I used to attend Milton Keynes college as a student on the Performing Arts Programme and I enjoyed my time there, honing my existing skills and working hard on developing new skills. It was at MK College that I found my voice and developed it to the level where I could sing to a decent standard. I had the pleasure of playing Joseph in the musical of the same name, Kenickie in Grease and also Orin in Little Shop of Horrors. It was a very creative and important time in the development of my performance style and I am really grateful to the staff for all their support and encouragement. It was, on the whole, a very happy two years of my life and when I left I suddenly found that I missed the structure and the routine that had kept me focused and active within the arts.
I have had the pleasure of returning to the college this term, not as a student, but as a guest tutor for the Variety aspect of the Performing Arts programme. So far I have assisted the students with basic circus skills, teaching them to juggle and spin plates and also we have focused on the art of the clown, the spirit of play and the creation of clown gags. It has been very enjoyable to share my professional experiences with young people who are just learning about the industry. They have all taken to the challanges very well and I think they have been suprised at how hard variety performance can be. I love the fact that some of them had never even picked up a plate and stick before and by the end of the session were capable of tricks and balances with the props.
Next week I am going to be talking to them about puppetry. It is not one of my main performance skills but something that I encorporate into my childrens shows. They are also going to have a go at the basic skills of ventriloquism. After that short session I will be teaching balloon modelling. So, by the end of next tuesday I can only hope there will be many balloon poodles floating (pun 100% intended) Milton Keynes college.
The point of this blog? I would suggest that if you have a skill and have the chance to use it in a teaching capacity, do it! It is very rewarding and it is lovely to see the results.