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Imago Acting Studios Week One

Hello everyone.

As many of you know, Imago Acting Studios has been running for a few weeks now.

The classes are designed for actors looking to further their knowledge of theatrical forms and extend their abilities on stage.

Two student filmmakers, Ayden Poynter and Kane James, have been documenting our work in class and the video for the first class is ready for everyone to view.

Here is the first insight into our classes:

https://youtu.be/WGIOdZA3-Co

UNLEASHING YOUR CREATIVITY- A 5 Week Course to Step into Your Power

“Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow, shame.”- Dr. Brene Brown

Happy Monday!

I am really excited to announce that in October, I will be running my five week course “Unleashing Your Creativity”, for the second time this year. One of the reasons I love running/designing and facilitating this course is because of the miracles, shifts and transformations which occur within the group.

What kinds of people do the course? Anyone and everyone. You maybe a new mother who has lost her sense of direction, or working in an unsatisfying career. You may be a recent school leaver, or a retiree who wants to gain access to your unique strength and create a plan of forward movement.

Wherever you are now is where you begin. Each week we will meet on a Monday evening from 5.30pm- 8.30pm (Newcastle CBD, NSW) and do creative exercises including inventories, automatic writing, vision boards, mind mapping and creative visualisation (and much more)- exercises and activities that are designed to motivate and inspire you and to clear blockages. It’s time to shine, as we move into the warmer months, you will leave each class feeling clearer, happier and confident.

WHY DO THE COURSE?

1. To remember who you are

2. To gain clarity and perspective

3. To access your own creativity 

4. To be accountable in a supportive and safe group dynamic

5. To allow yourself to do what you love doing

Course numbers are limited, so contact me ASAP with expressions of interest. The cost of the course (materials and handouts included) is $250- but if payment is received by August 31st- the early bird price is $200.

The Books that Changed You

Happy Monday,

My Saturday workshop this at The Imago Studios was inspired by the work of NYC based theatre company The Wooster Group- in relation to the deconstructing of text to create a “stand alone” performance piece that somehow still represents the themes and undercurrents of the original text but sheds new light on it, and in so doing creates a completely new work- where the “old” text may be almost unrecognisable.

As a fan of the work of The Wooster Group, for the past twenty years, I don’t think I seriously thought about “deconstructing” a text in terms of performance. For the purposes of Saturday’s workshop, and because the Wooster Group are no strangers to controversy- the text we “deconstructed” was perhaps one of the most controversial of all times, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. The groups looked at themes and styles from the book that are now present popular culture, as well as the text itself to create new and fascinating scenes/montages using collage, music, movement, metaphor, sound effects and video to create a “stand alone” triptych. It was extraordinary- dark, evocative and provocative.

The themes and darkness of the material challenged all of us and sparked the conversation- as we change and grow, how does a text change for us? As in, if you read a text as a teenager, with a limited perspective of the world and of the self- what happens, when you read that same book twenty years later? It changes, because you have changed. Your world view and perspective has changed.

Lolita is more relevant today than when it was written. As a piece of literature it is poetic, but it is also terrifying. I have been having conversations this week with friends, family, students, collaborators etc- about the books that have changed them. Specifically, I’m interested in the books you have chosen to revisit and re-read and the different experiences you have had with each re-read and why? How had your world view/personal perspective changed?

The fifth time I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being I was in Prague where the novel is set- the best reading experience ever- to be in the actual physical location of the text when you read it is fully immersive and powerful. Every time I read The Catcher in the Rye- it is a new experience. As a teenager I found it highly amusing, the last time I read it as an adult- I found it tragic.

Maybe you loved something in your twenties, reread it a decade later and found it self indulgent. Perhaps you appreciated the text more on the second read through as your perspective altered and you connected more to the themes. I’d love to hear your top 5-10 books. The books that changed you, and then changed when you did. I’ve listed my top 10 below- it’s not easy coming up with a list!

TOP 10 FICTION

1. Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park

2. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend

3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

5. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje

6. Alias Grace by Margaret Attwood

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

8. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

9. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

10. The Collector by John Fowles

WHEN WE GET WHAT WE WANT

“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” Buddha

The first thing to do when you get what you really, really want is to notice it. So often, we are so caught up in focusing on the next thing, that we fail to realise we have achieved a major goal, accomplishment, or heart’s desire.

One way to do this is to break your life down into seven year cycles. 0-7, 7-14, 14-21, 21-28, 28-35, 35-42, 42-49, 49-56, and so on. Look at how every seven years have been different and what you have accomplished in those  periods. You’ll be amazed at how much has happened.

Sometimes we are so busy living our lives that we don’t notice how much we already have.

Shine like the whole Universe is yours.” Rumi

Often, when we achieve something major, we run the risk of feeling like we don’t deserve it. You do deserve the gift, whatever it is- destiny says that it’s meant to be yours. Listen to that small, depleting voice that warns, “I don’t deserve this”, “Somebody might take this away from me”, “I’m a fraud,”- that voice may be trying to protect you, but that voice is not your advocate. You deserve success. You deserve happiness. You deserve to live the life of your dreams.“In my defencelessness, my safety lies.” A Course in Miracles

Just be grateful and say thank you. Be open to receiving that which is wonderful.

Creative Coaching/Power Sessions are available via Skype- email me for more information. Current live workshops include “Acting Fundamentals” Thursday evenings at Tantrum and “Imago Actors Studio”- see website for details. To make enquiries about workshops for schools on Performance and Creativity (options for students and teachers) please email clairepasvolsky@gmail.com

MOTIVATIONAL CREATIVITY

Hi There,

In the past few weeks, as I’ve been putting together workshops for my Acting classes- I’ve been looking at the terminology we use as lingo, language and description when we talk about Stanislavsky- “the Method”. I’ve noticed a direct link between the lingo, and the word “motivation” (which we use in Acting- as in “What’s my motivation? Why should my character do this?”)- and our every day creative lives- Motivational Creativity.

EXERCISE: “MOTIVATIONAL CREATIVITY”

Work through these questions to gain clarity and motivation:

1. What’s your OBJECTIVE for your Creativity today? What do you want to do TODAY- e.g.- I want to write 1000 of my novel, or go and see a movie/exhibition- whatever. 

2. What’s your SUPER OBJECTIVE for the next six months? A super objective is an overriding goal- such as- I want to finish this collection of paintings and hold an exhibition- it’s a major statement, something big, but something achievable.

3. What ACTIONS can you take to move you closer to your goals? (manageable steps- can you make one today to move you closer to getting what you want?)

Helpful Tools:

Visualization: This can help move you closer to achieving your goals. Visualize living and breathing your goal/objective/super objective as if its happening now.

Active Imagination: Add on to your visualisation by invoking the five senses- imagine seeing through your own eyes and fully embodying your goal/objective/super objective.

Enjoy! Claire x

I am currently running 7 Week Programs/Workshops in Performance of Adults- Thursday Evenings is “Acting Fundamentals”, 6-9 pm (Tantrum, 48 Watt Street, Newcastle, NSW) and “Imago Actors Studio”- Saturday mornings 9-12. See website for booking details. Drop in classes are available. clairepasvolsky@gmail.com

Creativity IS for Everyone- Discovering Your 5 Unique Gifts- A chat with Dr Suvrat Bhargave

I recently had the opportunity to chat with the lovely Dr Suvrat Bhargave, a presenter on Hay House Radio on the subject of Creativity. Dr Bhargave is a renowned and respected educator, speaker, and board certified psychiatrist, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. His practice is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and he is a regular speaker nationally in the US on a broad range of topics related to personal growth, effective parenting, relationship satisfaction and mental health. Dr Bhargave completed his residency training and specialty fellowship from Duke University, North Carolina.

On his radio show “A Moment of Insight”, Dr B (as he is affectionately called by his patients) recently discussed how an if an individual can discover their five unique gifts, that they will be utilising their strengths and creativity. I wanted to find out more about Dr B’s ideas on how people can discover and then live their gifts, so thanks Dr B for answering these questions- I think we’re all going to have a moment of insight!

Q. Do you think everyone is creative?

A. “I do believe that creativity is a force that can be accessed by each of us, much like intuition or love. Unfortunately, as is the case with action-reaction pairs, there are forces that oppose each of these energies. For example, love is often opposed by fear, and, similarly, creativity is most challenged by doubt. What could I possibly have to say? Is my voice valuable enough? Will I be heard? Creativity is a force of expression, and every voice matters.”

Q. What is Creativity?

A. “I also believe that we confine this expansive force with narrow definitions. The traditional arts- dancing, painting, sculpting, singing- are beautiful vehicles of expression, but what about the perspective of a mechanic, who in his zone sees the design of the engine before him and then weaves in his work. Or what about the poetry of numbers a mathematician pens? Or the arrangement of ingredients that results in the masterpiece of a heartfelt meal? People are quick to dismiss their creative potential without considering the daily ways in which they may be exhibiting that very ability.”

Q. Why is it important for us to discover our 5 unique gifts?

A. “The path to tapping into all the energies of the Universe is through authenticity. We taint creativity, intuition, love, or any of the positive forces when we dilute ourselves for others or for perceived expectations. On the other hand, we are most aligned with all the possibilities of the Universe when we can be true to who we are. Who we are includes the 5 Gifts. I believe that we are all God’s children and that He sends each of us into the world with innate gifts. Qualities and characteristics that are inherent and steadfast despite what has happened in our lives or who is around us in any given moment. People are often able to list quickly their qualities that are negative or need fixing, but I encourage people to write down their unique list of Gifts.”

Q. How can we find out what those Gifts actually are?

A. “I would give yourself a deadline of a few days to come up with your list- and don’t consult others- you are exploring yourself, not the perceptions of others. Once the list is made, I advise that it be carried around or placed in a spot that is viewed throughout the day- at least until it can be recited readily without having to be referenced. The point is to have a conscious, balanced awareness of who you are.”

Q. So, your list may look something like this: “My 5 Unique Gifts Are: 1. My creativity 2. My compassion 3. My ability to play the piano 4. My heightened intuition 5. My quirky sense of humour. How then, does one go about utilising these gifts?

A.”Once you are aware of your 5 Unique Gifts, you should set out to make the most of these. After all, you certainly don’t want to waste your God-given talents! Surround yourself with activities, opportunities, and interactions that make the most of your characteristics.Use your gifts to better understand the roles and purposes of your life. For example, if one of your gifts is Creativity- then go through your day looking for ways to deliberately utilise this quality- and remember again not to confine the definition of this.”

Q. Can you have more than 5 Gifts on your list?

A. “You can absolutely add onto the list of Gifts as you discover more about who you are and what you have to offer. You’ll see that the more authentic you are in the understanding of yourself and the more that you honour who you are, the energies and the possibilites of the Universe will flow towards you.”

To find out more about Dr. B, visit his website at drbhargave.com. What are your 5 Unique Gifts? I’d love to hear from you!

CREATIVITY AND THE POWER OF PLAY

“Only children believe they’re capable of everything.”- Paolo Coelho

As a Creativity and Acting Teacher, one of my greatest joys is seeing inspiration come alive. When adult students of Acting and Creativity get motivated and switched on, they become gloriously animated and childlike. What is that about? I believe it is a rememberence of their true self, a coming “home”, if you will.

So many people have severe wounds from their childhood, but if you examine the purity of the child as they play, before any harm or self consciousness or shame has been inflicted on them- this is the essence of true creativity. Creativity is freedom, it is like taking flight, knowing that you are safely and divinely protected.

I ran a workshop on the weekend on Creativity and I was introduced by a former student as someone who “creates a safe haven for artists to flourish. Students are encouraged to be themselves, to be inspired and to play.” That was awesome. That is what I try to do in all of my classes, I just hadn’t thought of it like that.

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Transformation occurs in my workshops and courses. People are rarely the same as when they arrive. Why would you want to be? I think we all need to be supported as we expand and grow into a higher version of ourselves.

“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Rumi

Perhaps our “prisons” were not of our making, but now as adults we have the chance to propel ourselves into higher vibrations of consciousness and creativity. Be free, seek freedom, seek to feed your creative soul. What is it you want more of? What do you want less of? Not sure? Need clarity? Join one of my classes or coaching sessions and fly!

Workshops start this week- “Acting Fundamentals” Thursday evenings- 8 weeks, 6-9 pm, “Imago Actors Studio” Saturday mornings 9-12- “Unleashing Your Creativity”- a four week course starts in August. Coaching available via Skype. xx

“IT’S A PLAYSHOP- NOT A WORKSHOP!”

“Play is the highest form of research.”- Albert Eienstein

I hesitate to call my workshops, workshops, because, they are, essentially “playshops.” The word “work” suggests restriction, labour, unpleasantness and a sense of “have to”- but I believe my classes inspire the participants through freedom, flow and creativity.

Here’s how “grown up” participants play in my classes:

1. They are able to make their own choices

2. They are able to be creative

3. They are able to exercise their curiosity

4. They are safe and supported while taking risks

5. They connect with others in a meaningful way

Play is not just for children. Simon Cowell climbs a tree everyday. A strange ritual, perhaps, but it connects him with nature, strength and a sense of play.

“Play is the answer to how anything new comes about.”- Jean Piaget

In our classes, students “try things out”. The atmosphere is so relaxed and supportive that there are no mistakes and when something wonderful happens, it is amazing.

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age.”- Aldous Huxley

Age is no barrier in these classes. So far, our oldest student has been in his eighties and his youthful spirit inspired all of us. Connect with the playful side of yourself and remember how fun it can be to think with the limitless vision of a child.

It is a happy talent to know how to play.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s amazing how quickly the “grown ups” reconnect with the part in themselves that likes to play, a part that has likely been stifled, left behind or forgotten. When you see a glint in the eye of a student who is having so much fun and connecting with their highest and truest nature, it is a beautiful thing.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.”- Plato

Imagine how much you can discover in each three hour “play-shop”. You learn about yourself, you learn about others.

Life must be lived as play.” Plato

In our classes, we are switched on, centred, positive and completely in the moment. You leave your troubles and worries outside- roll up your sleeves and start playing.

Classes begin next week- so contact me immediately to reserve a space in the beginners class “Acting Fundamentals” (Thursday nights 6pm at Tantrum) or “Imago Actors Studio” (Saturday Mornings 9am at Tantrum)

FINDING YOUR ARTISTIC HOME

“Theater had been “home” for me since I was fourteen. It was the place I felt most alive. My highest highs were in theaters, either on stage or in the audience.”- Eric Bogosian

For many of us “artistic types”- we often feel out of sync with the rest of the world- we are the misfits, the daydreamers, the alternatives, the moody ones who sit in corners. We are writing poetry on our placemats, drawing masterpieces in our text books- in the class room in body, because we have to be, but in our minds- we are in an alternative universe.

When a creative adult, child or teenager finds their spiritual artistic home it is a wonderful thing. You finally find an alternative “family”, a “tribe” that speaks your language. The misfit has found other misfits as partners in crime, or rather partners in creativity. I was fortunate, like Eric Bogosian to find my artistic “home” at fourteen at Tantrum Theatre in Newcastle. It was the first place I could be myself and connect with other quirky and creative kids. Unlike other “sing out Louise!” theatre’s for young people, Tantrum focused on acceptance, artistry and the creation of new work- celebrating and respecting kids as the individual wonders they already are.

Tantrum came into my life as a teenager when my outside world was falling apart. It was my sanctuary- my safe place. Creating new worlds and performing in a supportive environment was paramount in my further development as an artist. Without that foundation, I don’t know if I would have pursued this career in the same way. As artists, we all need to find a “home”.

The definition of home, is a safe place where we are understood, sheltered, nurtured and protected. Creating my own company and classes, I have witnessed participants finding an alternative “home”. A light switches on, a remembrance to their true self comes into the rehearsal room. If a miracle is a shift in perception, I see miracles in my classes everyday. I see courage, creativity and profound realisations in my actors as they connect to their higher selves and their work and express themselves in a safe and nurturing environment. Participants can often find themselves in an emotional state of gratitude- they have returned home.

If you’re looking for your spiritual and artistic home, consider joining one of my classes in July. If performance is not your thing, perhaps you could consider getting involved in another artistic community. When you follow your heart, remember what you love creating, you will find your tribe.

8 Week Courses beginning in July- Acting Fundamentals (Thursday evenings) and The Imago Actors Studio (Saturday mornings)- go to clairepasvolsky.com for more details.

Acting Fundamentals- What to Expect in the Adult Beginners Course

Hi Peeps,

Only a month to go until my next session of 8 Week Courses begin at Tantrum (48 Watt Street, Newcastle). Starting July 16th, is the wonderful 8 Week Course for adults, “Acting Fundamentals”. This course will run on Thursday evenings from 6-9pm. Cost is $350 (that’s less than $15 per hour!!)

I know taking the leap and doing something outside of your comfort zone can be a little daunting- so to put your minds at rest, if you’re a bit nervous about joining the class, here’s what you can expect:

  1. As soon as you walk in the door, you will be entering a friendly, relaxed and no pressure zone
  2. There are no expectations of you, things are run at a gentle and encouraging pace
  3. You will have fun and laugh a lot- that’s a guarantee!
  4. Expect your confidence to increase; everybody surprises themselves in these classes
  5. You’ll meet new friends; lovely people are drawn to the positive energy of these classes!

It’s natural for everybody to be a bit nervous before their first Acting class, but once you arrive; you’ll realise you’ve made the right choice in signing up for the course! Make the leap today! Love Claire x