Raise your hand if this has been an intense year! We have all been dealing with changes around the world this year, and the question is, what has happened, what have we done with it, and what do we plan to do going forward? In person events have been canceled and look to stay that way for another year as the amazing scientists search for a vaccine for Coronavirus.
In the meantime, I would like to celebrate the year 2020 so far, as it’s been very productive, and very different that certainly ever before in my lifetime.
February, 2020 – Festival of the Arts – was an amazing experience – a new one hour, one-woman glow show. It took about four months of work to create this interactive project, with projection design, glow juggling, some theatre magic and even a little bit of aerial acrobatics. I am incredibly grateful to the FOTA organizers for the opportunity! I hope we can come up with an interesting way to do a virtual show this next winter. I will say I challenged myself a lot with this show, and am very proud of the result.
Next in March 2020 we were all locked down, so I took to the virtual interweb to experiment with what I could do indoors with some fun, helping parents to entertain their kids while at home.
As we were all a bit restless, I tried to take that energy and create new ideas, that were fun and interactive with kids while at home. I offered for my audience to tell me what they wanted to see and they returned my request with their ideas for fun yoga. I enjoyed creating these goofy little vignettes of what is possible. I hope to do a lot more of this during the Fall as we discover what education will look like (whether in person or learning from home), to offer fun and educational projects.
Spring came, and summer followed. One of my opportunities was moved to an online virtual experiment through Zoom. I recreated the Festival of the Arts Glow Show to be streamed virtually online. It was very inspiring and I hope to do more of this during the Fall and Winter school years. Ideally I would be able to upgrade equipment, and prepare for even more exciting options. Using what was available to me was very successful! I am super excited to continue to do more of these shows with projection, streaming from home.
In Mid-June, I was contacted by the Michigan Warrior Clowns who I have worked with going to Veterans Administration hospitals and American Legion events to help with the PTSD recovery using clowning with Patch Adams. They had a conference in August, and asked me to edit some video for them. I ended up making three videos, which were a promo, a short film, and a biography.
As usual, It was an honor to be able to share the screen with these amazing vets! I ran through improv and laughter yoga exercises with the Warrior Clowns as we discussed the benefits of fun and play with PTSD! It was an honor to be a part of the Performing the World Conference, with such an international crowd! I look forward to helping to create more play, and healing with these folks!
Since in-person parties were not an option this summer, I needed to get some exercise, while social distancing, and since I love exploring, I decided to see what was around me in West Michigan. That meant a lot of water trails! Michigan is amazing, especially out here in Big Rapids. Within 20 miles there are so many lakes I didn’t have time to see them all, but during the month of July, I managed to explore 13 lakes. I documented these trips, with the plan to edit educational documentary videos to possibly interact as projection, and discuss the waterways, above and below the water. Each lake was documented as an underwater landscape as well as an over water adventure. I captured so much footage, there will be a number of ways to share with online audiences.
So 2020 has been a novel year for sure! Social distancing the Coronavirus have forced us to rethink how we are offering educational materials and entertainment. I look forward to brainstorming with you about what is possible in creating new and original content – innovating how we move forward and stay healthy, in mind, body, and spirit.
Finally, I wish everyone the best of health, and definitely look forward to what the Fall and Winter bring with new opportunities to think differently.