Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wed 21.10.09 21.36pm

So I found out she didn't have nightmares last night but still crept to her parents room in the night. But it's a start :)

Wed 21.10.09 11.12am

"And people who believe in God think God has put human beings on earth because they think human beings are the best animal, but human beings are just an animal and they will evolve into another animal, and that animal will be cleverer and it will put human beings into a zoo, like we put chimanzees and gorillas into a zoo. Or human beings will all catch a disease and die out or they will make too much pollution and kill themselves, and then there will only be insects in the world and they will be the best animal" The Curious Incident of the Dog in the night-time

Mark Haddon

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tuesday 20.10.09 22.12pm

3 times a week I pick up a little girl from school and take her home to do her homework and any additional tutoring. The family moved to England from Poland when she was 4 so English is not spoken at home. She is now 8. She is an only child so the only English interaction she has at home is when I am there. She is a very intelligent child and is very good at telling porkies...I started working with her back in January. Her birthday was very soon after I had first met her. She had told me she was going to 9 years old and I had made a conscious effort to make sure I had got the right date, the right age etc. You know, I wanted to make a good impression with her. So I bought one of those 'Happy 9th Birthday' cards and a little present. Only when she opened the card in front of me and said thank you, I wondered what the smirk on her face was about. She stood it up on her desk just before her mum came in. "Mummy mummy, look what Zoe got me..." Mum then looked at the card I had got her, Oh Zoe, she's 8 today not 9! I thought you little shit!

Anyway, that wasn't the point of this blog. I wanted to tell you about the work I did with her today. She hasn't been sleeping well for 3 months now. It doesn't matter how tired she is or how much she has done during the day, every night she creeps into her Mum and Dad's room and asks to sleep with them, or they are awakened at early hours of the morning from her screaming. Last night was apparently the worst night she had had. 3 hours sleep they all ended up with. Every 20 minutes she was screaming. It doesn't help that the mother has given in for 3 months and let her sleep in their bed. So I decided to try and do something about it today. I sat her down in the play room and asked to draw a picture of what she felt like when she first wakes up in the night. It was a picture of a house with no windows or doors, just a roof and a bed that she was asleep on. There was a picture of a burgular running outside to get into the house and then another leaning over her bed. I asked her to write down 3 sentances of how she felt at this time. 1. I dreamed that burgulars were coming to get me. 2. I dreamed of someone getting Mummy, Wojtek (Her Step-father) and me. 3. I felt scared. I asked her why she thinks she feels like this and she couldn't tell me really apart from that she felt unsafe. I explained that she shouldn't feel unsafe as she lives in a neighbourhood watch area, she has doubled glazing on every window and door, the doors are locked at night and during the day when they are in the house, and every window is shut at night. She talked about the Police and how they do their job very well as she saw them arresting someone the other day. I then asked her if she knew that she had a Guardian Angel who watches over her at night. She said she had heard of this but wasn't sure if she believed it. I said if she didn't believe in her, then her angel might get upset and she didn't want to make her upset. She said she had lots of teddies as well that come alive at night so I said they would warn anyone off as well. After all of this I said could she draw a picture of how she feels now about the whole thing. The picture was of a house with windows and doors with the same bed and her asleep in the bed. There was the burgular running to the house but no burgular in the house. There was also an angel above all of this with wings and a halo and a speech bubble saying "I'm here". Without any prompting, she folded the previous picture up and put it in the bin.

I am picking her up from school tomorrow so I wonder how she will sleep tonight!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Wed 15.10.09 23.51pm

I attended Amici wokshop this evening at the Lyric in Hammersmith with a few of the students from DIC. Amici is a Dance Theatre Company that works with disabled and able bodied performers. It was a drop in session tonight where anyone could turn up (you usually have to be a member to participate) and when they were only expecting 20 people there were over 50 dancers tonight. The 2 hours was focused around improvising in small groups and bigger groups. One dance I particularly enjoyed was with a blind woman aged around 60. She was one of the happiest people I have ever improvised with; I say this as when she first finds your touch her face lights up as you can clearly see how much she enjoys the intimacy. At one point I closed my eyes too and we were just responding to each others touch and working from impulse. This dance was slower than with others as you had to listen to each others movements. After a while we even explored giving and recieving weight but it all finished too quickly. The whole evening is based around chance...anyone can be chosen and anyone can shout out the number of people dancing next or which song number to dance to.

There was another performer that was really inspiring. It was a girl of around 20 with Down Syndrome. She was a fantastic dancer as she was so sensitve to the others. She did a trio with a boy in a wheelchair and Christine (blind lady) and I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was making eye contact so nicely between the two and created such a vivid story that we all related to.

We found out that Tina is working on their next show with them in June. There is a long waiting list to join the company so Wolfgang (the director) said we could pop in and out ocasionally to join in seeing as we know Tina ;). I would love to carry on visiting this company and dancing with them.


Monday, 12 October 2009

Monday 12.10.09 11.28am

Have just re-read my blog from last night and I apologise as it makes no sense. Was clearly very tired! I was trying to explain that Spiral had inspired lots of thoughts for me and that their use of image theatre had relevance in our work at present. Am very excited!


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sunday 11.10.09 23.03pm

I have been reading about 'Spiral' the theatre company that is based in Spain that we were introduced to on Friday. Their website provides a lot of information about the diversity of the projects they hold The project they are running in December uses Image Theatre. It is very similar to a method of theatre we are looking at in Physical Approaches to Playtext at the moment; playback theatre. Playback theatre creates personal memories into performances. By having this played back to you it hopefully might be able to provide answers or help you make decisions. Just in our lesson on Friday, one exercise was to smell something blindfolded and then create a playback performance. Of course everyone faced with the same smell were not going to produce any same image and for one actor the smell conjured up such a physical memory that we were faced with her in tears after the performance. Both of these types of theatre are designed to analyse and share lived experiences in a way that acts as a form of change in real life. I also like the way that the workshop leaders from 'Spiral' only encourage artistic development and do not enforce any of their ideas. 'The content is in the hands of the group, the participants have the power of creation and reflection'. So the community creates work as a team to reproduce real experiences that other communities, and their community can relate to.

Just thought I'd share my views on this amazing company that we have been introduced to :)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Saturday 10.10.09 11.30am

Sorry it's taken me a while to get a post on here. I don't have a lot of time of friday's to put my thoughts on paper so I scribble them as I am travelling from place to place.

I'd like to start with telling you all it is 'Learn to sign week' so I want to teach you one that I find useful when working with children who cannot speak. Lift your right hand and hold your index finger and middle finger very close together, almost like a gun. Bring these two fingers to your chest directly above your heart and rub up and down like you are rubbing a coin. If you see someone who is profusely doing this action it means that they really need the toilet!

Imagine this...Thursday night Graham (boyfriend - will talk about him more in other posts) and I went to the theatre to see a show called Alison's House at The Orange Tree theatre. We had managed to get some of the free tickets from anightlessordinary so £1 on the bus there and back, we were like BARGAIN! Get there a bit early so we can pick up our tickets then have a drink in the Orange Tree pub next door. We walk back to the theatre at about 6.50 ready for it to start at 7.15; it's unreserved seating so we wanted to ensure a good seat. Much to our surprise there is a foyer full of elderly couples. We get handed a leaflet and asked if we are with the event tonight. At this point we are looking at each other very confused and both wondering whether we are in the right place. I ensure Graham there is only one Orange Tree theatre in Richmond and only one theatre here. The oldies are looking at us and we are looking at them. All flustered, we skuttle off to the toilet to waste some time and I wanted to read the leaflet to see what was actually going on. I quote "For anybody new to this event, Relate provides counselling and psyco-sexual therapy (PST) for couples or indivuals who come to us for help with troubled relationships". GREAT! So now everyone thinks that we're having problems too. It's a bit weird. We find some seats and we're definately the only ones under 65. NO WONDER THERE WERE LOADS OF THESE FREE TICKETS! A few other students join us and to be honest I can't wait for the lights to go down. But before that happens the organiser of the event apologizes for some of the general public getting caught up in their celebrations and introduces the night for the charity. Apparently they have trips like this all the time and after this they are auctioning off a lot of things to raise some money which we are invited to as the public. "It's quite alright!"

Other than the drama of the night, the performance was OK. Very serious performance about Alison Stanhope, the country's foremost poet that died 18years ago, and now the family house must be sold as it holds so many of the family's memories. It is set in America (with some very dodgy accents) in 1899. Not one of my favourite theatre performance I have seen here.

I hope you can humour my first post....:) Z