How to Warm Up for a Future of Disruption – pre-workshop thoughts

Image of author performing a work in progress excerpt of Tonseisha by Erik Patterson.

I’m excited about leading a workshop tomorrow for TEDx UCL Women. Firstly, whoa! What an incredible team of people running this event. I was invited to speak last year but wasn’t available, and this year, instead of speaking, I proposed a workshop because what I really find joy doing is working with – and discovering with – people. I’m less happy talking at folk.

I’ve done a lot of making and leading in my life. I have also done a lot of hiding and making myself smaller, more high-pitched, unthreatening, accommodating. I love supporting creativity and self-expression, but sometimes I self-negate. It’s not untrue to say that recently, I’ve been feeling a little tired, a little discouraged, a little bit sidelined, a whole lot voiceless and invisible.

I used to chase this idea of “legacy” and worried about intermittent internet and social presence, the almost total non-existence of any archive of my work, my fallow period(s).

I often work with younger artists and makers and boy, do I feel obsolete. BUT! But hey, this is me focusing on all the unimportant things.

Vik Sivalingam reminds me often to focus on choice instead of on my lack of XYZ. What do I choose, moment to moment, to say, feel, look like? Who do I want to speak to and what effect do I want to have? Do I choose to create or to tear apart? I know I spend far too much time being angry in a way that makes me smaller. It is entirely possible for me to be angry and generative. I don’t have to be lovely to everyone, I get to choose and I’m so glad I decided to do this event.

So tomorrow. I’m going to do something nice now, before I fall asleep, and I’m going to share some things I love with some strangers. I could have chosen not to share my time. I’m feeling good about this. And for a bean like me, that’s pretty neat.

So for TEDx UCL Women, where the theme for 2018 is DISRUPT, I’ll be opening with a workshop which draws on my acting training, live art making, and real life:

Warm Up for a Future of Disruption

Start the day with a physically gentle, but imaginatively radical, warm up. No matter the shape, size, age, or movement capacity, our bodies are full of power. Vera Chok shares some simple exercises to explore, experience and reconnect with our bodies. If you’ve been thinking about standing your ground or taking space, exploring presence or finding your voice, come along, especially if you think you’re an introvert!

Wear clothes you’ll be comfortable moving in and bring water.

Notes and resources following the workshop will be in my next post!

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