Climbing The Mountain


The Performer's Journey Into Presence

'Let’s make our first thought a simple one:

Right here, right now, you are good enough.


Let’s take it a step further, you are perfect. '


From this simple thought, a journey begins. A journey to connection, presence, charisma and deep understanding.


Would you care to come with us?

For thirty years I've been training performers to become more connected, present and passionately engaged with their work. For a number of years I ran a Masters Degree, guiding an ensemble of performers through an intensive 12 weeks of performance training. 


At the start of each day I'd give a short talk to introduce some new ideas, or reflect on the previous day's work. The talks covered everything - practical to conceptual, spirtual, cultural, historical, philosophical and all the other diverse elements that performers draw on as they make their work. 

'Climbing The Mountain' contains thirty short talks.


It follows a six-week training programme from a group of actors' first hesitant meetings, through increasingly complex understanding of ensemble, through to final farewells. It’s a journey you're invited to share.


‘Climbing The Mountain’ is practical, anecdotal, philosophical, theoretical, spiritual, irreverent, poetic, informal, precise and - most importantly - written in the authentic voice of the rehearsal room. This is how we talk when we train, full of paradox, repetition, metaphor, contradiction, humour and life.

The topics explored include:

Presence

Liveness

Spontaneity

Blockage

Reactivity

Improvisation

Physical Actions

Pleasure

Positive Feedback

Self-Reflection

Self-Acceptance

Attention

The Use of the Senses

Multi-Tasking

Self-Disicpline

The Repetition of Practice

Ensemble

Ethics

Easefulness

Personal Empowerment.

These are building blocks for dynamic, powerfully live performance across art forms and aesthetics. The talks roam across history, disciplines and cultures, bringing everything to bear on the elusive task of being present in your work in each transcendent moment. 


‘Climbing The Mountain’ offers the most authentic encounter I can give you (apart from having you in the room with me) with the improvisational, principle-based psychophysical training that’s at the heart of all my work. 


The nature of practice is this: however far you climbed the mountain yesterday, today you start from the bottom. Each day we must do our work, walk our path, learn what we are ready to learn. However well you know the mountain, you still have to climb it today if you want to get to the top today.


When you purchase 'Climbing The Mountain', you receive a PDF download, with the option to purchase a beautifully designed and printed 'real book' version.

'Nothing stops us. 

Nothing. 

Sometimes life events come along and knock us so far sideways we fall off the path. 

Fine - dust yourself down, get up, get back on the path. 

Carry on. 

Sometimes there's an earthquake and the whole damn mountain falls on top of the path. 

Fine - stone by stone remove the obstructions and keep walking the path.'


From: Day Twenty-One