TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

 

Whether students are studying Hip Hop theatre, introductory, intermediate or advanced level acting, or involved in a production I’m directing, I encourage them to be creatively fearless, brazenly supportive, highly inquisitive and engaged. Connecting course material directly to the questions, stories and interests of my students, facilitates their active involvement and a more dedicated level of study because of their personal investment. I enjoy connecting my students to each other through performance exercises and assignments because I never get tired of witnessing the exchange of ideas and the magical ways performance work can build empathy and trust among peers.

 
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I have a reputation for being able to push my students out of their comfort zones. In creative collaborations with them, I have discovered when we focus on the act of doing performance instead of just theorizing and discussing performance, students are able to get out of their head, and, as a result, out of their own way. I believe students must learn to see a play as a way to: tell a story, create characters, investigate thoughts, speak and hear prose and poetry, move fluidly, and interact with the world. A student who has completed a course with me will leave with a specific set of performance skills that can be used to approach a play in the future or engage an audience for non-theatrical purposes.

I ask my students to recognize by being courageous enough to truthfully share their story, they give the audience permission to make connections to their own experiences, thereby, accessing the universal through the personal.

 

Once I get them to absorb this idea, that their work is, in many ways, bigger than themselves; fears of being judged and criticized are replaced with feelings of pride, responsibility and empowerment. That personal satisfaction and rich discovery is the gift that keeps on giving, and ultimately, the reason why I love to teach.