Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On being a teacher

Once, in a conversation with a student from Hua Yi Secondary that lasted over an hour, I was asked,
"But if you've got so much going for you outside, why would you I mean.. We're just a cca."

It was one of those moments I was reminded why I left acting school.

There are few things that have as great a hold on my heart as theatre does. The way it demands you to throw yourself in, full force and with little consideration to the possibility of any sort of life outside. But also the way it fills you and holds you together as much as it tears you apart, and the way it forces you to deal with things that run parallel in your own life; The way it offers you a process of catharsis and helps you breathe again.

But at some point I started thinking, what if I also got to use this to reach students? What if I got others to feel and understand and use theatre and take from it all the things that I have too?

This is why I teach-
Theatre can be a lot of things for you: An escape, a therapeutic process, a release, a discovery, an understanding of an issue or of a person.
But it also needs to be a safe space for all of that to happen. And I want to be able to provide that safe space to young actors who have decided to get their hands dirty with all this theatre-making.

And if just one student decides to take on acting and greater, deeper levels and falls as impossibly, overwhelmingly in love with theatre as I have been all these years, then I will be happy.
But also,
if just one student comes away from my classes a bigger person, a better person, a person who has learnt a little bit more about themselves, then I will be happy too.

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