Solo Process Workshop

First, the basics: The workshop is called Making & Responding to Solo Performance. Along with facilitating the group sessions listed above, I’ll also be meeting 1-1 with each participant over the course of these weeks. The last day will include an informal showing.

Second, the bird’s eye view: In this workshop I will be modeling, directly offering, and training participants as a community to offer a solo process & response practice that is deeply generous and ultimately efficient—that allows us to receive support and do our work.

You might find this workshop valuable if:

  • you’re in the midst making some work, and it’s hard

  • you want to learn how to better support artists you know who are making work

  • you’re down for a combination of building community, showing your work, having a conversation about your work in a group space, and listening to others have conversations about their work (see below for more info)

In these workshops, we’ll do a combination of the following:

  • We’ll get to know each other.

  • We’ll go over specific models for conversation that I believe can help people meet their needs and receive support, especially in creative making.

  • We’ll show what we’re working on.

  • We’ll have conversations about the work we show. Sometimes this will feel like individual coaching sessions for which a community is present—I will engage more or less 1-1 with participants while the group listens. Other times this will take the form of facilitated group conversations—we will talk as a community about our experiences.

Skills we will practice in how we talk to others:

  • slow response

  • asking questions, aka finding and expressing curiosity

  • making statements, aka paying attention to and expressing our lived experience

Skills we will practice in how we talk to ourselves:

  • paying attention to ourselves

  • identifying beliefs and deciding if we want to keep them

  • looking for what’s already happening or working, possibly in contrast to what we think should be happening or working

Some more words on what I’m getting at, how I came to it, and why I’m offering it:

As I have worked independently and in community with artists for many years, I have noticed that a lot of the time there is a lot more going on that’s valuable than what we’re giving ourselves credit for. Often we end up striving for something we think we should be or make, and that striving causes a lot of suffering. In the meantime, there’s often other stuff already happening that is rich and valuable. I’m interested in noticing and seeking to unravel the richness of what’s already happening, and then pursuing and following that. And I am often able to support people in finding that presence and then learning how to keep doing so themselves.

Learning how to talk to others about their work in a rigorous yet supportive way is, to me, the other end of the telescope of learning how to work with ourselves. We have what we need, others need us, and we need each other.

There are many bodies of knowledge and thought lineages that these ideas relate to and draw from, many of which I am likely not even aware of even while being influenced by them, as is the inevitable nature of being alive. That said, I credit my approach to a number of specific influences in particular:

  • Eric Stewart and Simple Yoga, including metta (or lovingkindness) practice

  • 1-1 creator- and learner-centered pedagogy (I’ve been working professionally as a tutor since 2008, and was trained in an approach that assumes and centers the creator’s or learner’s validity as a starting point)

  • many years of conversations with dance and performance artists, as well as wise friends outside these fields, wherein a foundational assumption of love and value allowed difficult growth to be less painful

  • Bryan Saner, who was a member of and thus himself influenced by the approaches of Goat Island