I hope that you will support me in raising $2500 to help fund the tuition for my first year of training at Helikos: Scuola Internazionale di Creazione Teatrale in Florence, Italy.
In October of this year, I will move to Florence to begin three years of training at Helikos. This movement-based theatre training, based on the pedagogy of world-renowned theatre teacher Jacques Lecoq, incorporates clowning, mask work, vocal technique, martial arts, elements of acrobatics, improvisation, playwriting, mask making, theatre history and physical philosophy, among other techniques and disciplines.
I met Giovanni Fusetti, founder and director of the Helikos school, in the fall of 2007. He was traveling the world to teach clowning and had stopped in Princeton to give a lecture and demonstration on the history, philosophy and practice of clowning. His brief presentation was magical, hysterical, revelatory and moving. I tracked Giovanni's travels across the globe in the years afterwards - always hoping that time and funds would allow me to take a class with him. In October 2010, I travelled to Florence to take part in a six day training intensive and was invited to enroll as a full-time student at Helikos. And so begins the journey...
You Scratch My Foot, ...
I am interested in the Helikos training not only as a foundation for the development of fantastic theatre, but also for its potential use in experimental education, cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, healing practice, and as a set of tools useful for self-expression by students and individuals across a spectrum of intelligences. My recent experiences tutoring students of different ages in English Language Arts, writing and Spanish language, as well as my introductory training in Theatre of the Oppressed techniques and Forum Theatre, have inspired me to focus on marrying my Helikos training with my passions for education and community-based and -focused art-making.
After months of scrimping, saving and working hard at both my full-time job and a smattering of part-time gigs (tutoring, babysitting, office work, front yard retail, dragon slaying), I have nearly reached my savings goal for my seven months' worth of living expenses in Florence. I am currently hoping for your support in funding my tuition.
I am pursuing my first year of study without institutional financial support of any kind. Because Helikos is a new, independent (read intimate, focused, awesome) school, scholarship money is not currently available through the school itself. I was admitted too late last fall to apply for most relevant fellowships for my first year of study. For these reasons, I am left to my own devices--and my network of friends and loved ones--to make this dream come true. I hope that you will lend your support by helping me raise $2500 towards my Helikos tuition.
Given that I intend to teach and pass this training on, a contribution to my campaign will reverberate exponentially. Your support represents an investment not only in me, but in each individual and community who will eventually benefit from my immersive training experience.
And what's more: Any contribution of $10 or more comes with a fantastic thank you gift! See column at right for details.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please forward this campaign to friends and family who might be inspired by my journey. Whether or not you can contribute funds at this time, there are so many ways to become a part of my team and to contribute to the fulfillment of this dream. Here are a few ways you can help:
- Do you know someone who loves movement-based theatre, physical comedy, clowning, or community-based theatre-making? If so, please pass this along and encourage them to support my project!
- Do you have friends or family in Italy or elsewhere in Western Europe? If so, please hook us up! I am excited to meet as many people as possible while overseas.
- Do you know about a scholarship or fellowship that might be available to help fund my studies this year or in future years? That would be great--let me know!
- Do you have a very large suitcase, a Kindle, or an electronic English/Italian dictionary that could use a new home? If so, please consider donating it to a cute little clown in need :)
- I will return to the States next May to work and save money for my second year of study. Please keep me in mind for any employment opportunities for May-September 2012.