I believe the space in which we learn and interact, risk and grow, to be a sacred space. It happens in community with one another and requires a sense of trust built within a group. As a teacher I hold this ideal at the cornerstone of my work, alongside a devout belief in patience, play, and listening.
The world of clown and circus arts is one that requires a constant dialogue between mind and body. When learning how to forward roll for instance, the student needs instruction from the teacher that will generate a clear mental image of the action to be performed. Conjunctly, the student requires strength of physical support and connection to convert that image and actualize it in the body. Synergy is demanded to move forward. As an instructor, or teacher, or coach, my job is to create that clarity of mind and support that strength of body in guidance to achieve the goal.
This idea carries me through teaching the creative process as well. It is my duty to my students to create a clear container for them to fill. In teaching clown work, I think it is of utmost importance to balance concrete structures with room to explore. Truly in this realm right and wrong are unimportant; the expansive discovery of play and relationship takes center stage for me. Each time I witness a young performer find true moments of joy in an exercise or an act, I am reminded of the purity of laughter and the power of play.
The constant flow between using the body and all of its modes and developing the imagination and discipline of the mind to stay in focus, is where I challenge myself to teach from and continue to grow into.