GAEL DOORNEWEERD-PERRY

WORKSHOPS

Gael Perry
Gael Perry is a phenomenal teacher and performer. A truly pillar of the improv community.
— Will Luera - AD of Improv Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota)

WORKSHOPS

Connected people

Mount Olymprov

How to replace action by reaction? This workshop is about being in the moment, reconnecting with your partner and yourself to find the truth of the moment.

Using exercises influenced by Meisner’s work, you will open your eyes, your senses and your heart to your partner. These exercises will give you clues to a spontaneous way to act.

First, you will empty your head, in order to be in the moment, just there, connected with yourself. Then, you will explore every way to observe details in you and your partner. Finally, you will 100% focus on the other player, understanding his emotion without a word to create a deep and full relation in the scene.

When you forget to think, you have time to listen and love!

Man is a wolf to man

Dan and Gael in Amsterdam

This workshop is addressed to men (cis and trans).

Stop crying like a pussy! You have to be strong! Be a man! Just a few things that are said to young boys. And suddenly as adults we forget how to cry, how to be soft, how to be a man.

This workshop will explore modern masculinity, and create a safe space to experiment and share experiences. We will explore the whole range of emotions, situations and relationships between men. It will take us to a way of improvising: with depth, care and variation.

Let’s build a better world, by being better men.

A thousand inspirations for characters

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“Ah, here is Gael’s old man, we didn’t see him yet today!” was something one of my fellow players used to say to me. This old man pops up frequently in my play. But how to find inspiration to play a wider variety of characters? What is the good way for you to create?

This workshop will show you that there are as many true answers as there are people. Using different usual sources of inspiration (from the four elements, your voice, your body, the characteristics of your character, your partner, the environment, music), we’ll define together what speaks to you and how to combine those techniques to create your very unique way of being inspired.

If you ask my inspiration core? Music!

A French lesson in physicality

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Your body isn't just a vehicle to go from a place to another. Your mind isn't just a control tower, slightly connected to your body by your spine. You are entire, so BE entire. 

This is a workshop about connecting the mind to the body, to recreate what should never have been separated: you. Using crazy games to create an instinctive reaction right from your body, you will learn to develop your physicality from top to toe, and to be conscious of it.

Once you have forgotten your brain, you will use your body to reconnect and control your mind, create realistic reactions and surprise yourself.

Accept to lose control, your body knows how you feel! 

Sound effects and noisy people

gael and dan in improdrom

The stories, the emotions, the relations can be created by words. They can also be created without them. But between speaking and keeping the scene silent, isn't there a world of opportunities?

This is a workshop about supporting your acting using sounds. Realistic sounds, crazy sounds, annoying sounds, but the most important: your own sounds! Through different techniques and exercises, we will work on layering the imaginary world around you with sound effects to make it deeper. We also will explore different ways to use sounds in setting up scenes, edit, diving into the structure of the show, without saying a word!

Unmute your mouth, and let's be noisy!

Improv toolbox: Freeform, scene edits and organic transitions

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We all love to see movies with smooth and gentle transitions. To see different pieces of a jigsaw fall in place, echoing previous themes in parallel dimensions. To follow a camera moving and jumping from a character to another without the viewer noticing it.

This is a workshop about transitions and edits, to create organic freeform shows, without any break. Using different techniques (from classical improv edits revisited to movie shots), you will learn different tools you can use to improve your freeform, longform or even shortform shows.

Based on a total trust in your partners, you will experiment a new intensive way of improvising, where the game is everywhere, at every moment, without a pause. 

Boundaries aren't limits, they create playgrounds! 

A French lesson in romance

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France is well known for the wine, for the baguettes and for the Eiffel Tower. But France is also a country of romance, body language and love!

This is a workshop about using our bodies, the distances, our positions to create intimacy. Using physicality and little gestures, fewer words and more eye contact, small touches and beyond everything our heart, we will learn how to create an intimate relationship. Through exercises and scene work, we will learn how to live that relationship fully to show kind, deep and realistic scenes.

Impro is about life, and what would be life without love?

Miyazaki’s Kingdom: an improvised Miyazaki

The human world can be a dark place. Can also be simple and uplifting. In fact, nothing is ever black or white. We go through everyday life looking for moments of magic. What if we switch it, and look for everyday moments in a magical world?

This workshop is about bringing you to a place where nothing is normal. Where everything is normal. Where the weirdest and most magical creature can just be a girl, and where the spirit of the forest can just be a boy. A story where magic is real and reality is magic. This poetic, sensitive and place of emotions place is Japanese director Miyazaki’s kingdom. We’ll learn how to build Miyazaki's stories with heroes who care: about the world, about nature, about the human part of us, about our soul.

The best way to understand what it means to be human, is to not be one.

Special thanks to Yann Hartmann.

Improvise a silent play 

Les Fraltons

Everybody knows Charlie Chaplin’s movies, Buster Keaton’s or more recently the French “The Artist”. How beautiful, strong and even engaged are those movies without using a single word!

This workshop aims to create an entire improvised play without using a word. Based on space object work, emotional movements and using music, it will lead the group to learn all the tools to create a good silent improvised play. The exercises will be arranged around a specific pre-determined genre (western, science fiction, fantasy, etc.), to end with a unique show in the universe you love!

Make your audience dream without having to explain them how. 

Mime-fishing and other cool activities

“Gael, you always mime-fish on stage!” they say. Well, I might admit that it’s true. I love mime-fishing because it’s full of details, elements and fun you can play with. Do I fish in real life? Not at all!

In this workshop, you will learn how to mime-fish, mime-drive, mime-slaughter-a-pig, and a thousand other activities. Based on a strong space object work and a practice without words, you will discover the fun to explore your surrounding on stage and have an activity in your scenes. Inspired by Lecoq’s exercises and visual object work, you’ll be able to mime-anything like a pro!

Action Mime

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You’ve always wondered how it is possible to give the feeling of a good fight, an epic chase or a slow-mo gravity-free earth saving mission? This workshop is made for you!

During this workshop we will learn how to create epic situations and give them to an audience, how to make any situation feel like part of an action movie, and how staging and techniques are important in impro to re-create these on the spot. Based on a strong non-verbal work and techniques used in the international shows The Fraltons and Object of Affection, it will help you improve the use of your body on stage.

Give your character some good action and become “The Greatest Hero of them all”!

Improvising with music, and not over it

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This workshop is addressed to stage performers and musical improvisers (improv musicians and sound tech improvisers).

Have you ever felt the awkwardness when everything is supposed to be all right in a horror scene? Cried in front of a sad movie? Felt transported by an epic speech before the final battle? 

It’s all thanks to music. This workshop is about how to play with music, and how to consider it as full part of the show. You will learn different techniques to work with music, from reading the beats of the song to shutting your mouth and play along, in order to magnify your scenework when you play with a musician or a DJ. If you are a impro musician or a sound improviser, you will learn how to cease the light a play the full role you are supposed to have: being heard.

Music is not a noise, it’s a voice you want to hear!

Double Deep Dive into: Posture, Positions and other Physical stuff

Workshop taught with Laura Doorneweerd-Perry (Amsterdam)

Raison d'etre in Brussels

Do you want to do more moving in your improv? Make better use of the space? And connect with your fellow players to create scenes that matter?

In this workshop Laura & Gael will work with you on body positions and postures. You will explore different ways to use the space on stage. 

How can our body tell the story? We know! By moving, by positioning ourselves in relation to other players, and by bringing our body to different places on the stage.  What does it mean when I say I love you, facing away from you? Which questions arise when all the prisoners are in one corner of the cell? How can we show -not tell- and surprise ourselves in the process?

After this workshop you will have more tools to make beautiful stage pictures and play memorable scenes. Above all, you will have a great deal of fun experimenting, learning and playing with two international improv and theatre experts.

Double Deep Dive into: Object of Affection

Workshop taught with Laura Doorneweerd-Perry (Amsterdam)

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Based on the international duo-show Object of Affection, the two performers of that show are giving you a masterclass to pull on stage Object Tales, the ensemble version of their show.

In this workshop you will learn how to impersonate objects. Not only for environment work or for side characters, but as main characters of your stories! This workshop inspired by Pixar work will explore silent scenes, physical work, action, love, and imagination to turn inanimate worlds into living stories!

You will never look at your environment the same way after imagining the life of all these objects.

 

Double Deep Dive into: Beautiful Humans

Workshop taught with Laura Doorneweerd-Perry (Amsterdam)

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Beautiful Humans is a workshop for women and men (cis and trans) that want to explore the topic of gender in improv. What does it mean to be a woman? What is manhood today?

Laura and Gael will lead this workshop first separately and then together. After working in-depth with only same gendered people, we come together to share our insights and explore our differences and similarities. By making space for each other we will learn to improvise maybe differently, but definitely better.

For the female improvisers Laura will teach ‘Lionesses - Women in Improv’. In this the part we explore, share and practice the craft of improvised theatre through the lens of being a woman. It will be a workshop filled with bad-ass character work, practicing boldness and vulnerability and using our body to express and take action. Wonderful things can happen in an all-female environment. This workshop always has a high level of support, playfulness and empowerment, which inspires the improv in new ways.

For male improvisers Gael will teach ‘Man is a wolf to man’. As young boys men are often told: Stop crying like a pussy! You have to be strong! Be a man! Unsurprisingly, as adults we forget how to cry, how to be soft, how to be a man. This workshop will explore modern masculinity, and create a safe space to experiment and share experiences. We will explore the whole range of emotions, situations and relationships between men. This will take us to a way of improvising: with depth, care and variation.

For the last part we will come together and focus on learning from the other gender and re-discovering possibilities for our improv. What are our patterns? How can we best support? And challenge? The goal is to celebrate all our beautiful variations and make our improv more empowered, more interesting and just more awesome. 


Gael’s commitment to teaching improv is evident by the care he takes with his students in the workshop environment.

He guides the process with artistry, integrity and sensitivity which is why anyone who works with him walks away praising the process and the content in equal measure.

I would hire him to teach my ensemble of improvisers again any day.
— Kevin Gillese - Artistic Director of Dad's Gaage, Atlanta (USA)
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