Pedagogy

Adaptability—Over the past twelve years as a professional teaching artist, I’ve worked with hundreds of students with a multitude of backgrounds, identities, and abilities in a variety of settings. In doing so, I have cultivated an adaptability that is always vital, but in this moment of time is absolutely essential. I continuously work toward learning goals and objectives while responding flexibly to needs and circumstances that arise, maintaining a sense of flow and cohesion while continuously reevaluating my tactics. 

Authenticity—Authenticity is a complex word, with many meanings in many contexts; here, I use it to mean self-truth, and the sharing thereof. I am ceaselessly self-reflective, which has given me great insight into my own psychology and function, enabling me to act effectively from informed self-positioning. Such self-reflection, however, can be a trap when it lacks context. As I dig deeper into myself, I continuously connect what I find to the world and people around me. This is a skill I’ve fostered through theatre-making, and now gives me a special advantage when working with students. I can see through the messiness inside others and get to the heart of conflicts, in a way that is simultaneously powerful and gentle. My intense care for others, tempered with humor and playfulness, is so obviously genuine, that I achieve student buy-in with ease, and can produce comprehensive results in small units of interaction that build on each other over time. I elicit trust by being trustworthy. I model for students the beauty and power in being true to one’s self—not in a way that eclipses the truths of others, but in a way that adds one’s own brilliance into the constellation of community.

Accessibility—Accessibility is the underpinning of all my work, and has been one of my primary sub-focuses as an educator for the past four years. Everyone has different needs, different methods that suit them best. Rather than approaching this as a problem, I engage it as an opportunity, a joy. It is the differences between us that galvanize growth, empathy, innovation. Diversity and equity are not just beneficial but essential to thoughtful minds and a functional society. Currently, we live in a society that stratifies access according to hierarchies of identity. As we continue the work of decomposing that system and germinating equity, accessibility is both the seminal tool and the goal of our labor.

Analytic creativity—My background in arts education has given me a highly integrative approach to student support. I am imaginative and practical, sociable and analytical. I can offer emotional guidance alongside thoughtful critique. I tailor my methods to each student, encouraging them to take the lead in their own development, and stepping in to renew their momentum when they falter. I do not see creativity and analytics as separate processes, but rather as an ouroboros, a continuous cycle of self-nourishment. This integrated complexity allows me to connect to virtually anyone, to be highly diplomatic while always maintaining my integrity.

Compassion—I love educating. It is my passion, my identity, my life’s work. I have a profound desire to improve the lives of those I encounter, and to better the world in any way I can. This desire acts as a fuel that energizes my efforts as an educator. I invite and encourage the passion in others, resulting in mutual uplift.

Methodology

  • Collaborative: Educating is a co-creative process; learning happens between people. As an educator, I will act more as your facilitator, your guide, than as your lecturer or sage. We each bring our own forms of expertise and knowledge; together, we will craft a process that is unique to you. Your goals and perspective will act as my framework as I design our course; my goal is to activate and invigorate your agency and ability. 

  • Process-driven: 'Product' is an integral part of practice; it is the means through which we manifest our often abstract labor, share our work, impact our communities and culture. I have found, however, that 'product-first' or 'results-focused' pedagogy often undermines itself. If the focus is on the end, many vital areas of growth may be missed along the route, resulting in a lesser product. I classify my work as 'process-driven.' That is, I invest our time in building skills and unravelling barriers, knowing that such foundational work will yield bounty.

  • Layered and integrated: Life is incomprehensibly complex. Learning gives us a way to both break down and glean some of that complexity, and to surrender to the unknowable. I embrace this paradox in my teaching:

    • Building skills:​ All skills are life skills. Whatever the subject, we become more capable humans as we become more capable in our fields. I will work with you to develop the traits you were born with into advanced skills that you can utilize in your area of interest and throughout your life.

    • Learning to learn: Our skills are what allow us to take action and impact the world, yet education extends beyond a collection of skills. The process of learning is the most fundamental of all skills, and each of us learns in our own way. I will centralize your particular learning style in our practice while expanding your capability, optimizing our time together and setting you up effectively for your future endeavors. 

    • Letting go: As well as the additive approach of skill building, I employ a subtractive approach. I believe we all have instinct and knowledge within us, as well as many barriers that can make it difficult to access those truths. Throughout our practice together, I will observe and assess where those hurdles lie, figure out what you need to circumvent them, and guide you through a self-driven process of release.

      • Some barriers may be concrete (the timing of a speech is off because you're not getting enough air, or you can't get into a forward fold stretch because you lack flexibility in your hip flexors), and sometimes the barriers are more abstract (you're not yet ready for the vulnerability for which the scene calls, or you lack confidence in your charisma in front of crowds). I attend to the unique and ever-shifting composition of each actor with patience and without judgement.

  • Flexible: I recognize and celebrate the diversity of human perspective, identity, and experience. As such, I believe in flexibility. Different things work for different people. I am able to sustain the core of my beliefs and practice while adjusting to incorporate the specifics of yours. I am committed to not only accommodating your specific needs and methods, but finding the value and opportunity in them, and building between us something unique and functional. Flexibility is not the sacrifice of excellence, but rather an inevitably necessary ingredient. 

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