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  • katybateson

The most incredible workshop

The most incredible and vulnerable workshop I have ever been part of was a musical improv workshop with Katy Schutte and Joe Samuels at a Maydays residential course.

The absolute beauty of improv and of this workshop was that it could never be repeated. This workshop was so beautiful, moving and reached a level of vulnerability that I’ve yet to experience in any other workshop. And it happened because the stars aligned, we were all on a residential so completely immersed in improvisation, the combination of people and the supportive atmosphere that was created became the perfect melting pot.

Katy asked us to sing about something that we regretted never saying and my fellow class mates bared their souls. It was utterly raw and an absolute privilege to be trusted with those inner most thoughts. There was something about hearing those words sung that created some much more emotion than just spoken words could have expressed.

People sung about lost loves, of betrayal and secrets they had kept. I wouldn’t ever tell anyone what was sung about in those 4 walls because it felt sacred.

We stood alongside the singer if what they sung resonated with us, it was so powerful to stand shoulder to shoulder supporting your fellow improviser.

At no point did Katy push us to go deep, the class naturally went there on our own. It felt like a hive mind choice to be vulnerable and honest. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

After the workshop the entire class went and sat in a circle in the foyer. We didn’t discuss this, it just happened. I think we all needed to be together for a bit longer. All the other improvisers came pouring out of their classes and found our little group, huddled together looking a little shell shocked.

I still think of those improvisers now and of the regrets they dared to share. I see some of them on Facebook now and feel such joy when I see they’re doing well.

That workshop will be embedded in my mind forever and I will always share a connection with those improvisers. That is the power of improvisation and the power of vulnerability.

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