Carole – Kindness in Kirkintilloch
I was very excited to be invited to come and work with the young people at Kirkintilloch Players. I was also really happy that this opportunity directly came from a taster workshop I delivered to members of the Western Division Committee – other Divisions might want to consider the same thing?
It was quite cold as I made my way to the workshop venue and I knew that a lot of the participants had been involved in various activities in the morning so one of my first challenges was to think about how to keep the energy levels up. I didn’t need to worry – the group were warm and receptive so I knew from the off that we would have a good time. After some very energetic games we decamped into the larger hall in the venue to give us some space to spread out.
My brief had been to look at voice particularly clarity and volume. I am often asked for this and alongside some tongue twisters and vocal warm-ups we looked at the importance of using the whole body to communicate and the challenges of that in a time when culturally visual images are so dominant. The group were attentive and very quick to convert the learning into group images and short scenes.
The last section was a gamble as we worked with monologues and I was a little concerned that people might be feeling a bit tired at this point. Once I had ascertained that almost everyone wanted the opportunity to perform their monologues and get some feedback I knew that time would be tight as the group was quick big, so everyone got their heads down and the result was a really high level of focus. Everyone worked through a structured process included working with a partner to help them develop the piece.
I have nothing but praise for every single member of the group not only at where they managed to get to with their performances but also the kindness and support they offered each other – it’s one of the many things I love about my job that I am able to witness this true demonstration of community time and time again.
What I learned …. Although the games and small group work was really enthusiastically performed – the feedback at the end was that everyone who had acted their monologue really enjoyed getting some individual feedback and the chance to put changes into practice straight away. This was also the case in my earlier trip to Orkney and I have been reflecting on the challenge of balancing the whole group activities with the individual moments of learning. I wonder if I should offer more in the way of ‘directing’ actors in small scenes, something which I tend not to do too much as I understand that clubs may have one workshop a year so I want everyone to get the most out of it. Thinking cap on, suggestions on a postcard (showing my age there, an email will do)!
Here are some images – it was hard to choose as there were so many good shots but hopefully this gives a flavour of the workshop.