I recently posted a blog about the idea of challenging yourself and how that leads to acquiring new and better skills.

And that reminded me of another upskilling opportunity for me, and for you (especially if you live in Amsterdam and have Wednesday nights free in November).

I’m taking my skills, workshop exercises and rich array of improv and performance opinions and folding them into a brand-new course called Solo Performance and Stage Presence (or SP Squared, as I like to call it).

Here’s why I’m excited about this course on performance and stage presence

The challenge for me isn’t really in the content, but it’s in the focus and the amount of material I’ll take the participants through, in terms of both breadth and depth.

The breadth of performance technique

As I’m designing the sessions, I’m looking at all kinds of different influences in my life and using them as access points to help get at what I think makes people formidable, supremely confident, eminently watchable stage performers and presenters. Her’s a non-exhaustive list

  • Stage acting
  • Yoga
  • Event hosting
  • Personal growth
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Performance storytelling
  • Slam poetry
  • Public speaking
  • Poetry recitals
  • Freestyle rapping

Depth of influences

Because the course is six sessions, with a show on the other side of those sessions, the participants and I will have the chance to really explore some topics. So it won’t necessarily be a cursory survey of a topic, but there will be the opportunity to bed into the content and really explore, say, what understanding our authentic stage persona can do for the way we greet an audience . Or how the bravado of hip-hop translates into dealing with mistakes or flubs.  So, I’ll not only have to draw on the breadth of my experience, I’ll be digging deep into my bag of tricks to create and deliver a course full of worthy challenges.

Handsome dark-haired man points his fingers at the camera.

Finding authentic onstage flow

If I had to boil the essence of the course down, it would be “a journey to find onstage flow”. From the tricks and exercises that can give a freestyle rapper perpetual rhyme-fodder, to the script breakdown techniques an actor might use to ensure their performance rings true, to the craft that goes into crafting a story for storytelling, there are so many applicable techniques from each discipline.

Think of the course like this: a six-week boot camp for people who may or may not have experience performing. But if you do have experience performing you will come out the other side completely forged in steel.

And if you don’t have experience you will come out the other side with an improved and now innate sense of how to conduct yourself on stage.

The role of improv in it all

This course will be simultaneously full of supportive joy and also really push people beyond their comfort zones. This is what I love to do when I’m teaching: make people feel completely safe, but also able to surprise themselves with what they do. This is possible, thanks to the underpinning of improvisation that will be present throughout SP Squared.

When people can dive into the unexpected, the unknown, via improvisation, they’ll find there’s so much other stuff that doesn’t seem so daunting anymore.

So we’ll use improv, not only as the basis for a lot of exercises and activities, but also as a way to embrace uncertainty. And with that appreciation for the unknown comes an increased ability to dig into our own authentic selves and bring that with us in a performance setting.

I couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store in this course. And there’s still room! Sign-up through easylaughs.