I’m teaching a brand new workshop at the Florida Association of Theatre Educators today. The focus is on how students get a ‘Superior’ (the highest ranking) in an Individual Event Competition (monologues) but really it easily transposes to auditioning for a part, trying to get into a particular college, vying for a scholarship.
I’m not a natural teacher, and I’m not a natural speaker. I have to write out my workshops in long form and then practice them over and over to get them in my skull. It takes years before I’m comfortable enough with a workshop to improvise in the moment.
But, I love these little pockets of teaching. I love sharing information, sharing my love for theatre. I love seeing that look of ‘I get it!’ in somebody’s eye. I believe in what I teach and nothing gives me more pride than when a teacher comes up to me months or years later and says ‘I still use those exercises you taught in that workshop.’ Inside victory dance.
On paper this new one is a good-er, if I do say so myself. I’m looking forward to setting it in motion. I’ve been teaching and creating high school theatre workshops since 1994, and over the years, after many missteps, a sense of rhythm appears. I know by looking at the page if there’s too much talking. How long an exercise is going to take. Whether or not I’m making any sense whatsoever.
Of course, as it is with plays, no workshop exists simply on the page. It lives and succeeds, or crashes and burns in the doing. We’ll find out today……