1. Briefly describe your normal studio practice and work as a teaching artist.
I am a theater artist, choreographer, director and teaching artist. My day usually consists of:
Reading: research, scripts, pedagogy and assessment strategies. In addition, I stay informed on current events and necessary education to be a good human. I believe an artist’s job is to deeply understand the human condition and become an ambassador for it.
Exercise and healthy eating. My body, voice and imagination are my tools and I need to take care of them!
Creating choreography, working on a script, writing and creating lesson plans happen throughout depending on the project I am working on.
2. How has sharing your work with students, teachers, and other artists shifted?
I spend a great deal of time in virtual trainings: pedagogy, exercises, how to translate my craft to the screen and increasing my digital literacy. I still exercise all of the above but online.
3. If your activities incorporate educational learning standards, whether formal or informal, please discuss them.
a. Commedia can work with any age group. I adjust the outcomes for the appropriate age.
b. From a theater arts standpoint this lesson focuses more on Create: movement and creating environment; Perform: creation and demonstration of character; Respond: standards of positive critique and how to incorporate feedback into rehearsal; Connect: historical relevance
c. Please note: STEAM opportunities abound with study of culture, specificity when creating/experimenting/communicating and strengthening communication, most specifically through the ability to express when presenting and reading body language in the room during a presentation.
4. Are there follow-up activities beyond the one you are presenting?
a. Watch a favorite comedy, decide which commedia character each player would be, ex. Princess Bride: Vizzini is a Dottore – Inigo Montoya keeps saying to him “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” Now recreate a scene from that favorite movie using the stock character movement and do so without words
5. What is your favorite non-art activity that inspires you?
6. List an artist(s) that you look to for inspiration and explain why.
Brian Foley: you may not know him but he is a clown based out of Arizona who has worked for Cirque du Soleil, has done street theater all over the world, is an amazing educator and an awesome human being – you can work hard and be a good artist. You are a GREAT artist if you are also a tremendous human being. Surround yourself with healthy, strong, kind people and you will go far – so will they!