Public Shedding: Do it, don’t do it!
Mar 20 2022
Hello. I am Holly and I am a Public Shedder. “Shedding” is a term I got from Amy Turn Sharp (I've posted her writing below), for me Shedding means letting go of a reality that used to define me, it can be a painful process, full of grief and vulnerability. Usually considered a highly private activity, I have shed in public, on purpose, many times as a performer, public speaker and writer. I have also helped other artists to shed in my capacity as a facilitator of self-exploratory workshops and a director of comic autobiographical theatre.
This blog charts my Public Shedding journey, from novice, impulsive, not-very-aware-of-why-I-was-doing-it Shedder to professional Shedder and holder of fellow Sheddies. There are guest spots from writers Amy Turn Sharp and Jeff Foster and a couple of cameos from a friend on facebook and my Clinical Supervisor. Plus two useful lists (who doesn’t love a list?): Why Have I Been Shedding In Public? and Questions To Ask Yourself Before you Shed In Public. Enjoy!Read more >
Why Play? Why Stop? Play more! Here's how!
Feb 21 2022
In session two of The Mindful Play Inquiry Online, we began by exploring our favourite kinds of play when we were kids and our favourite kinds of play now. We pondered on why people play and what might stop up playing as adults.
Then we dived into a non-verbal, physical play session. At the end of playtime, I asked the group to reflect on the quality of their play throughout the session. They were invited to share some actions that supported them finding their way into the play zone.
After the session, I took their chat box sharings and crafted them into three poems: What Does Play Do For You? What Stops Grown Ups Playing? and What Can You Do To Get Into The Playzone?Read more >
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.Read more >
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.
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.Read more >
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?Read more >
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?Read more >
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.Read more >
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.Read more >
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 choicesRead more >