of me forever.
Now, as a teaching artist, I am able to harness all of the skills I have cultivated as a performer, creator, director and educator and continue to create lessons and workshops for my community.