Creativity Happens Here!

Happy New Year!

Sending wishes to everyone of prosperity, good health, peace and joy in 2015!  I’m really feeling like this year will be the most creative yet!  My new website for my company h2oh! Productions is completed and just went live today!  I’m very excited to present this site because it unites many aspects of all my social media pages.  From the h2oh! site you cannot only visit the store and order multiple arts education products, you can access my new blog, my Facebook and Twitter pages too!  I will continue to post blog updates here on this site from time to time, but for the most part, I will be blogging from the h2oh! Productions website.  So please check us out!  My book Cake Baking & the Creative Process is available there, along with my new iPhone/iPad Creative Process App.  I’ve also included a brand new assessment rubric package, workshop, seminar and consultation options as well.  So it truly is a 1-stop shopping and informational experience for the arts educator!  Sending you all the best in the new year from h2oh! Productions…because Creativity Happens Here!

h2ohproductions.com

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Hoffy Wishes You the Happiest of Holidays!

Well, I must apologize that I haven’t kept up with my weekly blogging.  The month of November found me up to my eyeballs in a wonderful project with the First Lady of Denver, Mary Louise Lee’s Bringing Back The Arts Foundation (BBTA).  I am honored to sit on her board that focuses on bringing back arts to the students of Denver Public Schools.  I was thrilled to help develop a choreography competition, which coincided with Denver Arts Week and another event called Chance to Dance on Saturday, November 8th.  We had 43 students involved in the choreography competition, grades 4-8.  They were adorable and each group worked hard on creating their dances to the theme of Happy.  A huge thank you to their teachers for preparing them so well for the competition!  It was a successful event where the students had the opportunity to learn dance from Denver’s cream of the crop of dance companies, then perform their dance pieces!  Since it is the holidays and a time to give, check out the BBTA website.  There is a tab for donations.  This foundation not only focuses on student dancers, but all young artists…musicians and visual artists, not to mention an internship program for young artists to work along side the professionals!  This truly is a great foundation!

http://www.bringbackarts.org

November also found me writing on a Colorado Department of Education (CDE) project…a parent guidebook of the state dance standards.  This guidebook is a translation of the 2009 dance standards, it helps parents, and anyone else for that fact, translate the educational/academic jargon of the original document.  I love my work with CDE!  It has been the highlight of my educational career!  The work is immensely fulfilling, knowing that what I’m doing helps arts educators (and students) around our state!  I simply could not ask for a better “gig”!

Once I finished those two projects up, it was Thanksgiving and time to eat!  Robert and I spent time with our family and of course, ate WAY too much!  The food was amazing, but I was okay to not eat for a week after that dinner!  Oh my goodness!

Now onto December…

Last week found my mentor Dr. Denina Brown and I conducting a presentation on creative process for teachers at the Colorado Thespian Convention.  ThesCon, as the students call it, is the second largest Thespian conference in the US!  There are approximately 4,000 students who attend each year with their high school theatre teachers.  When I was teaching I used to take my students…but now I’m doing presentations for the teachers.  Denina and I discussed the creative process in arts education, how to break it down and give it more structure, then how to align the process with standards requirements.  A lot of what we discuss comes from my book Cake Baking & the Creative Process.  Denina and I will continue to develop more arts education products and give presentations in 2015.  We love the work we do clarifying the creative process!

If you are looking for a fun gift for any arts educator this holiday season, go to my website to get copies of my book, or go to iTunes and download my Creative Process App!  My app is a tech version of my book, a quick and easy way to pull up fun, creative exercises for kids.

http://www.JudiHofmeister.com

or

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/judi-hofmeister/id908779556

I wouldn’t be including the full package of great arts education foundations if I didn’t mention my friends at Think 360 Arts!  They are truly some of the hardest working folks in our community!  This organization brings working artists together to give professional development and resources to the K-12 arts educator!  They are awesome!  I began my relationship with Think 360 when I was director of IB dance at Douglas County High School.  Think 360 helped to fund professional choreographers and guest artists that worked one on one with my IB dancers.  To say that my students had a great experience is an understatement!  Each year the collaboration with my IB dancers and Think 360 was life changing for the students!  So as you consider where to donate this season, Think 360 Arts is an awesome organization!  There is a link on their website to support these fine folks and the great work they do!

(Also, keep your eyes on the Think 360 calendar for 2015…Denina and I will be doing a workshop on creative process in March!)

http://www.think360arts.org

Speaking of holidays…it’s time I get my shopping done and start planning my menu for Christmas dinner.  I sincerely wish you and yours the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous Holiday Season!  Many blessings to all…as Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, everyone!”

WHEW!!!

Hello, hello!

WHEW!  It’s been a couple of months since I last blogged and boy, has it been a busy time!  Busy in a good way!  The month of September found me up to my eyeballs in the CoDEO 1st Annual Dance Conference, September 20th & 21st.  First of all, I must say WOW!  What a success!  For our first year, I feel this event was a success!  We had approximately 100 dance teachers, choreographers and students attend our conference!  Not only was the state of Colorado represented, but the state of Wyoming and the University of Wyoming gave performances and workshops!  Students even received scholarships from Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO.  Truly, it was a rewarding experience to be involved in such a positive and, shall I say, moving event!

 

The week after the conference I rambled down the road with two of my closest childhood friends to Sedona, AZ.  We had ourselves the trip of a lifetime!  We decided we would take the route that our families use to take on our summer vacations when we were kids.  So we drove along the Navajo Trail visiting towns such as Walsenburg, Alamosa, Durango, then spending the night at a hotel that my Mom and I used to stay at when I was a kid in the Mesa Verde park in Cortez.  We wound our way through the Four Corners region, Monument Valley and the Painted Desert before we turned south at Flagstaff and exited the highway to Sedona.  What an amazing time!

 

We spent four wonderful days in Sedona at a resort called Enchantment…WOW, OH WOW!  That’s about all I can say about Enchantment…it truly is an enchanted, beautiful area located in Boynton Canyon.  Wonderful food, wonderful service, wonderful friends, wonderful experiences!  We hiked, went to the spa and shopped in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona.

 

On our journey home, we decided to drive along the Santa Fe Trail.  So we drove through Winslow, Holbrook (where my friend Lisa lived in 2nd grade), Gallup, Albuquerque, then Santa Fe.  We spent the night in the beautiful Hotel Santa Fe near the Plaza in Old Town Santa Fe.  I had the best salmon dinner there….oh my gosh!  The next morning found us on the road home.

 

What a trip!  What a pilgrimage down memory lane!  A wonderful time to refresh and recharge!  Getting back home has been good as I have allowed myself time to come back to reality.  My main focus now is working on the First Lady of Denver, Mary Louise Lee’s Bringing Back The Arts Foundation (BBTA).  We are in the midst of creating and developing a choreography competition for the students in the Denver Public School District.  This year’s theme is “Happy”…yes, just like Pharrell’s song.  So I’m getting my Happy Dance on!  If you know of any DPS students who love to dance and choreograph, have them sign up for the BBTA Choreography Competition on November 8th!  It promises to be a fun time!  AND there are prizes for the top three winning groups!  Check it out…

http://www.bringbackarts.org/#!dance-off/c15px

 

Anyway, that’s what has been up with me and why it’s been awhile since I’ve touched base on this site.  I’m home now, so back to work on my arts education products, along with my work with dance education projects!  Keep Calm and Dance On…and have a grand day!

IT’S IN THE STORE!!!!

I hope this post finds you all doing well on this fine Thursday before a long weekend!  This time of year always marks a special time for me…my birthday.  This year I’m THRILLED to have received an overwhelmingly delightful gift that was just presented to me about 2 hours ago.  As most of you know I recently launched my first book, Cake Baking & the Creative Process, it’s a collection of classroom exercises for the performing arts educator.  Also included in my book is a break down or structure of the creative process.  The goal for my book was to create even more resources for the performing arts educator that are not only fun and quick, but that are aligned with arts standards and 21st Century Skills.  During the journey of writing my book, the beginnings of an idea for an iPhone/iPad app began to form.  Since my book uses the analogy that the creative process is like baking a cake from scratch and the exercises are called “recipes for imagination”, I thought it would be fun to develop an app that was a recipe box full of the recipe cards with the exercises on each card.  So in May of this year, I began shopping around for companies that develop and design iPhone/iPad apps.  I finally settled on the San Diego based i2aSolutions (Ideas Into Applications).

 

http://www.i2asolutions.com

 

I was first contacted by Beau Katz, Business Development and Project Manager.  We had multiple conversations about my vision for the app and how I’d like to see it work and be designed.  He soon developed a mock-up, with estimates for cost, and a contract to be signed.  We were on our way.  Soon he introduced me to Clay Shinn who facilitated the majority of the design process.  I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome both Beau and Clay have been and how amazing the artists are that collaborate with them!  It has been an absolute pleasure to bounce ideas back and forth, see the mock-ups and make adjustments!  I don’t know when I have enjoyed the creative process more!  The folks at i2aSolutions really do take all your ideas and make them into applications…BEAUTIFUL ONES!  If you are interested in developing your own products and applications, check out i2aSolutions!  I HIGHLY recommend them!

 

THANK YOU doesn’t even begin to express how grateful I am for my wonderful new product!  I am over the moon EXCITED!  I cannot begin to describe how fulfilling it is to see my ideas come to fruition….tangible and concrete!  From thought, to vision, to iPhone!  IT’S IN THE STORE!!!!  I am PROUD to present:

Creative Process App by Judi Hofmeister
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/creative-process-app/id908779553?mt=8

 

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CoDEO Dance Conference Sept. 20th – 21st

Happy Monday!

It’s been a busy week since I last posted.  I am president of the Colorado Dance Education Organization (CoDEO), the newest state affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).  My board and I have been pulling together the details for our 1st Annual CoDEO Dance Conference, this September 20th and 21st at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins.  We are excited for this event, especially since the Dance Endorsement was passed in June, but also because we are combining two previous dance events.  In the past, there was a separate dance teachers workshop, then also a day of classes and performances for dance students called the Colorado Dance Expo.  Those of us on the CoDEO board felt it would be a good thing to combine these two events so that educators and students could share together…an enriching environment where legacies are passed on and new ones are created.

 

We are excited to have representation by dance educators from many areas in our state!  Dance companies and universities such as University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Northern Colorado, and of course the CSU dance folks…not to mention multiple K-12 programs and dance studios.  It truly will be a meeting of the cream of the crop of the Colorado dance community.  I’m including a conference schedule to this blog.  If you are a dance teacher, a student or a professional dancer/choreographer please consider registering for our conference!  It will be a great experience for all involved!  Once you become a member of CoDEO, you automatically have dual membership to the NDEO!  Not only will you gain support and advocacy on the state level, but you will tap into the treasure chest of resources from our national parent organization!  It truly is a gold mine of benefits for any dancer!  We hope to see you at our September conference and welcome you as a new member to CoDEO!

You can register online at our website link below:

http://www.co-deo.org

Keep Calm and Dance On!

 

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Dixie’s Chick

Hello!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, I have been in and out of town visiting with one third of my family…let me explain…

I blogged a couple of months ago that I’m adopted.  I became a Hofmeister 2 months after I was born, not knowing who my birth parents were.  Being a Hofmeister, I am the youngest of 3 children…my 2 brothers are 15 and 16 years older than me.  I grew up in a small farming community in Southeast Colorado, it was a great place to grow up!  My Dad had a farm and I had a dirt bike that I rode around from the time that I was about 7 years old until I was 16 and got my license to drive.  I also sang at church and in school choirs, I was in all the musicals and plays, and I square danced…the only dance training I had until I got to college.  Summers in Lamar consisted of jumping on my trampoline, going to the swimming pool, and time on the farm.  It was very carefree, I loved growing up there!

 

Once I graduated high school I moved to Denver to attend college.  My goal was to become a star!  Seriously!  That’s what I thought I was going to do with my life!  Ha, ha!  I enrolled in the Lyric Theatre program at the University of Denver.  The Lyric Theatre program was dismantled my freshman year at DU, so I transferred to Loretto Heights College, where I finished my BFA in Music Theatre…2 weeks after graduating with my BFA, I was hired by a local dinner theatre.  I performed there for about 8 years before I decided to go back to school and get my certification to teach high school theatre.  The school where I student taught was the school that hired me after I’d completed my certification…and I stayed there for the next 20 years.

 

It was during my teaching career that a very incredible thing happened to me!  It was August of 2000, when I came home from school one afternoon to find an interior window design business card stuck in my front screen door.  There was a note on the back of the card to call a lady named Gloria.  I promptly threw the card away thinking it was a solicitor.  I had no clue she was an intermediary for the state of Colorado.  I had not one clue she was trying to contact me because my birth father had been searching for me and had just found me!  Gloria was in charge of facilitating the reunion!

 

The next day I came home from school to a voice message from Gloria…at this point I was getting pretty irritated at her persistence to solicit, so I decided to give her a call the next morning on my way out to school.  Poor Gloria!  I was really ready to give it to her for being such a pain!  My tone as we first started the conversation was VERY abrupt!  Needless to say, it changed quite a bit as we got further and further into our conversation.  She asked me a few questions, then told me about Mark, my birth dad, and the fact that I had 3 half sisters. She first asked if I was adopted…in my head I’m wondering why on God’s green earth would an interior window designer be asking if I was ADOPTED?!?! Then she asked for my birth date and the name of the hospital where I was delivered. By this time my head was spinning…my birth father, who? Has found me…how? I’m the oldest of FOUR girls…WHAT?!?!  It’s a good thing there wasn’t a lot of traffic that morning because I could’ve easily caused a 70 car pile-up as I heard the information she relayed to me!! I don’t really remember pulling into the parking lot at school and getting to my office, but thank God one of my co-workers, was there because I was a blubbering mess of PANIC!! I had known that I was adopted from the day that I could comprehend what adoption meant. I was told so many times in my life that I was immune to the reality of what the word REALLY meant. So I had never entertained any thoughts that I would actually ever MEET anyone who was responsible for bringing me into this world!! What do I do from here?!?! Had I just opened the door to the Twilight Zone?!?!

 

Ha, ha!  Well, it didn’t end there!  A few weeks later I was in contact with my birth mother, Dixie.  She has 3 sons!  So in a matter of about a month, I went from being the youngest of THREE, to being the oldest of SEVEN!  I distinctly remember sitting at my computer one morning downloading pictures Dixie had sent to me.  This was at a time when downloading a picture took quite awhile to complete.  I sat and watched as the picture started at the top and worked it’s way to the bottom of the imagel  About halfway through I realized I was looking at a picture of ME!!!!  My birth mom and I are TWINS!  Complete replicas of each other!  I just sat at my computer and cried!  I didn’t know what else to do…I didn’t know what else to feel.  WOW!  There was no denying that Dixie was my mother!  Holy cow!  It doesn’t get more clear than that!

 

The first time we met face to face, she came here to Colorado.  She was the last to get off the plane…she looked around and asked where the camera crews were?  We both laughed!  I told her I hadn’t contacted Oprah, it was just us!  Ha, ha!  We hit it off in seconds!  We just stood there in the middle of the airport looking at each other…our hair was the same, our glasses almost alike…we were even wearing similar clothing!  We were silent, then giggled and said, “Let’s go to the bathroom and look in the mirror!”  We ran to the bathroom and just stood in front of the mirror looking at ourselves…I’m sure all the other ladies in there thought we were nuts, but we didn’t care!  We stood there for a good 15 minutes looking at all the similarities!  What FUN!  I had NEVER resembled anyone so much in my life!

 

That was 14 years ago!  I have now met all of my siblings on both sides of my birth family!  We all get along great and I couldn’t be happier for having gone through the reunion process!  I have 3 families!  My adopted family and TWO birth families!  It has been an amazing, positive experience meeting each and every one of them! What a wonderful gift to know all of my family!  I am truly blessed!  I am Dixie’s Chick!

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Summer Reflections

Happy Saturday!

I hope this finds everyone having a lovely summer full of fun and new adventures!  It’s been a grand summer so far for me!  I’ve had the chance to hang out around home.  (Which is one of my favorite things to do!)  I was a part of the celebration for Dance Endorsement in June, and I’ve also been working on the design of my new iPhone/iPad app for my book.  Last week I started working with my mentor Dr. Denina Brown on 4 new assessment rubrics that will go along with my book.  These new assessments will be sold in a PDF format soon.  (It is my goal to have both these new products available when school starts this year.)  Today my new website went live!  (Check it out!  www.JudiHofmeister.com )  I also had the chance to travel to California at the end of June, then this coming week I’m in Minnesota.  On my horizon…the Colorado Dance Education Organization (CoDEO) will be hosting it’s first annual CoDEO Dance Conference September 20th & 21st at CSU!  (Check out the link below for more info about our conference.)  So lots of good stuff going on this summer!

http://www.co-deo.org

 

When I look back and reflect on last summer, I’m reminded of the work that I was involved in then.  It’s been a productive year working with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) as facilitator for the Sample Curriculum Project in Dance.  I had the honor to not only collaborate with the brilliant Karol Gates, CDE’s Arts Content Specialist, but a multitude of amazing dance educators from across the state.  We developed and authored 10 curriculum unit samples for K-12 dance classrooms!  I’m so excited to share this wonderful resource for not only dance teachers, but anyone who wants to incorporate and integrate movement into their classroom!  I couldn’t be more proud of this project, the folks I worked with, and how the unit samples turned out!  Truly the highlight of my educational career!  So check out the CDE website!  I’m including the link for the dance units below, but there are some really good theatre and music units as well!  So please explore the CDE site thuroughly!  Truly a wonderful project!

http://www.cde.state.co.us/standardsandinstruction/instructionalunits-dance

 

Another fun thing I did over the course of this last year was to be a reviewer for the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) in Dance.  It’s been such a pleasure to not only be working on the state level with curriculum, assessments and standards, but to have the opportunity to compare and contrast our state work to that of the national standards!  Those new standards rolled out at the beginning of June and I’m excited to share them here as well!  So many wonderful new resources for arts educators!

http://www.nationalartsstandards.org

 

So as the summer wraps up (I can’t believe I just typed that), I hope all you arts educators out there have had a chance to relax and replenish after last school year!  As you gear up for this new year I hope to be able to help out with developing new resources that are aligned with state and national standards, 21st Century Skills, and many other creative/arts education theorists.  I’m also here to help make things a little quicker and easier for you!  So let me help to facilitate finding just the right resources for your classroom!  Have a great rest of the summer!

Where in the World…?

Happy Saturday everyone!

Today I’ve had some time to sit down and do a little research of where my book is being sold.  Yes, I have a list from my publisher, Balboa Press, but I have found it’s kind of fun to do a google search and actually see for myself the online stores that are carrying my book!  I’ve had several folks ask where they might be able purchase one, and today I thought it might be kind of cool to take the time and check it out.

In the United States my paperback is available at the following sites: (there are more sites, but I thought I’d start with these three)

Balboa Press (my publisher)  http://bookstore.balboapress.com/Products/SKU-000657694/Cake-Baking–The-Creative-Process.aspx

Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Cake-Baking-Creative-Process-Imagination/dp/1452590044

Barnes & Noble online  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/judi-hofmeister

 

My book also comes in an eBook format at: (again, there are more ebook sites)

Google books  http://books.google.com/books?id=fk7HAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=cake+baking+%26+the+creative+process&hl=en&sa=X&ei=35jKU4KXN8WnyATBl4CIAg&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=cake%20baking%20%26%20the%20creative%20process&f=false

txtr  http://us.txtr.com/catalog/document/o95b8r9/cake-baking-the-creative-process–judi-hofmeister/

 

So, as I was doing my search, a book site in the UK popped up.  I didn’t realize at first that the site originated from the UK until I saw that the price of the book had a British Pound symbol in front of it.  That’s when it dawned on me that my book is probably being sold in even more countries than just the UK.  So I decided to find out where in the world my book is being sold.  Below is a partial list of countries.  I won’t put all the links to these sites because there are multiple book sites for some countries like Australia, but as I got deeper and deeper into my search a wonderful feeling came over me.  With this being my first book, I’m still kind of new to this whole process, so I get very excited to experience and learn about each step of publishing, marketing and sales.  I’m simply having the time of my life!  Anyway, these are the countries I found:

Australia

Canada

Denmark

France

Germany

India

Italy

Lithuania

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Romania

South Africa

Spain

United Kingdom

 

I’m sure there are more websites from more countries, but this list thrills me to no end!  What fun to think that my book is out there being sold around the world!  As I said above, very exciting…and it’s beginning to really sink in!  What a thrill!  So when folks ask now where it’s being sold, I have a very good idea of the breadth and scope.  Happy reading!  Have a great weekend!

Keep Calm & Dance On!

PS – I’ve also been asked what’s next on my plate.  I’m in the process of designing and developing an iPhone/iPad app that coincides with my book!  It’s almost ready to launch, so stay tuned for more information!

 

 

Everywhere!

About three weeks ago I blogged about the creative process and the importance of parents enrolling their children in arts programs.  I made the comment that, “there’s a lot more to it than just being in the school musical”.  So this week I’d like to delve deeper into my analogy for structuring the process.  This analogy was one of the lessons, or insights that I shared with my performing arts students while I was teaching.  I have always tried to find ways of helping the teen artist connect with and analyze the creative process…ways that they would easily remember each step…a perspective that would help them apply the process to not only the projects we were working on in class, but to their everyday lives.  So I said to myself, “Self, what would make a teenager remember the structure?  What does a teenager like that would help them make the connection?”  FOOD!!!!  Of course!  Every teenager eats…all the time!  They come to class, they have food in their hands, mouths, back packs…the bell rings, they immediately reach for food in their backpacks, or make a bee line for the vending machine!  FOOD!!!!  Of course!

 

Below are the steps I developed to follow a solid structure for the creative process.  My students know that when they follow these steps for each creative project in my class, they have met each component in a comprehensive and balanced lesson.  A lesson that aligns with national and state arts standards, as well as 21st Century Skills and the Root-Bernstein Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People.  Now, my students don’t dissect it, or analyze it that deeply…but I do!  All they know is that when they are following all these steps, they are exploring, discovering, collaborating, writing, discussing, creating, refining, reflecting, evaluating, and analyzing!  These elements and this process are organic to the performing arts, it’s what we naturally do to produce our art.  These elements engage the learning of the whole individual…arts students are “multi-tasking” multiple learning styles.  This helps them to remember the material in a very deep way…they remember it physically, mentally and in a heartfelt manner…AND they are having fun while they are learning!

 

CAKE BAKING: THE PROCESS

The creative process is like baking a cake from scratch:

1. First, decide what flavor of cake to make (the idea/inspiration for the project).

2. Second, gather the ingredients (the research, scripts, music, etc.).

3. Next, as a group, go about mixing these ingredients (developing blocking, choreography, lyrics, and music).

4. After all ingredients are mixed, put the creation in the oven to bake (rehearsals—refining and perfecting a scene, dance, or song).

5. Once the cake is baked and has had time to cool, apply the icing (costumes, sets, makeup).

6. Your cake, or project, is now ready to be consumed (performance).

7. The final step in this process is one of the most important parts of the entire creation and often gets left out or ignored all together: DIGESTION! It is very important to have downtime after a performance to digest, reflect on, and evaluate the success of the product. This is an important step to not only completing the creative process, but also allowing time to fill back up with ideas for the next project. This downtime allows for evaluation of the finished work as well as the generating of new creative ideas.

 

So, while we are at the 7th step in this creative process, and at the point of digesting what we have just accomplished, I always ask my students where else in their daily lives could they apply the creative process?  Over the years I’ve had a myriad of answers, but one day a particular student blurted out, “Everywhere!”  EXACTLY!  We can apply the creative process to our daily lives, every day!  Every day we can mix and bake our own creative cakes!  So when I say it’s much more than just being involved in the school musical, I am talking about using and applying your creative process EVERYWHERE!  Enjoy baking your own creative cakes!

Alternate Settings

Hello!

I hope this finds everyone having had a wonderful July 4th holiday!  I certainly love this time of year!  Just as the days have gotten longer, warmer, and fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful to accompany the backyard BBQ…YUM!  It is the perfect time of year for playing backyard games with the family…OR for summer camp, Sunday school and other summer youth activities.

 

At the beginning of this week I wrote a post on my Facebook page for a request for blog topics.  My friend Kaylen replied, “How about a way to use some of the ideas in alternate settings. ie: 4-H, Camp, Sunday School ??? For leaders and teachers who might not realize they can use your resources too. Especially “Stop, Freeze” and “What Are You Doing”?”  The mentioned games are improv theatre exercises included in my book.  Kaylen has purchased my book and is interested in how she can utilize the exercises in her children’s 4-H and Sunday school groups.  Well Kaylen, (and everyone else) I’ve got lots of ideas as to how you could take these fun exercises and apply them to areas outside the performing arts classroom!

 

I have sold my book to friends in Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey…and not all of them are teachers.  One is the pastor of a church, another works with a social media company, several are stay at home moms.  But all these folks could potentially use these theatre games in multiple ways with their kids, or even with fellow employees!  Heck, we’ve even played these games during a garage sale to gather a crowd of potential buyers.  And yes, these games can work well with adults too!  Let me share some ways that I see that might work for those who are not in a K-12 classroom.

 

First and foremost, these games are the perfect group building activities!  If you have a gathering of kids from the ages of 10-18, you’ve got the perfect combination of young imaginations!  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a church, camp or youth group setting…even a family BBQ will work!  Both exercises of “Stop Freeze” and “What Are You Doing?” are simple and easily adaptable to any gathering.  You simply need to get ideas from the audience for situations or scenarios.  You can have the kids write out silly situations and scenarios on small pieces of paper, then put those situations in a hat and have the audience choose these at random.  Situations and scenarios such as: doing laundry at a laundromat, a worker at a pickle factory, you’ve lost your pet chipmunk at the airport, scuba diving in a hurricane, or you’ve lost your glasses at a rock concert are silly and fun ways of introducing interesting characters to scenes in which ordinary situations cannot exist.  Think of the craziest scenarios…blend situations together.  Make it fun, make it silly!  The more physically animated the situation or scenario, the better!  The more the kids can animate their characters, the better…bottom line: the bigger the action, the funnier these games will play!  The more fun everyone will have playing out the scene and watching the performance.  These exercises are tons of fun!

 

Now having said the above…adults can also have a blast with these exercises as well.  Many corporate companies are now including creative training for their employees.  The same suggestions that I laid out above apply for adults…the sillier and more animated, the more fun everyone will have!  The more creative each “player” in the scene must be as they creatively problem solve through each scenario.  It’s very telling to see how each employee plays these games!  It’s also very enlightening to see each individual’s imagination and creative thought in action.  Not to mention, the group building activity these games encompass.  The corporate team that was struggling to collaborate all of a sudden is “jiving” because they have not only had a ton of fun “playing”, but because they have had a chance to get to know each other on a creative level that they have not had the opportunity to know in the past.  Creative work and the creative process is a wonderful way of positively linking individuals in a wonderful way!

 

So, in conclusion…Kaylen (and everyone else), I hope this answers your questions.  I am always happy to lend a hand with suggestions and more games!  I am passionate about this kind of creative work and try to gather more and more resources as I go along my journey.  Happy 4th of July and happy game playing!  This is what the summer is all about!  Let the games begin!

 

PS – My book is available through my publisher Balboa Press, online at Amazon.com, and also at Borders online.  Consider buying a copy or two…who knows what fun you might have?  Enjoy!