LOVE & THE BODY

PICTURE BY Dariusz Gackowski

PICTURE BY Dariusz Gackowski

Love scenes are great to see but can be difficult to play. With using your body, you can tell the entire story. 

We will use principles from dance, contact improvisation and physical theatre to get into your body and out of your head. We will focus on trust, body awareness, taking your time and intimacy. And then we can start… 

To touch, to move, to be touched and to be moved. 

There were so many rules in my head. Then I met Laura and her Love & The Body workshop. I started to follow my body and listen to it. Now I feel more comfortable with touch, now I feel the relief.
— Majkel Sic (Grupa Sic, Poland)


DANCING FOR DUMMIES

In this workshop I will use my background as an improv and dance teacher to teach you how to bluff your way in ballet. Or in hiphop, Bollywood, country, disco, tango and many more styles.

You will learn the most important tricks and steps to make it look like you are a dancer. The audience can shout out any style in music or dance: you will know what to do. And what games you can play using your moves.

I have taught this workshop since 2009 to many Dutch, German, Swiss and Finnish improv groups and it is the most fun you will have in using your body on stage. Stiff as a board? No sense for rhythm? Perfect, then book this workshop now!

Laura is one of the most enthusiastic trainers I know. She is committed, social, sweet and energetic. In the training ‘Dancing for Dummies’ she is giving everything and takes you on the hand to dance styles you never heard of.

My group still remembers everything and likes to practice them all, including the ‘cries’/instructions that Laura made while teaching us. We do that on stage or even in the bar. Hilarious!
— Frouke de Groot (Improfessioneel, The Netherlands)


MOVING FOR DUMMIES

All you need on a stage to create magic is your body and the space. They are your best friends and they can be anything. In this workshops we will use the basic principles of dance, viewpoints and physical theatre to improve your improv skills.

The workshop goes more in-depth on physical theatre: moving, trusting your body, ensemble work and building the environment. A wonderful way to get out of your head, into your body and connected with your fellow improvisers. But most importantly: play great scenes.


SENSING FOR DUMMIES

This workshop is about feeling. Nothing emotional or navel-gazing: this will just be about the sense of touch.

We are going to experiment with fun, physical exercises that will help develop your character work. What will happen to your movement if you tape 4 fingers together? And which character is a result from wearing a silky scarf?

This workshop is inspired by Somatic Costumes and will give you easy, clear techniques of getting connected to your body and be more present. 

You will discover what sensing will do with your impro. Expect to do little thinking, lots of moving, listen to music and just leap, discover and feel. 


LASTING LONGFORM SKILLS

To play a longform show, improvisers need a wide range of skills. In this workshop we will work on the most challenging ones.

Building a firm platform, inspiring your partner throughout the show, taking the story further and taking the story slower. And many more basic improv skills are put under pressure once you get into a longform. 

In fun, interactive exercises we will work on taking longform serious by not taking it so serious. Your improv and your longform will benefit from it. 

With Laura I learned to give importance to silence. She’s fun but also demanding. I LOVED learning from her and I’d like her to visit more often.
— Paulo Cintrão - (bYfurcação, Portugal)


HEART SURGERY FOR DUMMIES

In this workshop you will learn how to bluff every profession. I will teach you the jargon of the mail sorter, the instruments of a surgeon or the technique of a sniper. All this will no longer be a secret for you.

In this workshop we focus on the language, the moves and the attitude of at least 10 different professions. Very useful for on stage! 

An additional advantage: you will improve you firm conviction while improvising and how to smoothly combine moving and acting.

In Heart Surgery for Dummies, Laura teaches more than space objects, she shows how emotions and characters can affect/be affected by the work. Her style of teaching is smart, patient, thorough, and fun; and she has you play at the top of your intelligence.
— Barbara Scott - (Company member BATS Improv, San Francisco)


USING THE SPACE & MOVING  

The space is the best friend an improviser has when on a stage. It is always there and can be anything. Even more: it can be as big and as amazing as your fantasy can take you.

In this workshop I will teach many ways to stretch your imagination. We will make the stage multi levelled, with moving angles and unlimited in its space. Think for example of action movies, sport contests, pursuits or scenes on a micro level.

Laura’s workshop taught me to think about space and objects in improv in a new way entirely. It was also accompanied by several new techniques to learn to manage your own improv stage space. I’d recommend it to any improviser looking to use their allocated space more interestingly and efficiently.
— Emppu Ökö Helmeri Jurvanen (Ökö Impro, Finland)


PLAYFULNESS

DPK hands adapted.jpg

The improvisation skills of both beginning and very advanced players can benefit tremendously from a high dose of playfulness.

It makes a bad scene comfortable and a good scene wonderful. And it can only happen together. So working on playfulness will strengthen your people skills and group feeling.

In this workshop I will work on finding the spark in yourself, in your character and in the scene. Is there a game in this scene?  Can you find it? Do you want to? It takes some practice. And some fun, light and die-hard playing.

It felt we were a bunch of kids having fun together in a playground, and Laura’s energy and tools definitely allowed connecting with the inner child and to letting it out it for improv purposes. Thank you!
— Feedback form students Barcelona Improv Group (Spain)


IMPROV FOR KIDS

picture by vuurfotografiE

picture by vuurfotografiE

To improvise for an audience of kids it requires that you understand who you are playing for. Young kids are the most honest spectators. That is why you as an improviser can learn so much about your improv, your style and your 'tricks' when performing for them.

In this workshop I will encourage you to feel like a kid again, to truthfully PLAY: the kind of play with your tongue out of your mouth. And from there learn all there is to playing sparkling characters, clear stories and beautiful fairy tales.

From my experience as a performer and a teacher with and for kids, I can also teach many games and short forms that work with young audiences. Working on a longform and/or inviting children in the training are all possible. And a fun way of learning!

Laura’s positivity and enthusiasm is very infectious and creates an atmosphere where all participants can play freely. I highly recommend her!
— Mascha Chang (Retteketet - improv for kids, The Netherlands)


TICKLE YOUR SCENE PARTNER

Look at them: that beautiful human you share the stage with. It is your scene partner. But what are they thinking? Where are they going? What can you do with them?

In this workshop we will work on reading our scene partner (their face, their body, their tone of voice, their choice of words). All this will tell us how to inspire them in the best possible way. I will teach you some strong supporting skills, but also little quirky tricks to tickle their fancy. 

Next to this we will also develop you! How can you become that person everybody wants to play with? Are you irresistible yet? Let's make it happen! 


DIMENSIONS

How can you make the audience feel something? How do you make every scene feel like a breath of fresh air?  Is there an easy way of knowing what is needed without getting into your head?

Meet the dimensions. An approach to improv where every player gets one area to focus on. These are focus points like staging, volume and tempo.

Especially very experienced players can benefit from this new approach. It encourages them to make choices they have never made. 

The dimensions can be used in existing formats (especially those who seem to have lost their 'edge') or in their own format 'Welcome Change'.

I’d love to work with the dimensions more. It stops yourself from plotting and give the character more unique traits. The dimensions also help create more diverse stage pictures and help avoid the ‘talking heads syndrome’.
— Kiki Hohnen (The Naked Stage, The Netherlands)


GROUP COACHING

Laura’s practise opened my mind and BOOM I feel I am now really part of my group. And I am ready for my first longform!!
I recommend Laura’s training: you may find the lock from your own mind. I promise you will love impro more after that lock has opened.
— Soile Sivonen (Uusi Kattaus, Finland)
PICTURE BY DARIUSZ GACKOWSKI

PICTURE BY DARIUSZ GACKOWSKI

Can your group use a refreshing approach? Maybe you want to improve on your current format. Or you want to work on how you collaborate together. Or you think some Dutch tough love could be just the thing your group needs.

I often work with groups in the area of shortform, longform, improv for kids or applied improv on specific themes. My style combines great ambition, lots of experience and a very positive approach.

I love taking the strengths of a group to a new level. In a short time we can make great leaps. I can't wait to meet you and your group. 

 

ABOUT LAURA

I am an Amsterdam-based teacher and performer in the fields of improvisation, theatre, dance and communication skills. I am part of 5 Dutch improvisation groups performing theatresports, longform, and impro for children. Furthermore, I have 3 duoshows and I am a founding member of the Ohana project.

I have been teaching for 14 years, including 9 years in my own theatre school. My background is in theatre, dance and Business Administration. At the moment I am working as a trainer and actress in The Netherlands, Europe and North America. 

I love cycling, travelling, cats, pancakes, making lists, taking leaps, staying up late and sleeping in. Also, my last name is a castle. True story. 

Read more about my work on my blog