During Wilderness Workshops, the individual singing participant is given ample opportunity to be seen and heard in a way as to discern artistic and technical resources and boundaries, blind spots, obstacles, and accesses to self-expression unique to them. It is distinctly different than a master class format, as it does not hold as its purpose or goal to present a performance or to show off the prowess of either singer or teacher. Rather, we carve out an opportunity to uncover, expose, refine, and relish the deeply intimate and personal gifts of each artist, while building the integrity and safety of the work space within the group. We take the time to practice being artistically vulnerable, acknowledging that it is a skill that takes serious emotional muscle in the real world.
The group discusses common themes challenging the performing artist – at home and on the job. Guided and individual exercises and homework dive deeply into preconceived notions, firmly held beliefs and judgments, as well as the development of conscious steps toward intuitive and organic presence. All participants are encouraged to question the nature and topography of the “ground” on which they stand, as well as guided to perceive their gifts and possibilities in a new, or alternative light.
As a group of observers, all participants are encouraged to develop the art of observation and articulation – as colleagues, audience members, fellow students. Ultimately, to discern and deepen their own integrity as members of an interactive and interconnected community, onstage and off.
As authentic artistry often overlaps with (or is contaminated by) external concerns, ample time is given for discussion and Q&As.
Singing participants work in front of the group a minimum of 2 times, and may request a private feedback/strategy session at the end of the workshop. Singing participation is contingent on professional recommendations from colleagues known to me and/or sending in an audio representation of current vocal ability.
Non-singing participants are called upon to participate in everything except getting up and singing in front of the group. The material covered could be of profound interest also to directors, conductors, coaches, and teachers.
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