Dear blog, I’m so sorry. I’ve just blinked, and a year has passed. A year, thankfully, filled with growth on a personal and professional level. I wish my updates would come sooner, but my mind is what it is. I guess this will have to do. Settle for an unoriginal recap. The year’s tops. The Milestones. Time to sit down and reflect on everything that happened in 2022.
Previously, in my life…
I’ve left 2021 in a hopeful position. It was not an easy year, chaining lockdown after lockdown. Professionally, as a performer and applied theatre facilitator, I was still trying to find my way in the UK. I met Blink, and that opened possibilities and raised hope. Playback Theatre led me to Hungary, and had a very insightful experience working through PT with people from all around Europe. I even went back to Ireland for a hygienic reduced edition of Improv Fest Ireland. Overall, I ended the year with great expectations.
So, new year, new goals. Did I meet them? Somehow. I started the year attending a remarkable improv intensive with Maria Peters, separated into different modules with different facilitators. Throughout a week, we’ve learnt a lot from Josie Lawrence, Tai Campbell, Briony Redman, Joe Samuel and Maria herself. Character impressions, character development, the game of the scene, musical improv… it was such a productive and didactical week.
Also, in January, True Heart Theatre got funding from Newham Heritage, and that jumpstarted six months filled with different projects that we brought to the brief on the anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics.
As a new adventure, I signed up for a stand-up comedy course facilitated by Kate Smurthwaite, which I really enjoyed and learnt bits and bops about comedy writing. Unfortunately I couldn’t participate in the showcase due to another commitment.
I got a new tattoo. I never turned my back on my childhood, for better or for worse. Growing up, my favourite character was Arale Norimaki, a robot girl that was always seeing excitement and joy in absolutely everything. Sometimes we forget about that. Sometimes I forget about that. That’s why I decided to tattoo a panel of her playing with poo. I did it to remind myself that when life gives you shit, don’t forget to be playful. You can check the tattoo here. And, of course, check Lauren’s portfolio. She’s an amazing tattoo artist.
My favourite thing that month was beign invited by the Portuguese group dISPAr Teatro to facilitate for them at a weekend retreat. So I flew to Portugal, and we spent a couple of days under the same roof focusing on the reenactment of long stories on Playback Theatre. But also was a weekend filled with rich conversations, richer wine, improvised karaoke night, and midnight acting jam. I love the Portuguese community and could feel the love back, increasing my confidence as a facilitator.
Also did some artistic support work for Blink and Drag Syndrome. And started facilitating migrant teenagers at Newham College as part of the Newham Heritage project fund.
I took another challenge, and I started an improvised hip-hop course by Track96. I’ll talk more about it later.
This month meant the end of the course at Newham College after six weeks that my fellow True Heart Theatre members and I spent with teenagers from Romania, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Syria, and Brazil. Our aim for this group had to readjust over the weeks to meet their needs, but at the end of the process, it was very rewarding to hear their comments. You can get a glimpse of this process in this video.
Another exciting thing in March was my first official Playback Theatre performance with London Playback at a gorgeous theatre in Luton. It was a performance commissioned by the East London Foundation Trust of the NHS. I enjoyed so much being on a stage doing playback theatre after a long time kept away from it by the pandemic.
I ended the month with another performance with London Playback at Stratford and also joined a musical improv rehearsal with people who got together to keep exploring it. That marked the beginning of something…