Being Embodied on the Globe Theatre Stage

Choir on stage with Athena

 

So this autumn, for six weeks, I had a slight change to my usual routine. Get up, do the school run, see  coaching clients, answer emails, make tea… oh and go perform at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre!

I’m fortunate enough to be a member of the Borough Market Community Choir as I work nearby. In the summer, Borough Market Choir were approached by their neighbour the Globe Th12144862_10153258929111985_154727599037267447_neatre.  Director Adele Thomas approached Borough Market Choir’s Musical Director Esmeralda Conde Ruiz, looking for singers to play the Jury. Renowned contemporary composer Mira Calix then composed a vocal part for the Jurors, designed to suit the singers’ voices, and rehearsals began

We all assumed that we would be standing at the back of the stage singing in the background but when we arrived, we found out that we would be appearing in the jury scene as the goddess Athena’s  finest citizens’, casting our votes into a real fire alongside the Goddess Athena to decide Orestes’ fate, and lead a procession around the Globe’s groundling pit following a large, golden phallus!   As you can imagine, the idea of not just singing two tricky pieces but also needing to move and perform, filled me with terror.  All I could imagine was myself stumbling across the stage or going to sit on my jury stool and falling off in a horrible heap!  And we needed to be note perfect on the two key songs in our scene! And we would be doing 20 performances over six weeks – not a small commitment!

Although small, our role of the jury was indeed a pivotal moment in the plot as this adaptation of the ancient Greek play focused on the shift from a belief in the Gods as the arbiters of natural justice to a more civilized society-based concept of justice.

After much blood (over 10 litres of stage blood was split in the making of the Oresteia), sweat, tears and a great deal of laughter within our very supportive choir community, we nailed our parts! There were great challenges – the main one being that we are all untrained singers and we really do not have the vocal power of professional singers which made singing in the outdoors a big challenge.  But we held our own – and throughout the experience I found myself using all that I have learnt in Leadership Embodiment Work – developing my sense of presence in order to have an impact in the large space of the Globe.    It was also a powerful experience in experiencing vulnerability.  In pushing myself to do something I was uncomfortable with, I had to be with and experience great vulnerability.  This is a theme I will explore in my next blog post.

Javiers fb illustration Illustration by one of the singers in the Oresteia Choir, Javier Navarro, http://www.arbelogy.com/

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Living in the Tragic Gap

autumn-leaves-wallpaper-background

There is much darkness and fear in the world today with recent events in Paris and Syria. This weekend, I’ve been returning to one of my old favourite authors – Quaker writer and educator Parker Palmer for solace. In particularly, his writings and talks on the subject of Broken Heartedness and Wholeness.   In this work,  describes something he calls ‘The Tragic Gap’ which is the gap  many of us find ourselves in now, between our vision of how we want the world to be or what we know is possible in the world VS the reality of what is.

The tragic gap is the uncomfortable and painful place.  Our tendency is to want to escape from the gap, to flip out of it into either cynicism or hopeless idealism.   Yet being in this gap leads to broken-heartedness which can lead to the heart being broken open (instead of into pieces) and vulnerable – open to receive and to integrate the tension – allowing us eventually able to move forward with more strength and wholeness. We are able to  build our ability to being able to ‘be with’ heartbreak (instead of building walls against it) and we can continue working towards change,towards a vision of what we know the world can be.  As Palmer says, we can stay in the gap  ‘faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility of being opened to a third way.’  What I hope for clients is that coaching can provide a space to begin to be able to do this.

He explains this more in the video that can be found here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/07/how-to-deal-with-broken-heartedness/ – it’s a wonderful and hope – filled interview.

LEADERSHIP EMBODIMENT WORKSHOP – I am offering my next leadership embodiment workshop in the spring – with Day One on Friday 26th February, 10 – 5pm.  Participants then have the option of attending Day two either on Friday March 18th or on Friday 1st April.   As many of my clients know, Leadership Embodiment is a powerful approach to building confidence, presence and the ability to get your intention out into the world.  If you’d like to read more and book your place please go here: https://lelondon2016.eventbrite.co.uk

If are asking your organisation to pay for your place through your training budget, I am happy to prepare invoices for employers and other workshop participants have had their places paid by employers.

INDIVIDUAL LIFE AND CAREER COACHING – As many of you know, I coach internationally and I’m loving the range of clients I have from all over the world that I coach through Skype as well as my clients I see two London practice rooms (one near Bank and one in East Dulwich).   Although my main niche is coaching around the ‘baby decision’, I have a growing number of clients seeking coaching on work/life balance and career coaching.  And, since I’ve been coaching for just over eight years, I have a number of clients who are coming back to coaching a second time, sometimes after a period of years when they find themselves facing another challenge in their life.  If you are a former client who would like coaching again, feel free to get in touch!

INTERVIEW ON BBC RADIO TEES – I was interviewed on the radio this week discussing the issue of choice women make to not have children.  If you’d like to know more, I’ve written a little bit about it on my Children or Not blog which also has a link to the morning show interview/panel discussion which will be available till next week.  You can find it here: http://www.childrenornot.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/discussion-on decision-not-to-have.html