Monday 10 July 2017

Workshops and Hobnobbing!

I've been busy this Summer, getting out and about with my book but also delivering some puppet-making workshops. I spent a lovely afternoon with a merry band of Brighton & Hove teachers, talking about using puppets to help children with big feelings. Puppets are pretty darn magical in this respect...they give you a chance to be you but not be you - to express feelings, tell stories and act out scenarios in a completely non-threatening way. As this group of teachers found out, puppets can also give you the chance to be Lionel Richie, Diana Ross - or both. They had a hilarious group puppet karaoke session, singing Endless Love with great gusto!

I also visited the Medway Schools Emotional Wellbeing Conference, thanks to the wonderful Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, who do such amazing work with young people and those who work with them, promoting emotional wellbeing and just being all-round good eggs. They have produced a fab activity pack to go with my book - available as a PDF if you want one.

On a personal note...a lesser-known fact about me is that I have a phobia of being in spaces where the ceiling is very high. My family are used to it and have to put up with sitting near the back or the wall (preferably both) at the cinema, and avoiding anywhere where I haven't been able to check out the space first. It turned out that the Medway conference was in a former church - possibly a cathedral - with a VERY high ceiling. After a few days of sporadic tears, panicking and generally being a massive nuisance, I armed myself with as much advice and support as I could (plus one beta blocker) and WENT FOR IT. I did it!! It did involve Wonder Woman, but that's another story...

I have been co delivering workshops left right and centre, with the marvellous Amanda Rosenstein Davidson and Phillip Sugg. We've done two shadow puppet ones - one in Hastings and one at Hove Museum; and a glove and finger puppet one at Hove last Saturday. I love workshops with these two. The atmosphere is always relaxed, happy and full of creativity...we often get whole families joining in and there's always a performance at the end. Such fun!

In a rather more bizarre turn of events, I recently went to a breakfast meeting at Newhaven Chamber of Commerce! My best friend Jenny Horscraft is a thrusting business woman - she is the talented creator of Treasured Memory Books - producing truly beautiful keepsakes for bereaved families, military families and for those doing reminiscence work with people with dementia. Anyway I have a  little dream for a Newhaven based community project, so Jenny invited me along to the chamber to talk to people about it. That's right, me, talk to people - and business people at that.

 It was very odd to be networking over mushrooms on toast, especially at the time of day generally reserved for looking like a member of Kiss whilst mainlining coffee and listening to the Today programme. But I enjoyed it! I met some lovely, supportive and inspiring people. If my project has any hope of moving forward I will do my best to join! If I haven't been blackballed that is...


Anonymous said...

Well done Liza! I am so pleased that i have met you through a puppety circle. I hope we can share many more art based experiences and a good friendship.
Many thanks for being you.
Love from Amanda

Liza said...

Thank YOU Amanda! You're so inspirational and lovely. Xxx