This October I am conducting a writing workshop in the mountains of upstate New York. Beautiful. I am thrilled about the change of scenery. I am excited about the workshop. I am going to be teaching improvisational techniques for writers.
I have 10 years experience teaching improv for actors and comics. It has been fun. I get a lot of good feed back. Several of my students have gotten jobs. Not necessarily in acting. I ran into one of my students about five years ago. I asked the standard teacher question, “So how are things going?”
“Great. I got out of show business.”
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes. It was your class that made me quit.”
“No. It was a good thing. I’m a writer now. I’ve had two books published. Working on my third. I owe it all to your class.”
I was confused. We talked a little more. Quite by accident, the ideas I had developed for one disciple were very suited for another: The writer.
I focused on creating a program that was writer specific. Since then I have taught several writer groups. I was brought up to Seattle to work with the writers of their NPR station, KUOW. The stories that came out of the sessions were wonderful.
The writers not only appreciated doing something different, the exercises we did inspired them to approach their work in new ways. I ran into Jeff Hansen, the program director of KUOW, last week in Seattle. Jeff said the staff was still talking about the workshop and wondered if I could do another one.
Improvisation for writers not only directly attacks the so-called writer’s block, but informs new ways to look at structure, character, and the tone of a piece.
If you are thinking of a creative getaway in October, put writing in the Adirondacks on your list.
Here’s the link for more pictures and complete information for Dartbrook Writers Retreat.