How to surrender: lessons from nature

Jul 29 2021

Hello dear reader, well, have I got some stories for you?! I'm fresh from a soothing and enlivening wild women woodland retreat on the lush green hilly Sharpham Estate in Devon. I've been meandering, river swimming, meditating, moving, singing, chatting, laughing, crying, eating and howling with a pack of incredible women with astonishing stories, under the gentle and powerful guidance of Nina Jankelson and Shoshana Moskowitz.

This blog tells the tale of my solo day and what it taught me about surrender. 

After three days of developing a toolkit of mindfulness techniques, sensory exploration, nature reflection and ritual, each of us were given a packed lunch (yay!) and invited to cross a flowery threshold onto the vibrant, undulating beckoning land, solo, guided by our chosen intention.

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10 Top Facilitation Tips

Jul 27 2021

Haaaaaaahhhhh! What a breath of fresh air to be project-hopping again! Before COVID, my life used to be travelling around the country by train with a suitcase full of red noses, colourful feathers and rubber chickens, as a clown consultant.

As someone who thrives on variety, connection and adventure, you can imagine how delighted I've been for the last 6 weeks, getting to facilitate six different groups, both online and in real life.

I'm now in the process of designing a new three-month creative facilitation training course, called The Well-Held Space. As part of this process, I've been reflecting on my role as facilitator through these six projects. I'd like to share some the things I've learned / remembered about facilitation with you, dear reader, in the hope that it's useful to you.

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A chat with de Castro & Franki Anderson

Jun 30 2021

As part of the Why Not Cafe's new series of clown conversations, I got to have a lovely chat with two of my favourite teachers, clown maestro Angela de Castro and master fool Franki Anderson. This blog contains the recording of the chat as well as charting the conversation; paraphrasing some bits, quoting other bits and offering a bit of bonus extra background on some of the topics covered, which included; how we met, how we've influenced each other's work, how our students are our greatest teachers, pivotal moments of our teaching evolution, the difference between clowning and fooling, the importance of safety in clowning and fooling workshops, how some teachers methods are good for people who have emotional armour and others are good for hyper sensitive people and what we're up to next.

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How do we find our way back to the real world?

Jun 07 2021

On the 5th and 6th June 2021, I attended a 24 hour online Devoted & Disgruntled Open Space at the Global Improvisation Initiative Symposium.

Improbable Theatre Company had decided to host a 24 hour rolling event where people from all across the globe could gather at a time convenient to them to discuss whatever felt pertinent around the themes of:

How is the world transforming improvisation? How can impro transform the world?

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Clowning Out Of Chaos Panel Video

May 26 2021

On the 22nd May 2021 as part of the Clowning Out of Chaos Conference, The Online Clown Academy held a panel discussion, exploring the themes of the conference; how can clowning help us to meet inner and outer chaos?

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Meditations For Chaotic Times - a mini workshop

May 14 2021

Ahead of the Clowning Out Of Chaos Conference (21-23 May), I offered a wee workshop exploring meditations for chaotic times via Facebook Live.

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Clowning With Chaos, a mini workshop

Apr 30 2021

Ahead of The Online Clown Academy's Clowning Out Of Chaos Conference (21-23 May), I offered a wee workshop exploring chaos through clowning via Facebook Live.

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Why the red noses?

Mar 15 2021

In the circus I grew up in, we hardly ever used red noses. Our shows were character-driven theatrical performances which integrated circus skills into the narrative. On leaving the circus in my 20's, I carried on performing non-nosed stealth clowning on streets and stages for another decade. I resisted the title of clown, referring to myself instead as a 'character comedienne'. I'd only ever worn a red nose when I was safe behind the closed doors of a clown workshop.

Then in 2009 / 2010, I got a job touring with The Honk Project, a non-verbal, ensemble, red nosed, musical-theatre show. Spending extended periods of time wearing a red nose and not speaking English seemed to give me permission to drop deeper into the state of clown, to trust my clown's logic and let her make the choices

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Curating The Conditions To Be Creative

Feb 03 2021

My first intensive writing week was supposed to be a retreat in Arvon, a beautiful rural writers haven in Yorkshire, where writers of all disciplines are supported to steep themselves in their practice. There'd be uninterrupted time and space, delicious food to eat, other writers to talk with and Mother Nature to soothe and inspire. The plan was to use this time to explore ways of letting nature and body-based play infuse my writing.

Coronavirus had other plans.

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Discoveries in Self Care 2020

Dec 30 2020

There's a statement that's been doing the rounds on facebook; “We are not all in the same boat, but we are all on the same sea.” This blog is an offer from my boat to yours. It's far from my intention to make self-care into a stick for you to bash yourself over the head with! Take whatever is useful to you and throw the rest in the sea.

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