The things one learns – and then uses

The things one learns – and then uses

This past week I have been up at 5 am to go to set for a tv show you haven’t heard about (yet) and I can’t say (yet) but it’s really no big deal. In fact, that’s not really what this post is about.

This post is about education and how you can learn so many things and pack your brain full until you feel like saying, “why did I waste all that time and money on learning those things? They are so specific and I don’t use those skills every day – why did I do that?”

This is how I feel about stage combat. I have an Intermediate FDC certification that I will honestly say I have not maintained the way I had set out to do when I first started to rise in the ranks. I found that I wasn’t getting hired to fight – on set or on stage. I come back to it a few times a year but I am in no way a Fighter like some of my friends (who are Advanced, or even Fight Directors themselves!) but I do love a good fake fight. I am an archer and I own several weapons that I have been trained on. Alas, how often do I actually get to use these skills? Almost never in the practical sense.

Then I’m on set for this tv show and I overhear that these two guys need to “fight” and then he needs to “fall” and my heart skips a beat. The one guy is like “uhhh ok, sure” clearly nervous as he will be falling with no padding and no mats and it will be cement in the dead of winter. Fun. I can’t stay quiet – I immediately present myself and TELL HIM (not ask), but tell him I will be showing him how to fall safely. After I get the scenario that he will be tripped and he will fall back – I show him how to safely get himself to the ground, avoiding tailbone injuries and wrist injuries. I feel good. I feel SO GOOD that I can supply this information for him.

So the next time you are learning something or training in something I encourage you to not only do it simply because you love it (I can’t stop loving archery! And now I kinda dig axe throwing…) but because you will double that sense of joy when you can APPLY that oh-so-specific knowledge to actually help someone.

It seriously made my day.



Learning Through The Arts – it’s something I have always facilitated, but maybe I just didn’t call it that. I have been teaching drama (well Shakespeare first and foremost) to kids since I was a counselor at 14 years old. Now at 30 years old, I am a program developer and facilitator with the City of Toronto, a teacher with Artsarama, and a hired character artist for several museums who need someone kids can interact with and learn from talking about the past.

So when this course caught my eye: I had to know more. And once I did – I had to take it. Sure I already do most of the Foundations and Level 1 already in my job – but the higher levels are what are intriguing to me. Plus the connections made through the class is another great way to learn about LTTA.

I took the class not only to better my understanding of what I do and expand my knowledge base – but the main focus I wanted out of this is to learn how to integrate my suicide bereavement script into an education program that I can tour to Grade 12’s and First Year Frosh in Canada. Targeting the age group that my brother was when he felt the pull of suicide.

I enjoyed my time with the Foundations level, but, as many thought it would be, I felt ahead of the game in this course. I’m excited to keep climbing in the levels to a place where I feel challenged. I really enjoyed the people in the class (it was nice to have a small class of 7 so we could really have quality time with our instructors) and I liked the facilitators too. Nancy Dutra and Ciara Adams from Theatre Gargantua were great hosts to this level.

So as I take time between courses and apply some honed skills to my work immediately, I am beginning to think of how my shoe “Everything but the Cat…” can be an educational touring show for teens…

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