STAY PRESENT! LISTEN! TAKE RISKS! EMBRACE MISTAKES! SAY YES! QUIET YOUR INNER CRITIC! ENJOY THE PROCESS! LEAN INTO CHANGE! TRUST!
These were directions I was given in Improv class whenever I was stuck in my head or uncomfortable. One day I had an "ah ha" moment and started using the instructions to improve every aspect of my life. I'd been stuck in the past and anxious about the future for long enough.
It's so easy to over-think things. We want to succeed, "look good" and thanks to social media, many are even more worried about being judged. I like to keep it real. Im not a fan a posed pictures or anything fake for that matter. So, this is me. Not over-thinking, just being in the moment. Being playful, mindful & adaptable. Those traits in addition to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) have led me to all my achievements and gotten me through several challenges.. That's why I started PlayWorks.
Before PlayWorks, I worked as an actor, stand up comedian, writer and casting director. What attracted me most to all those jobs was my fascination with human behaviour and my need to truly connect with people. The one thing those jobs didn't offer me was a lot of stability. So, I switched gears to focus on a more “practicaI” career. I took Philosophy & Psychology classes at Concordia University, then shifted my focus to business at Ryerson University; which led to an Account Executive position at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising but my passion for creative expression couldn't be ignored. At 28, I decided to realize one of my remaining dreams. I moved to New York City. I trained with the best; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Uta Hagen and Austin Pendleton. I wrote, starred & produced a one woman show, I had a hit weekly comedy show and then my dream came to a screeching hault. I couldn't get my visa renewed. I moved back to Toronto, started over again and in 2011, I decided to integrate. The driving force at the core of everything I'd done was my desire to evoke thought, authenticity and encourage growth in others. PlayWorks is the spawn of my passions, creative training and formal education coming together.
I'm still very active in my role as President of http://www.torontoactingstudios.com and whatever I'm teaching, I'm committed to creating a safe, supportive, real & PLAYful environment. I see Play as the best way to ignite the brain.
I’ve experienced first-hand how the principles of Improv & CBT lead to increased confidence, resilience, better communication skills and healthier relationships. My mission is to share the lessons with you!
"You are a joyful delight. I much enjoyed your class, your perspective, your knowledge...your sharing...you have a way of saying it like it is...with honesty and passion!"
- DAWNA MARIE WRIGHT