My training began in the late 80's at the Drama and Design Dept at Rusden Campus, Victoria College, known as Deakin University today. Back then you didn't have to pay for your higher education. All I cared about was to be an actor and eventually a Director. Rusden was a close second to NIDA ( National Institute of Dramatic Art ) with the very best drama curriculum on offer. I was so excited to be accepted after a gruelling audition process, I thought my path was set. All I wanted to do was drama drama drama so I took a double major, which soon became a triple major, something that was not looked upon favourably by the education department. The head of the department, Bob Holden, tried to talk me out of it but in the end he was was my strongest supporter. Instead of following the same path as most students I developed as many contracts as I could, so I was able to work with many amazing actors, writers, directors & crews to earn extra credits for my B.Ed Diploma in Drama, Design & Media Studies.
My focus was to immerse myself in real projects and productions that were going on outside the campus. During the day I was temping in a number of schools while developing collaborative projects in my own time. I soon realised that the education system was not for me. I loved working with the students, but found the rules and regulations set up by the Teaching board extremely restrictive. Drama was not considered to be important, and many still saw it as a hobby subject or a slack alternative to make up extra credits. Being in this kind of environment was not very encouraging for me. I knew for sure my direction had to change.
Looking back ( which by the way changes everytime you do ) my highlights would have to be working for the Sydney Festival, creating a series of life size Puppets for the NYE Mardi Gras. So proud of my giant Pirate ship float complete with a resplendent Mermaid figurehead leading the procession. Directing for Worx ( Special Needs )Theatre at Hamer Hall Arts Centre Melbourne. At this time I was studying experiential Somatic therapies with Daniel Weber and Zapchen Somatics with Dr Julie Henderson, while creating CITY RETREATS, I got to hang out with some cool Buddhist teachers that led me to San Francisco where I studied many body mind modalities and spent many years investigating consciousness and how we embody states of being.
How then does the Actor enrich each performance with somatic synergy? When the foundational triad of breath movement and sound becomes integrated, allowing to fully process the discovery of ourselves as fluid beings, i.e. having body-minds allows our bio-organisms to be mutable in form, regenerative and responsive to life circumstance. The Somatic Actor Retreat serves as experiential inquiry for personal or professional development, as well as, an introduction to The Somatic Actor professional training program a synergy of Zapchen Somatics, Ancient Lineage Voice, Embodied Anatomy, and Qigong principles.