Updated: Oct 8
WHY BOTHER when there's so much to consume at the click of a button, from the comfort of home/ your safety blanket, why bother get up and play and struggle and grow?
We are constantly being told that growth and self development is the good and the proper thing to do but how does it make you feel?
The image above of me grasping at thin air captures the feeling I have when sharing the reasons to train with us... Not because I don't have a plethora of reasons based on what we offer and what past students have gained but that it actually depends of your belief system around the benefits of continual and lifelong learning.
If that turns you on then this ride is for you, if you get fascinated and consumed by the experience of training, the experience of learning and re learning then hop on, strap in as the rollercoaster is waiting to be ridden.
I for one love self development training. I love being a student. I seek out theatre elders to learn from whenever I can. I love to remind myself that learning itself is a discipline and that we always have to learn how to learn.
I love being in a group, in a process and on a journey be that a familiar one or venturing into new territory....(relatively speaking but all performance related)
I love the awkward adrenaline filled beginnings, the nerves I get before introducing myself, saying what I do and what I love, I love the judgements I quickly make and just as quickly ditch about others in the group. I love that I judge the teacher. I love noticing resistance, negativity and arrogance come up as I am asked to do something familiar and I love how all of this dissolves when I breathe and smile and let myself be a beginner again. This letting go of the chatter and judgements that we place upon ourselves is the biggest hurdle I come across as a student and a teacher. The paradox being the more you train the harder it is to get to the state of being a beginner, which is where we always need to be in order to learn. The beginner falls with openness and naivety into an experience without the burden of the inner critic, much like our first love, first time we rode a bike or ate ice cream, (insert the thrill of the firsts you've experienced). The heightened senses, the acute awareness of something fresh and unchartered happening...the thrill of being alive.
But for some of us reconnecting to the beginners state and to self development itself can feel like another job that we should do and pretend to like, it can be painful, like taking exercise or committing to meditating, it can feel like a burden and not a delicious freedom. Our worlds can seem cluttered with to do lists and concerns about the next thing that will fix or improve us, it can feel there is a frenzy of options each one selling a different promise of what's in it for you.
When it comes to the question of training or self development we have to un pack the common belief that education or the acquisition of skill directly buys us something, be it a qualification, a skill on your CV or even an acting role. We have to dissolve this transactional mind-set of buying an outcome and instead buying an experience be that good, bad or ugly.
Essentially do you want a product or an journey? Neither one better than the other, just different.
The product can be a safer choice, you can scroll through options, you can design exactly what you want based on recommendations from others and find the thing that will satisfy your need, or what you think you need at the time. You can get pretty much get what you expected.
The journey seekers will have a reason for taking the journey, be that a clear one or something more like a sense and they get excited about the possibilities that the journey propose. The fact that the outcome is unknown is part of the appeal to the journey seekers. This is where we lie.
Each person who has trained with us has had a different journey and the outcomes have felt more or less tangible for in each case be that directly linked to their career or personal life or something general like the ability to be braver or take themselves less seriously for example.
If you enjoy mining deeper into your habits, perceptions and beliefs and flexing the muscles that allow you access the beginners state then you would enjoy the Performers' Playground.
There isn't always the time to go so deeply into why train with us and social media feels very product based which is why many of our students find us via word of mouth, when they are told trust me just do it.
If you train with Philippe Gaulier you will experience something similar, you won't receive a qualification or a guarantee of work or a set of skills for your CV but you will leave an unforgettable experience and one hell of a journey into your self and your craft