The acting challenge last week was to get our theatre school students family members to smile, giggle or even laugh. And what a wonderful release laughter can be – like a good cry or a good scream. All that pent-up fury lessened by letting go. A child should laugh more easily but what about the rest of us? Isn’t it a bit embarrassing to try and start laughing? And what if you are on your own.? Well why not? They say that if you use your laughter muscles and look on the funny side and encourage it more then what was self- conscious and impossible becomes part of your armoury. This skill can be particularly useful if you take part in acting, singing and dancing classes. In groups of people this kind of laughter becomes, dare I say it, infectious. You can check this out but in 1962 there was a boarding school in a village called Katasha in Tanzania. A class started laughing – and couldn’t stop. Well they had to stop to breathe but then they carried on, and on, and on. I expect we have all faced a similar situation. I often see groups of friends in airports behaving in this way. The school in Africa had it so bad they had to close and send the children home whereupon some of them caused their parents to start as well.
Like everything in our life, we can call up laughter or tears when we need them – indeed we are taught to do so because we know that grief or boredom or something irritating needs to pass through us. I always go back to the performing arts because I think it’s a laboratory of the feeling world. If you laughed a lot in making comedy or indeed anything creative, if you have sung your heart out or danced your legs off you’ve been part of this same process and it lifts your spirits. It’s natural and it’s good for you. I recommend laughter in your life. So, I’ll end with a joke. “With all this Corona Virus, the people who make sanitising gel are rubbing their hands together. “
Our virtual classes in acting, singing and dancing continue online. Theatretrain is offering FREE performing arts classes to all young people in this time of national crisis, providing them with an outlet that encourages confidence, creativity and comradeship, while also positively contributing to their overall fitness and mental health. To register for FREE visit https://bit.ly/2WXempV.